Thursday, March 15, 2012

Retiring the Family Home

I remember being shocked when my parents told me years ago they would be selling the home my siblings and I grew up in.  How could they?  What would happen to all the holiday gatherings and the memories formed while growing up in the family home?
But with my own children halfway out of the house (in college), it feeling pretty empty and large for the two of us, we are not far away from a similar decision to retire the family home and shock our own offspring.  While the ties to our home, neighborhood and town are strong, and we still “like” where we live, that will continue to change over the next ten years.  It will no doubt eventually lead to the point of making a move to a more accommodating home and perhaps location.
Exactly what will drive the final decision is hard to tell at this point.  It could be the time and effort of upkeep compared to the benefits derived out of the current dwelling.  Losing the stairs might be nice.  Our grownup children could entice us to move closer to wherever they end up?  Will health come into play?  Most of the scenarios would indicate a smaller home and less outside work will be more desirable.
In the larger housing market the trend is toward smaller, more sensible homes that are affordable.  Buyers are thinking about just how much they need and how much they can afford.  During our working years we tend to work to meet the costs of our house payments.  It will be rewarding in retirement when our house works more for us by better suiting our needs.  Having a retirement house within our means rather than close to what we can afford will provide us more freedom to do what we really want.
When the day comes to retire we will also retire the family home.
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