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THE SHIFT: Should I Stay or Should I Sell?

The real estate market is Shifting, not crashing. We are all working with the new realities regarding inflation, higher interest rates and the worry of a recession. Our biggest challenge, as Real Estate Professionals, is trying to predict market trends. And, it's because we are in the midst of big changes. Every housing market is unique so it is important to understand the specific factors impacting our local market today.

Could it be the right time to sell your home? The National Association of Realtors states the average homeowner tends to stay in their home for approximately 10 years. We choose to sell for a vast variety of reasons and you may have been thinking about it for a long time or come to a snap decision. A sudden event, such as a divorce, job transfer, or death can prompt a move. But more often, I see people taking much longer, roughly 18 months to 3 years to make the final decision to sell, and the reasons range from too many stairs, need or desire to be closer to family, less maintenance, or simply wanting to stretch a post-retirement budget.

Wondering if the timing is right for you to make a move? Here are some emotional, physical and financial reasons to consider a transition:

It's still a seller's market. If other houses in your neighborhood with the same bedrooms/bathrooms, approximate square feet and amenities are selling for a price that you’d be satisfied with, it might be time to move on. Look at sold prices vs. original list price and how this ratio is trending.

Cash in on your equity. What is your home worth today compared to what you bought it for? Ask yourself if you've made a profit and if cashing in and reinvesting the funds would benefit your bank account and your life. But, don't sell too soon. Buyers may wonder why a home is for sale when the current owners have only lived in it for a few years; is there something wrong with the home, property, or neighbors? And, you may not want to sell it if you don’t meet the qualifications to avoid paying capital gains tax on your profit from a home sale. Generally, you can sell your primary residence and avoid paying capital gains taxes on the first $250,000 of your profits if your tax-filing status is single, and up to $500,000 if married filing jointly. The exemption is only available once every two years. (Talk with your tax expert if you still have capital gains after taking advantage of exemptions, and discuss how you can lower the amount of the taxable profit or gains by qualifying deductions.)

Home maintenance. Have you added up your monthly bills to review what it truly costs to live in your home? My husband and I recently did this and were shocked at the amount! The obvious costs include your mortgage payment, property taxes, and home insurance. But, don't forget the bills for water, electricity and gas, garbage service, home alarm system, landscape maintenance, pest management, gym, etc. We are looking at our numbers and comparing them to a townhome or condo with a community gym and boy, would we save money.

Physical ability. Working with Boomers and Seniors, a loss of mobility, too many stairs, falling or no longer driving all add up to reasons to consider a more manageable residence. Aging in place may no longer be a positive plan if your physical, mental health and emotional well being is negatively impacted and your home is no longer a safe, healthy, happy place.

Of course, take your time deciding if you should sell, and then sit down with your local Real Estate expert to review the statistics and comparables in your area to determine if it makes sense for you. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional and Certified Senior Downsizing Coach I am happy to sit down over coffee and discuss your short and long term plans, helping you make the right decisions for your wants and and in the future!


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