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Kids Just Flew the Coop? What to Do About Your Newly-Empty Nest.

Kids Just Flew the Coop? What to Do About Your Newly-Empty Nest.

It’s that time of year when many homeowners around the nation find themselves facing a new chapter in their lives… the empty nest. Perhaps they’ve just dropped their youngest son or daughter off at college. Maybe their youngest child has just landed their first job and decided to move out. Possibly the last of the children has gotten married and started their own new chapter?

Though various circumstances can lead to an empty nest, homeowners who suddenly find themselves in a big, empty home often are faced with making the same decision: Should we stay in this house as it is, remodel it to meet our changing needs or downsize to a smaller home?

There is no universally correct answer for empty-nesters, but there are some common things to consider when you are faced with an empty nest:

1. Finances

Money always plays a major role in the real estate decision-making process and that is particularly true when it comes to deciding what to do with an empty nest. Of course, staying in a home may build equity, but what about cashing in on that equity? Selling and investing the profits could pay off even more. Renovating or remodeling a home may carry more of an up-front cost, but could pay off during a sale down the road.

When it comes to the bills that go along with a larger home, downsizing almost certainly saves money. Just think; a smaller home should mean smaller utility bills, taxes and insurance, right? Buying a smaller home may also mean lowering or eliminating a mortgage payment altogether.

2. Maintenance

Without a doubt, finances and maintenance can go hand-in-hand. Again, a smaller house should be less expensive to maintain. But, if you’ve owned your home forever, you may have the maintenance down to a cost-effective science. Downsizing could mean a home or condominium owners’ association that would cover maintenance issues, but the fees could be higher than you’re accustomed to paying. When you find yourself with an empty nest, be sure to consider the maintenance issues that may influence your situation.

3. Health

For many new empty nesters, health may not be an immediate concern, but it is typically one that plays a role in deciding what to do about their living situation at some point. If an empty nester decides that they would like to stay in their current home, they must consider whether or not that home will accommodate their changing health needs.

There are a few questions that can help with an empty nester’s decision. Is their current home easy to navigate and maintain? Is it near family or friends who may be willing to help out? Would making some renovations allow the home to accommodate changing health needs or would downsizing altogether alleviate any health concerns that they may have? Again, there is no right or wrong answer for empty nesters, just a multitude of things to consider when the time comes.

4. Lifestyle

Finally, for some new empty nesters, their new living situation means one thing… freedom. For those who love to travel and don’t plan to spend much time at home, downsizing may be the easy answer. For others, who are more of homebodies that enjoy hosting their friends and family on a regular basis or being involved in their community, staying in their home or renovating it to accommodate their new situation may be the best route.

When it comes down to it, after the kids fly the coop, each empty nester’s situation is different and requires a different action. Staying, renovating and downsizing are just three actions that empty nesters may consider.

If you’ve recently found yourself with an empty nest, contact a trusted Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty agent today who can help you decide what route is best for you.