I’m Ready To Downsize But How Do I Start?

By June Griffiths

Are you thinking about downsizing but don’t know how to make the tricky transition work? How do you buy a new place before you sell your current home?

You are not alone as many homeowners have the same concerns. They want to embrace a new lifestyle, take advantage of our ever-increasing values, and lock in a smaller home or condo in an area that they covet.

Below are some creative solutions that may help you make your dreams come true too. Keep in mind that everyone’s financial profile is different. One option might not work for you while another one will. It might even be a combination of a few of these.

Here are a few ideas:

HELOC – Home Equity Line of Credit. If you have enough equity in your current home, you may be able to get a HELOC to get a down payment for a conventional loan or to buy the new property outright.

Bridge Loan – These loans can bridge the gap between buying and selling. You can typically borrow up to 65% of the equity in your home with a maximum loan of $500,000.

Margin Loan – most individuals can borrow up to 50% of the balance in their liquid investment accounts (retirement accounts cannot be used). These loans are generally cheaper than a bridge loan and have no major tax implications.

IRA Rollover – Most retirement funds allow a 60-day rollover of funds. It’s very important to know that these funds must be replaced into the retirement account within 60 days or you may incur significant penalties and taxes.

Making a move, whether you are buying a larger home or downsizing out of your now empty nest, is a big decision. You’ll want the best professionals to help you. Ask your real estate agent to put you in touch with a lender who will help evaluate your financial situation and customize the best options for you.

June Griffiths is a Managing Broker in the Windermere Issaquah office and has worked in real estate since 1989. She can be contacted at june@windermere.com.

The post I’m Ready To Downsize But How Do I Start? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

10 Tips for Senior Citizens Downsizing Homes or Moving

10 Tips for Senior Citizens Downsizing Homes or Moving from Gentle Giant Moving Company

Gentle Giant takes the time to work with seniors during transitional periods.

Moving senior citizens, retirees, and the elderly is emerging as a specialty service as baby-boomers are faced with downsizing themselves while simultaneously transitioning their parents to one of the many types of senior housing.

Below you will find Gentle Giant Moving Company‘s helpful 10 Tips for Moving Seniors:

Start with a floor plan of your new space.
A floor plan may be the single most important thing you can have.  It will tell you how much furniture you can fit, and help you decide where everything will go before you step foot into your new home.

Reduce the amount you have to move.
Downsizing can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining, but many items that have been accumulated in a home over many years can’t or shouldn’t be squeezed into a new home.  So take your time and ask for help.  If you have children who no longer live there, ask them to retrieve their possessions.  Give things to friends and family.  Have a yard sale and/or donate some items to charity.  If you can’t bring certain items that you’re not ready to part with, consider using a storage facility.

Begin in areas of the house no longer in use.
This strategy will be least disruptive to normal life and will help develop some momentum to carry you through other areas of the home later on.

Have a sorting system.
Use colored stickers to identify items that are going with you, elsewhere, or to-be-determined.  Make a list of potential recipients, such as loved ones or charity or auction, and match up items to them instead of coming up with different recipients as you sort through items one by one.

Start with large items and work toward smaller ones.
Sorting through large furniture pieces first will create a sense of progress for the person who is moving.  This will make it easier to sort smaller items later on, because it will be clearer what storage will be available in the new home.

Block off a certain amount of time for working each day and stick to it.
Start and stop at a certain time. Don’t get sidetracked.  You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.

Focus on one area at a time.
Dealing with a whole house can be overwhelming.  Break it up into smaller chunks by focusing on one part of a room at a time.  Then move on to the next.

Packing – Let the movers take care of it.
A professional move coordinator like the ones at Gentle Giant can recommend a professional packing crew to help prepare your dishes, linens, furniture, you name it.  Hiring such a team will make packing go by much faster, and your items will be safer as they are moved.

Create a Move-Day suitcase with the essentials for the first 24 hours in your new home.
Set aside a couple of outfits, a set of dishes, towels and sheets.  Include a first aid kit and a flashlight, or even a night light.  You’ll have what you need at your fingertips instead of having to dive into many different boxes to find what you need.

