That’s a picture of the pool house in our neighborhood. Our development is a great place for raising kids, although we are out of that business now. Other people our age are starting to move to smaller places. Sometimes we feel like we should downsize too, but I don’t think the benefits play out very well for us in today’s housing market.
We’ve looked around. We have a local custom builder that we really like and have been tracking his villas for some time. They are about 3K square feet and are designed well for empty nesters. He has a handful of existing and new developments in our area. We’ve often said, “If we could find the one at a good price – on woods or water – we should buy it.”
The problem is they are now selling for about 85% the value of our current home, which after closing costs wouldn’t net us more than $25-$50K. Baby boomers are apparently rushing to downsize and pushing up prices on these villas. And what would we get? We would give up 2K square feet of living space, a large yard, and peaceful wooded view. That’s not a great proposition.
We also do not need to be in a hurry. We are fortunate in that when we designed our house 12 years ago, we put our master suite on the main level, built wide staircases, have wide doors, and a minimum of stairs to get in the house. It has maintenance-free materials, although we do our own yard work / snow removal. We could hire that out, if needed, in the future.
In the end, it only makes sense to downsize if it saves you money, time, or you need to accommodate aging. I don’t see any of those benefits now, but I’m sure that time will come. The good news is – in the meanwhile – I’ve been picking up some great deals on hand and garden tools from my family & friends that don’t have room for them anymore!
How are you thinking about downsizing? What would be the triggers for you?
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