Tips to consider when downsizing your home


Is it time to sell your home?

Are you thinking of selling your home to move to a more manageable home, adult supportive environment or with a family member? Many people would prefer to continue to live in their current home and age in place. Sometimes, house maintenance becomes a burden, a major life event happens, proximity to family becomes more important, financial concerns and/or support services are needed. Whatever the reason, there may come a time when you and your family consider selling the family home.

Here are a few things to consider before downsizing your home:

Can you leave the memories behind? You raised your children in your current home, and items hold special memories. You might also have to sell or donate possessions in order to move into a smaller home. But remember, there will be plenty of room for new memories in your next home.

What are the financial implications for selling? This is where your financial advisor can assist you. You could owe capital gains tax if you sell your house for more than the original purchase price. You might be able to port some of your homestead tax exemption to your next home. Keep in mind, you will most likely have a smaller mortgage and less property taxes, which could make selling a good option for you.

Downsizing options

There are a wide range of downsizing options to choose from. Here are just a few:

: Many older adults are leaving the suburbs behind and moving into condos or lofts in downtown areas. Not only are these homes easier to maintain, but they are also in walkable neighborhoods with easy access to amenities such as culture, restaurants and nightlife.

Active adult communities: These communities have a 55+ age requirement and often offer extensive amenities and a varied social calendar. Usually active adult communities have several housing options including single family homes, patio homes and condominiums.

Assisted living arrangements:
This option provides medical and social services in a community setting. An assisted living community allows for individual needs for those who don’t require continuous nursing care.

Nursing care facilities:
Skilled nursing facilities are for individuals requiring 24-hour medical assistance. Onsite physical and occupational therapy are usually provided.

Continuing care retirement community
: This is a full service community with various levels of care options include independent living developments, assisted living units and nursing care facilities.

Making the move

So, you’ve decided to sell your home. What’s next?

Your agent will conduct an extensive market analysis to make sure your home is priced appropriately.

Then be prepared to schedule any needed repairs. Your real estate agent should be able to assist you in finding honest tradespeople to handle any necessary repairs.

You’ll also want to freshen the outside of your home including the landscaping to give your home the best curb appeal possible. You may choose to hire a professional stager, who will help you de-clutter and highlight your home’s best assets.

Your best bet is to contact an experienced real estate agent who specializes in working with seniors. Look for an agent who is a designated Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). They will have the experience and expertise to assist you in selling your home.

Marsha Keller, GRI, is a Nocatee-certified Realtor and senior real estate specialist with the “Lisa Barton Team” at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.