Monday, August 2, 2021 / by Natasha Salter
In August 2/3 of my children will be away in college. I have to tell you, this house is starting to feel a little empty and a lot bigger. I can barely imagine four years from now, when it’s just going to be me and the husband. Naturally, we’ve started discussing our plans for the future and this house. This is also a conversation I’ve had with several clients and know it’s not an easy decision. Let’s dive into it.
Throughout my childhood, my grandparents hosted Sunday dinner after church. So at least once a week some of their kids, grandkids and various other relatives would all be in their home. This was the same home my mother grew up in. The same home that is covered in multigenerational photos and where you can still get the best sweet potato pie! This is what I always wanted my home to be. A place where my kids and grandkids would think of as home. Where family and friends know they are welcome and that we always have room for them. So my first instinct, is a hard no when it comes to downsizing.
But then, I started thinking more realistically. My grandparents situation is a little different than my own. First, their house is much smaller and easier to maintain. Second, 4/6 of their children and about a million extended family members live in the same city. Whereas, we have a larger home that is getting more difficult to upkeep as we lose our workforce. And most of our family is in Florida, including our firstborn. Do I really want to keep a house that we honestly will only use 1/4 of on a daily basis? I’m still not sure of our decision, but here are some things to consider:
- Affordability Home costs should be less than 30% of your monthly budget. (including mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance, and maintenance)
- Upkeep Is the routine maintenance too much to handle. You definitely do not want your home to fall into disrepair and taking away from potential selling options.
- Use Does your home still fit your life? How often do you use the pool or gym? Are there areas you have difficulty accessing now?
- Emotions Are you emotionally ready to say goodbye to your home? Let’s be honest, these four walls are more than a building. They’re where your memories were made. Where your kids grew up. Where you laughed and cried. Although this is a tough one, I remind people that selling a house is not selling the moments that you had there. You get to take all of those with you, forever.
- Stuff This may actually be harder than the emotional letting go. Are you ready to let go of a lot of your stuff?
Luckily, I still have some time to consider all of these things. I am not ready to make this decision just yet, as I hold on as tight as possible to my last little baby in the house!
Until next time,
Peace, Love and Real Estate