GUEST BLOG – From Finances to Moving: How to Upsize in Retirement

By Bob Shannon

A lot of seniors think they have to downsize in order to live comfortably in retirement. But this isn’t always the case. If you plan on having your kids and grandkids visit or take up homesteading, a smaller home simply won’t do, and you’re going to need wide-open spaces to make those golden-year dreams come true. These upsizing tips can walk you through the process from start to finish with less stress and hassle.

Budgeting for a Bigger Home in Retirement

As with any major purchase, you need to think about your budget and finances first before you decide to buy a bigger home. If you have a sizable amount of debt, you will want to start by coming up with a feasible plan to pay it down or completely off. In many states, consumers can turn to debt relief agencies for help coming up with this plan. You’ll need to factor in your amount of debt, employment situation, and ability to make payments to figure out which solution is right.

Once you have your debts paid down, you should have an easier time qualifying for home loans. You’ll also want to determine how much home you can afford before you begin submitting those applications. While this may seem like a daunting task, there are plenty of tools available online that make it simple, including calculators and worksheets.

Finally, you will want to figure out how much you will get from the sale of your current home. You can reach out to an experienced local real estate agent for a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis), but you also need to factor in any needed repairs into your estimated profit. For example, if your windows are cracked, repairing them could cost you anywhere from $170 to
$375. However, repaired windows can add curb appeal to your home, making it a worthwhile expense.

Finding Enough Room for Retirement

Now that you’re done with your finances, you can start looking for a home. You can check out local real estate sites or blogs like Walnut Creek Lifestyle for tips on searching and buying, but you may also want to start by hiring the right real estate agent.

A real estate agent can also narrow down home choices to ones that include the features you want most in retirement. For instance, if you plan on homesteading and hosting family members, a larger yard or land may be necessary. Then you will have plenty of space to play with the grandkids or grow your own vegetable garden and raise livestock.

Depending on the sort of hobbies you plan on taking up, you may also want to look for a home that includes a shed or workshop. You can always add one later, so long as you have the extra acreage. Also, make sure the features inside your home will keep you and your loved ones comfortable for years to come. This could mean making sure there’s an extra room that can be turned into a playroom or smart home features that can be used for aging in place.

Planning a Safe and Stress-Free Move

Once the deals are done, you’ll need to plan for a safe and problem-free move. For seniors, this may mean hiring professionals to help you pack and move your belongings. Otherwise, you could end up overdoing it and injuring yourself trying to do it on your own.

You can use an online move planner to figure out when to start hiring pros and when to take care of other essential moving tasks. That way, you won’t forget anything crucial, like changing your address with the post office or using up the food in your fridge.

When you have bigger dreams for retirement, a smaller home simply won’t do. If you do plan on upsizing your home, do make sure you know which steps to take to avoid added stress. Most of all, make sure you find a home that fits you and your plans to help you make the most out of your golden years!

If you want more information on upsizing, downsizing, or Prop 19, contact Kristin Lanham at (925) 899-7123 or kristin@lanham.com.

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