Seniors How to Decide When to Sell: 7 Important Considerations

Housing needs change throughout our lives.  At first, young people going out on their own need a place to call home and become first time buyers.  Upsizing young families need more space for children and purchase larger homes.  Seniors thinking of rightsizing or downsizing may want less to take care of and some may want or need more support and services.

Today many seniors stay in their homes, deciding to “age in place”.  But others find themselves thinking about a new house, and sometimes even an entirely new way of life.  There are also those who plan to remain in the family home while they are independent but then move to an assisted living residence when they need to.

Here are a few considerations if you or an older member of the family is trying to decide whether or not it’s the right time to sell the family home.

Is the Size Right? It’s a fact that larger homes cost more to run.  If you find yourself “over-housed”, not using all the rooms, paying more for upkeep, taxes and utilities than you’d like, a lower priced or smaller home may be easier to manage with your resources.

Equity. For many, the equity that has built up in the family home over the years is the main source of retirement savings.  If you need to move to convert that equity into cash and income to be financially secure in the coming years, selling the home may be the best choice.

Routine Maintenance.  Having a home means constant upkeep.  For some the once-fulfilling maintenance duties such as mowing the lawn, clearing the gutters, mending the fence and cleaning the house may be getting less enjoyable and more laborious.  If you no longer have the time, interest, or energy to do these tasks, maybe it is time to sell.

Physical Ability.  There are many styles of homes and some may be a better match for your physical ability.  Often heard concerns from seniors include too many stairs, security, wheelchair accessibility and the overall safety of the home.

Friends and Neighbours.  When you have lived at your home for any length of time you may find that your neighbourhood has changed.  If friends, relatives, neighbours and merchants have gone, maybe it’s time for you to consider moving also.

Family. Grown children may have moved further away making it more difficult to spend time with them and the grandchildren.  Maybe you’d prefer not to take long trips to visit, or perhaps you just need a little regular help from a family member.

Transportation. Some people choose not to drive any longer and therefore need to be close to public transportation or near quality medical care.

Lifestyle. Perhaps the idea of taking trips really excites you, but you are concerned about leaving an empty house for extended periods of time.  Or you may want to be better located to activities you enjoy such as golf, walking trails, and organized recreation. Maybe you’d just like to move closer to old friends or to a place where you can make new friends with similar interests to yours.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed after you’ve lived in the same place for much of your adult like.  But making a housing change can make your life less complicated and more carefree.  Be sure to consult with your financial planner or accountant as well as a qualified REALTOR®.

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Sherri Moro, B.A., ABR*, SRES**, is an annually award winning Halton area REALTOR® with Sutton Group Quantum Realty Inc., Brokerage. For over ten years, her very successful consultative approach and innovative strategies have provided preferential client service in both the marketing and purchase of Halton area residential properties. Sherri is also a licensed Mortgage Agent with RBL Capital Inc. #10583 and can assist you with all your borrowing and refinancing needs. Visit her at . *Accredited Buyer Representative, **Specially Designated to Serve the 50+ Market.

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