If you are downsizing your home during retirement, you likely have a lot of questions swirling around in your head. Many of those questions may be focused on what to do with your current home as you transition into the next phase of your life. More questions may seem like a burden right now, but there are a few key things you can ask yourself to feel more comfortable about your final decision regarding your current home.

Do You Plan on Moving to Independent Living?

If you are downsizing and moving into an independent living community, how you handle your current home could help you out with any associated costs. In fact, by making the right choice with your home, you may be able to afford an independent living facility with more activities and amenities to enhance your quality of life, such as laundry services and housekeeping. Independent living facilities are set up to help seniors who need a little extra assistance, but costs can vary according to amenities and services offered. Since this can be a major expense to take on during your downsizing move, you can use your home’s equity by selling or renting to help cover those costs and ensure you find the right community that fits your needs. If you plan to sell your home, make sure you research the local market to find out how much you can expect to earn from the sale. Median sale prices of homes in Arlington Heights have been $266,000 the past month.

Do You Plan on Splitting Time Between Two Homes? 

If moving to a senior community is not a factor, you may have more options for handling your home during a downsizing move. For example, if you plan on living the snowbird lifestyle during retirement, you can take a little more time making your final decision. Consider renting a home in your second destination before buying and holding onto your current home until you’ve settled into your new routine. If owning two homes feels like a good fit for your golden years, you could always use your current home to turn a profit whenever you are out of town. Renting your home as a vacation property is the most obvious way to earn extra income, and you rent it out year-round or part-time. This can be a great alternative for seniors who no longer want to maintain a larger home but aren’t quite ready to get rid of it yet.

Of course, you will need to downsize the contents of your home before renting it, which may mean shopping around for a storage unit to safely hold your belongings. Storage in Arlington Heights can be costly but you can find great storage deals online, such as 50% off your first month for certain unit sizes at Prime Storage. 

Do You Plan on Moving in with Family Members? 

Honestly, many seniors would rather move to independent living than live with adult children or family members. That may seem harsh, but transitioning into an independent living community typically comes with less pressure and more freedom for all individuals involved, so if you can swing it, look into different communities before settling on moving in with your loved ones. If, however, this does seem like the best choice for you and your family, you can use some strategies to ease any stress or strain of the process. Have a serious talk about budgets and boundaries with your children so that you each know what is expected in terms of contributions to finances and household responsibilities. As part of this conversation, you should also talk about which home you will all live in, and if you decide to live in your current home, research your options for transferring your property to family without tax penalties to lessen your financial worries. 

Deciding how to transition your home during your downsizing move can be a source of stress, but you can mitigate that stress by asking yourself some serious questions about your downsizing reasons and plans. Then, you can make the most logical choice for you and the most practical choice for your home to ease this complicated process. 

Article Submitted by Jim Vogel of Elderaction.org

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.