The definition of retirement has changed considerably in recent years. Surviving the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us about the importance of personal relationships and heightened our desire to maintain an active lifestyle that includes travel, exercise, new experiences, community, and learning. If you are preparing to retire, it might be time to re-think your housing situation. Is now the right time to “right-size”?
Ask yourself these questions as you consider whether it makes sense for your situation:
- Do my current housing costs affect my future lifestyle goals?
- How long can I sustain the current upkeep and maintenance on my current home?
- Do I need as much space as I currently have or does it create more work?
- Can I take advantage of the market and have some additional cash for retirement?
When is the right time to “right-size”? We strongly encourage you to consult with a licensed RealtorTM to get a factual and accurate price for your home. There are advantages that most 50+ sellers have in the current market:
- They have more equity due to length of ownership. According to Zillow’s data, in the last five years, Utah housing prices have gone up over 55%, from $258K to $401K. Home values have gone up 13.3% over the past year alone and will continue to rise at a similar rate (double-digit appreciation). (zillow.com)
- It’s a seller’s market. As of the date of this article, there were only 17 active listings on the Wasatch Front MLS for the 84075 and 84015 zip codes. The average price of these properties was $378,000.00. A limited amount of inventory means that sellers have the time to review offers and make sure their terms are met.
- You may get more than the asking price. According to a 9/20/20 article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah is drawing people from all over the United States with our low-unemployment rates and active outdoor lifestyles. This demand is experienced by sellers as they receive multiple qualified offers. In many cases, homes sell for over 100% of the asking price.
If you “right-size”, where do you want to live? You want the right house in the right community. At this point, you need a good game plan. As you begin your research, consider these six things:
- Size and style of Community. Active Adult Communities come in many shapes and sizes. In some Planned Unit Developments, you own the home but not the surrounding land. In others, you own the full lot with some responsibility for yard care. Some have community amenities, but also an increased Home Owners Association (HOA) fee. Maybe you want fewer neighbors, where others may want a larger development. You may also have the option of a detached, single family home, or an attached townhome. Consider your options and picture yourself in each of these communities. What size and features will make you feel most at ease?
- Age Range and Restrictions. With few exceptions, most 55 plus communities are called age-targeted, meaning that they appeal to the 55+ age group but have an allowance for residents of all ages. Most have covenants, codes and restrictions that limit the number of people that can occupy the home and call out any exceptions. A keen understanding of the requirements will help you determine if the neighbors will build the community you are looking for.
- Lifestyle. Most communities are designed for residents to take advantage of an active lifestyle. From walking trails, pickle ball courts, and pools, each community has different features. Keep in mind that added amenities and common areas may impact HOA fees, but it may be worth it. Most HOA’s are designed to manage yard care and snow removal in the wintertime for residents.
- Style of Home. You have made this choice intending to find a home that meets your needs for the next 20 to 30 years. Choosing a community with a variety of house plans and designs will ensure that the style of your home will meet your current and future needs.
Ovation Homes is an award-winning active adult home builder in Northern Utah. You can find out more about their communities and homes by visiting www.ovationhomesutah.com or by calling 801-823-4893.