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How do you decide if it is time to downsize

9/15/2014 - 2:49:25 PM

How do you decide if it is time to downsize?

Ask yourself: How many rooms do I currently have? And of those rooms, how many do I use? Do I really need that attic or basement that I’m paying to heat and cool? It may be nice to have that large dining room but for the once or twice a year it gets used, is it worth it? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to rent a space for social functions once or twice a year? What is the purpose of having empty bedrooms? How much money would I save if I sold this large house for a newer, smaller one? (That one I can answer; and the answer is a lot).

How Downsizing Your Home Saves You Money

Businesses often streamline their systems, procedures, and workforces. The result is cost savings and increases in profit. Why this brief lesson on basic business principles? Simple. The same rule applies to home ownership. A small home, similar to a streamlined business model, saves money. Let’s look at how a small home can save you money, eliminate headaches, and change your life for the better.

The Advantages of Small(er)

The earth is a large place filled with increasing expenses. It seems like everything is becoming more expensive. Energy costs are rising rapidly, as is the cost of living, and taxes. Yet there is more, below are five advantages of downsizing to a new, smaller home.

1. Smaller homes use less energy and have lower operating costs. It’s a simple concept, there is less area to heat in winter and cool in the summer time. Also, building a smaller home from the ground up is less expensive than a larger home because less materials are used. The advantage is that home builders can opt to use higher quality materials, build that Energy Star home that will in turn save them even further in energy costs while also increasing their home’s resale value.

2. Building a new home means fewer repairs. Home improvements, repairs, and upgrades rarely recoup their cost. Fewer yet create any return on investment. According to Bankrate, most of these repairs and upgrades only recapture about half their cost. Sadly, upgrading that older home often won’t pay for itself with a higher selling price.

3. Smaller homes require less maintenance. Think of all the time spent cleaning per week. Again, less space means less to clean. Yet, it’s more than that. It is substantially cheaper to remodel, update, repair or change a smaller home. Using less material means there will be less product to purchase, fewer hours spent installing the new product, and less time with contractors in your home disrupting your life. And still more, new products on the market today are designed with minimal maintenance requirements in mind. Meaning, they are high quality and built to last.

4. Save money on your mortgage. This wouldn’t be a real estate post without at least mentioning mortgages. So, let’s go there. According to Investopedia, the largest single expense a person will face in their life is a mortgage. Mortgages can account for 30-50% of gross income. Generally speaking, the larger the home the larger the mortgage. Many homebuyers feel great stress relief when they finally crawl out from underneath their mortgage payment. As posted earlier in this blog series, homebuyers 62 and over are able to escape these mortgage payments using HECM for purchase. By no longer shipping off 30-50% of your gross income per month, your cash flow greatly increases. With that extra cash on hand you can invest for the future, or travel to all those places on your bucket list.

5. Lower Property Taxes. In addition to mortgages, property taxes are one of the largest expenses associated with homes. Remember land leases? (If not, click here). By selling the larger home that a person is living in for a smaller one with a land lease could allows access to additional savings.

Simply by moving into a newer, smaller, more cost efficient home, and using HECM for purchase, many people have suddenly transformed their financial situation. They have gone from living with a monthly mortgage payment to having cash on hand to travel, build an inheritance, and invest for the future. Add to this the land lease, and it’s ability to pay homeowners to live at Alden Place, and many people have been able to reshape their financial futures for the better.

The Community Advantage

There are obvious advantages to land leasing and living in a smaller home. Another hidden benefit many active adult homebuyers overlook is the community. At Alden Place the community atmosphere draws many folks into purchasing a home here. The private streets provide a safe place to travel by bicycle or golf cart. Friendly neighbors and numerous social activities produce an active and fun community.

At Alden Place you will be immersed in an active adult community. You neighbors will be people who strive for fun, social activities including: shopping trips, golf outings, billiards tournaments, and dinners out. Don’t just take my word for it. Click here for a link to a video of current residents talking about Alden Place.

To further stress this point, the community at Alden Place actually helps increase the value of the properties. There is value in being surrounded by like minded, interesting people who care about each other. Location is one of the most important factors in purchasing a home and the community adds significantly to the appeal of the location here at Alden Place.

In my opinion, the best way to figure out if Alden Place is right for you is to try. We offer a ‘stay and play’ option for potential buyers. Here’s how it works: come spend a night in one of the homes and get paired up with friend who lives here. They will show you around, answer your questions, and talk about why they chose to live here. Oh, and dinner’s on us.

Time to Add it Up

Alden Place allows homebuyers to build the custom home of their dreams. These aren’t just custom homes though, Alden Place builds Energy Star certified homes that routinely beat Energy Star’s energy usage predictions. Add in the land lease that pays you to live here, beautiful grounds, well kept properties, a community center and active social life with your neighbors and you too will see that it’s time to check Alden Place out.


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