Be patient – with yourself and others.
Moving is hard, especially for seniors who may be leaving a home where they’ve spent decades with their family.  Remember it’s okay to be sad about parting with things, however the goal is not to get rid of everything – just to simplify.  Set aside down time, and reward yourself or the person you are helping at various stages in the process.  Accept that there will be a range of emotions.

Gentle Giant Moving Company  is a 35 year old Boston-based national moving company with offices across the country providing customers with licensed, insured, and professional moving services

The post 10 Tips for Senior Citizens Downsizing Homes or Moving appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.

Why So Many Americans Are Either Upsizing or Downsizing

According to two recent surveys that took industry watchers by surprise, many family homeowners are putting frugality aside and up-sizing to new houses that average as large as 2,480 square feet (an increase of as much as 13 percent from the year before), and sometimes exceed 3,500 square feet in size.

Meanwhile, millions of baby boomer homeowners are rushing to downsize—with some 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 saying they’re planning to make a move within the next five years.

It’s a tale of two very different segments of the population making dramatic shifts in their living accommodations to find the housing solutions that best suit their needs: one up-sizing while the other downsizes.

With so many baby boomers now nearing retirement age (8,000 Americans turn 65 every day), it should come as no surprise that the number of prospective “downsizers” exceed the number of “up-sizers” by three to one. With their children gone, these aging homeowners are interested in reducing the amount of house they need to care for, and are eager to bulk up their retirement savings with any home-sale profits.

As for why many families are choosing to up-size so substantially after years of downsizing or staying put, experts point to the extremely low interest rates and discounted home prices available today, and theorize that many families now feel confident enough about the economy to move out of homes they outgrew years ago.

If you’re considering upsizing or downsizing, here are some facts to consider:

How such a move can impact your life

The most common benefits of downsizing:

  • Lower mortgage payments
  • Lower tax bills
  • Lower utility bills
  • Less maintenance (and lower maintenance expenses)
  • More time/money for travel, hobbies, etc.
  • More money to put toward retirement, debts, etc. (the profits from selling your current home)

The most common benefits of up-sizing

  • More living space
  • More storage space
  • More yard/garden space
  • More room for entertaining/hosting friends and family

Negative impacts:

  • Upsizing will likely increase your living expenses, so it’s important to factor into any financial forecasts
  • Downsizing will require that you make some hard choices about what belongings will need to be stored or sold

Other impacts to consider:

  • The loss of good neighbors
  • Lifestyle changes (walking, neighborhood shopping, etc.)
  • The effect on your work commute
  • Public transit options

Buy first, or sell first?

Homeowners considering this transition almost always have the same initial question: “Should I buy the new home now, or wait and sell my current place first?” The answer is dependent on your personal circumstances. However, experts generally recommend selling first.

Selling your current home before buying a new one could mean you have to move to temporary quarters for some period of time—or rush to buy a new home. That could prove stressful and upsetting. However, if you instead buy first, you could be stuck with two mortgages, plus double property tax and insurance payments, which could quickly add up to lasting financial troubles.

If you need to sell in order to qualify for a loan, there’s no choice: You’ll have to sell first.

Another option:

You could make the purchase of the new house contingent on selling your current home. However, this approach can put you in a weak bargaining position with the seller (if you can even find a seller willing to seriously consider a contingency offer). Plus, you may be forced to accept a low-ball offer for your current house in order to sell it in time to meet the contingency agreement timing.

The truth is, most home sales tend to take longer than the owners imagine, so it’s almost always best to finalize the sale, and do whatever is necessary to reap the biggest profit, before embarking on the purchase of your new home.

When to make the transition

Ideally, when you’re selling your home, you want to wait until the demand from potential buyers is high (to maximize your selling price). But in this case, because you’re also buying, you’ll also want to take advantage of any discounted interest rates and reduced home prices (both of which will fade away as the demand for homes grows).

How will you know when the timing is right to both sell and buy? Ask an industry expert: your real estate agent. As someone who has their finger on the pulse of the housing market every day, they can help you evaluate the current market and try to predict what changes could be coming in the near future.

Even if you’ve been through it before, the act of upsizing or downsizing can be complex. For tips, as well as answers to any questions, contact a Windermere agent any time.

The post Why So Many Americans Are Either Upsizing or Downsizing appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.