Keys to Upsizing your Home in Retirement

Written by Bob Shannon

Retirement should be a time to pursue the kind of life you want. For some retirees, this means upsizing to a larger home — somewhere you can spread out, host family comfortably, and improve your lifestyle. Having some extra space can also support hobbies that you may have sidelined for years, such as homesteading. If you’ve been considering upsizing and pursuing homesteading interests in your golden years, the following steps will help get you there. 

Look at your current expenses.

In order to get where you want to go, you’ll need to start by determining where you currently are, financially speaking. Make a list of your housing-related expenses. If you currently have a mortgage, chat with your mortgage broker to get an idea of what you can afford on your next home. If you don’t have a mortgage and own your current home outright, you’re likely in a great position to upsize. 

Doing a spending analysis will help you gain a clear picture of your overall monthly expenses, so that you can set an accurate budget. Are there areas where you’re spending more than you need to be that could be financially preventing you from pursuing your dream retirement? If you’re unsure or don’t know where to start, it can help to talk to an accountant. Their objective eye may help you see how to turn your dream of upsizing into a reality. When listing your expenses, be sure to consider upcoming expenses, as well, such as tools and materials you’ll need in order to support homesteading interests. 

Look at your potential profit.

If you’ve built up equity over the years, you may be in a great position to purchase your best home ever. To get an idea of whether your current home will sell for significantly more than you paid for it, research the housing market in your area. 

If you do plan on selling your current home at the same time as buying a new one, consider working with a qualified realtor to streamline the process as much as possible. A realtor can help you set an asking price and estimate your potential profit, which will be useful as you fine-tune your checklist of needs vs. wants for your next home.

Beyond resources that you may be able to cash out in retirement, take a look at any additional profit that you may have throughout your retirement. Do you have investment properties? Do you plan to run a home-based business? Will you have income from homesteading hobbies, such as selling produce or hand made goods? Answering these questions will help you refine your long term-vision for retirement. 

Work with your constraints.

Even if you’ve done your homework and are in a great position to upsize to a larger home, everyone has constraints that determine what the best fit will be. For some, it’s budget. If this is the case, be sure that you set and (most importantly) stick with your budget. Resist the temptation to view homes that you know are outside your budget. This could save you the headache and heartache of falling in love with a property that you can’t afford. 

For others, the constraints might be health or mobility issues. You can pursue a self-reliant homesteading lifestyle at any age and at any level of physical ability, but a bit of planning for your needs will go a long way. For example, if you have trouble going up and down stairs, consider prioritizing single-story homes. Or, if bending over and digging aren’t great for you, consider using raised planter beds in place of a traditional garden.

If you’re a retiree and want to find a home that is better suited to your dreams for retirement, you may find that upsizing is the right move for your golden years. By examining your financial situation, consulting a trusted person like Alison Alston, and working within your limits, you’ll be in a great position to move ahead with your plans. By upsizing, you may find that you have more space for both the people you love and your creative endeavors as you age. Contact Alison today (609) 516-5879

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