Right-Sizing into Your Retirement Home

Guest blog by Bob Shannon

Retirement is that magical time in life when you are no longer burdened by the demands of work and finally have time to do the things you enjoy. Sometimes that means moving to a new home that can accommodate your needs and interests. Rather than downsizing, this adjustment may require “right-sizing.” 

Do you have ample room for a workshop, hobby room, or playroom for the grandkids? Some retirees may wish to host get-togethers with friends or have enough space to open a home business. The Side Hustle Journey is an inspiring site to visit if you are considering starting your own business. Follow Julie’s journey into entrepreneurship and the lessons she has learned along the way. 

It is never too late to pursue your passions, and this is well-demonstrated by Julie’s father who wrote his memoir at age 92. Whether you are an aspiring writer and need a designated office or a jack-of-all-trades who loves to putter on projects in and out of the house, this may be a good time to consider changing homes for this next chapter of your life. 

Getting Started

As you consider your needs for a home, try to envision your daily life and what sort of space could accommodate your interests. Think about the number of rooms you need for living space and additional purposes such as entertaining, pursuing a business, or engaging in hobbies. Consider square footage, acreage, and space for gardens if you are interested in subsistence farming or homesteading. 

In your search for a new home, consider all options, such as purchasing an existing property, buying a piece of land and having a home built, or bringing in a modular home that you can order according to your specific space and layout needs. Take your time and weigh out the pros and cons of each choice. In the event that you find the perfect home and wish to act on it before someone else buys it, you may need to make the purchase before selling your current home. If this is the case, there are some important tips to remember so that the process goes as smoothly as possible. 

Buying Before Selling

The difficult decision to purchase a new home prior to selling your current one can stress retirees on a limited budget. Many buyers ask for an extension on the closing date to accommodate the sale of a home or to gain extra time. Another possibility is to put a contingency on the purchase to allow for the sale of your current home if there is a buyer already in the works for your current place.

Renting out your existing home is another option that can bring in money to help pay the mortgage on your new home. Some tenants may be interested in a rent-to-own option, and if you decide to go that route, be sure to consult an attorney to draw up a contract with the terms and conditions. Beware of scams that may offer to assist you in the sale of your home with a fee at the beginning of the process; instead, opt for a reputable real estate company and request an experienced agent to assist you. A seasoned agent can also help you find suitable housing that is within your price range.

Finding an Affordable Home

During your home search, your agent can help you find a great home at a reasonable price, particularly if you are flexible about where you live. Rural areas are often less expensive and the tax rate is lower, given the distance from amenities. If you are open to a home with a well and septic rather than city plumbing, this could also save money, and afford you greater privacy and acreage for a garden, pool, or outbuildings. Buying a home that needs some repair work, or purchasing a foreclosure, can also be an affordable option if you have carpentry skills.

If you dream of a home that can accommodate your interests, business ideas, and hobbies, as well as reserving a special place for the kids and grandkids to visit, consider right-sizing during retirement. Don’t be afraid to take the leap. 

Follow Julie’s lead and dare to hustle to make it happen. Check out her blog The Side Hustle Journey for words of wisdom.

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