It’s a Seller’s Market! Should I Downsize Now?

This article about downsizing (or “rightsizing” as we like to call it!) from “Keeping Current Matters” brings up some great points. Call us at (703) 242-3975 if you’d like someone to help lay out your options and walk through current market conditions with you. You might also check out our blog posts:

It's a Seller's Market! Should I Downsize Now? | MyKCM

A study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their houses in the near future are planning to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller’s market.

In a blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in an article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profits from the sales of their current homes and splitting it in order to put down payments on smaller homes in their current locations, as well as on vacation/retirement homes where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values which makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 78.9% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamt about.

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, let’s meet up to help guide you through the process.Call Terry Belt &The Belt Team at 703-242-3975. Don’t you deserve the BEST?!

WHat Is My Home Worth

Northern Virginia – Retirement Paradise?!

Is Northern Virginia “Retirement Paradise”?

Just a few years ago, the original “baby boomers” hit what we used to call “retirement age” – the age of 65. People don’t necessarily retire at age 65 any more. But as Boomers age, they often start thinking about lifestyle changes. And one of those decisions involves finding the best place to retire.

Based on our experience of working with seniors and soon-to-be-seniors (you are eligible to join AARP at age 50!), we’d like to offer up that Northern Virginia is the PERFECT retirement paradise.

Best Places To retire
Photo Credit: Keeping Current Matters

 

Here are a few reasons why we think so:

Cultural Life

Retirees often consider university towns because of the wonderful opportunities to experience cultural life at a lower cost than in big cities. Here in Northern Virginia, we have multiple universities that offer all kinds of events – theater, classes, sporting events, talks. With George Mason University, Marymount University & Northern VA Community College right here in Northern VA; and with American University, Georgetown University & Catholic University just minutes over the bridge into DC – there is a plethora of cultural opportunities. Add to that awesome places like the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theater, Vienna Community Center’s Vienna Theatre Company, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, tons of FREE museums in DC. And the list goes on and on!

Outdoor Recreation

Northern Virginia is a mecca for those who want to stay young in their retirement. You will find many golf courses, fantastic hiking, great parks in Fairfax County, nature walks, places to fish & boat, jog trails like the W&OD and more.

Health Care

Living in Northern VA means you have access to world-class health facilities like National Institutes of Health, Georgetown Hospital, Inova and more. The top specialists are plentiful and easily accessible. Even more interesting is Inova’s recent 99 year lease of the facility being vacated by Exxon Mobil. They will be creating a new facility that specializes in research & treatment of complex diseases through personalized medicine. This means doctors will be able to personalize treatment to individual patients’ genetic makeup. We believe this will make Northern VA an even more attractive place for seniors to live as the new facility will likely draw in some of the premieer doctors in the world.

Transportation

If you are a young retiree, locked & loaded & ready to travel – you can’t beat Northern Virginia. We have 3 airports within 30-60 minutes of one another (Dulles, Reagan & BWI) – two of which are international airports. You can fly in & out to your heart’s content. The world is your oyster.

If you’re an aging retiree, the convenient transportation is a plus for your family. It used to be that our families stayed close by. But in today’s global society, it’s not unusual for families to be spread around the globe. If this sounds like your family, living in Northern VA might mean you see them more often, because it’s so easy to get in and out. In addition to the 3 airports, we’ve got great train service and a fabulous public transportation system. Once you hit the age where you prefer not to drive, this is an added bonus!

Keeping Your Youth

I remember when my in-laws retired to Florida. One of the biggest concerns my mother-in-law had was “I don’t want to live around a bunch of old people. That will just make me feel old.” If that’s how you feel, then Northern VA is an ideal place. With a heavy millennial population in the area (per Forbes Magazine, Arlington is in the Top 3 Cities Attracting Millenials) – you will definitely keep your youth!

Cost

This may be the one area where Northern VA is not ideal. Home prices here are high compared to some retirement areas. But here’s the thing. If you already live in Northern VA and are trying to figure out where to retire – you just might want to add Northern VA to the list. Why would we say that if the prices are so high in comparison? Well, The Belt Team has been selling real estate for almost 50 years. In those years we have helped many, many retirees sell their homes so they can move out of the area.

And we have helped many of those same folks a few years later when they moved back.

The grass is not always greener. And although it may cost a bit less elsewhere, it’s hard to replace things like the network of friends you may have built up over the years, the familiarity with stores & back roads, the relationships with doctors, and the communities you may have developed within your church. The money saved by living elsewhere often pales in comparison to losing these other treasures.

So what do you do?

Our past clients have found that downsizing is a great retirement compromise. And that actually it turns out it’s not a compromise in the end, but truly an ideal solution. In addition, there are a number of 55+ Communities in the Northern VA area. Many of our clients have embraced the amenities & activities this easy lifestyle offers – especially in their younger years. One of them told me “I had no idea it would be so fun!”.

If you are thinking about retiring in Northern VA – whether moving here or downsizing here, give The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. We are VERY experienced with the special needs & concerns seniors and soon-to-be-seniors have. And we even have 2 members of our team who are seniors who have downsized!  It would be our pleasure to help you make the RIGHT move.

Downsizing Your Home Northern VA Real Estate

RESOURCES