As we get older and, hopefully, more mature, what we want and need out of life changes. The same goes with our housing wants and needs. Gone are the days of living in the family home for 30 or more years. Today, the average American home owner is in their house for five to seven years and only 15% of us have owned our home for longer than 21 years. Here are just a few reasons why, as we get older, we start thinking about a change of venue:
- Empty nest. The kids have grown up and moved out. The owners want a smaller home. The older you get, the harder it is to keep a big house clean.
- See family more often. Some people want to be closer to their family as they age and will move to be near relatives. Parents want to be near children. Grandparents, near their children and grandchildren.
- Retirement. Active-adult communities are attracting many buyers over the age of 55. These planned communities have golf courses, club houses, workout facilities, week-end social gatherings, back-yard barbecue parties and more, all designed for people over 55.
- Health problems. Physical ailments such as knee or back problems make it difficult for an aging population to climb stairs in a two-story, so a one-story home may be more practical. A trade-off solution for many elderly people who don't require round-the-clock care is to buy a condo or move into assisted/independent living housing.
- Deferred maintenance. Some people don't want to put on a new roof, replace the siding or buy a new furnace, so it's easier to buy a newer home. When you figure the life of most home systems is about 15 years, it could make sense to get out before everything goes haywire.
- Home improvement perfection. A small segment enjoys fixing up and selling, spending time, money and effort on remodeling, and once the work is completed, these people become restless because there is nothing left to do. Some of you may call these people obsessed, but for some, it's a way to maintain balance while mastering a hobby.
- Cash in equity. Some home owners can't stand the fact their home is worth all that money because that money is not in their pocket. These people would prefer to stare at their passbook savings than stare at four walls with empty pockets. They. Just. Want. The. Money.
- Lifestyle change. Others are simply tired of owning a home and would prefer to travel, pursue a hobby or be less responsible. We used to call these people misfits or boomers, but many past a certain age want to find a calling that is meaningful to them. So, for these people, home ownership loses its priority status and turns into the ticket for realizing dreams.
If any of those reasons appeal to you or describe your situation and if you are curious about what some of your future housing options could be and would like some advice on buying or selling a home please email me or call me at 978-239-5827.