Avoiding Downsizing Dilemmas
Written by Janet Fetterman, Broker Associate, CAM.
On average, the American population moves every seven years. With each move, most of us vow, “Never Again”. I sure wish I could get back the money I’ve spent for every move and every time I said that in my life! Those dollars would fit really nice into my 401k.
Truth be told, “Life Happens” and there are many reasons people have to move. The good news is that the Florida real estate market offers a variety of options.
First and foremost, do your homework. A home purchase is not only a major purchase, but also an emotional one. Our homes reflect our personalities and even our psychological states. In order to make a good and long-lasting decision, we need to think about what we really want and need. We can then turn these requirements over to a professional, a REALTOR®, who will match the home to your want list.
The kids have all moved out and are having kids of their own. Your 5 bedroom home sitting on acreage now feels like you’re living in a shopping mall where the grass and weeds never stop growing. It’s time to consider downsizing your home. If this sounds like you, here are a few things to think about:
- Consider what kind of neighborhood will be a good fit. Do you want something in town or rural? Proximity to medical facilities, places of worship, entertainment and work must be thought through.
- HOA or COA or neither? If you’ve lived on plenty of land, how will you feel living in a deed restricted neighborhood? READ…READ…READ the covenants and rules prior to writing an offer and discuss them with your partner. Get a copy of the community’s budget and review it. Get your questions answered in advance.
- How big of a drop in space size will be comfortable? If you are moving from a 3500 s.f. house to a 1500 s.f. house, you will need to get rid of a lot of furniture and belongings. Just what do you plan on keeping? Also, the scale-size of your furniture may not work in a smaller home. Visit some furnished model homes of various sizes and determine how much space feels comfortable. Sit in the furniture and tune in to your imagination and trust what comes up. If it feels small on your visit, it will feel cramped once you live there.
- Future growth– A visit to the municipality’s zoning office and/or City Hall is a great place to start. If your potential community is within a mile of a newly proposed shopping center to be built or another PUD (planned urban development) of 1000 homes, not only will construction dirt and debris become a way of life for a period of time (maybe years), but traffic patterns will change as people move in to shop or buy homes in the new communities.
- Age of the neighborhood– Buying a new home is a dream for many. As the original buyer, you get to customize the home exactly how you want it. Buying new means that major systems are at the beginning of their useful life cycle. The roof should last 15-20 years; the hot water heater should last 5 years; the HVAC will be energy-efficient and last 10-15 years, etc. New neighborhoods look fresh and uniform as all the homes are constructed during the same time frame.
- Buying a resale home has merits because a lot of extras come with the home that add value to the property. The extras, such as shelving, fans and lighting, established landscaping, etc. all add unique value to the home. The downsides could be the age of major systems and the end of their useful lives, as well as the cost of their replacement in the near future. Re-decorating to your preferences and style will also be another added expense.
- Lifestyle – Amenities such as community pools, clubhouses, tennis courts and golf courses all add value to the neighborhood. They offer residents more options for play and entertainment outside of the home.
At Golden Ocala, we offer a gated community with luxury homes in Ocala and an exclusive resort lifestyle. Our homes and amenities are definitely in the luxury real estate category from our 77,000 s.f. clubhouse to our 17,000 s.f. Spa and Fitness Center. Our Ron Garl designed golf course is award-winning and a joy to play. Our tennis program has three tennis pros and beautiful courts. Our Spa is a delight to the senses and our Fitness Center is staffed and equipped with only the best for your total wellness workout.
Located in Marion County, Florida on Route 27, our location is close enough to major roads and highways, yet far enough away so our tranquil and lush community is a serene paradise.
If you or someone you know is looking to downsize or relocate, we have luxury homes starting in the $250,000’s. We have home options available from 1,500 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet. Our Sales Center is staffed with experienced agents who have helped hundreds of people make their move.
Give us a call today at 352-369-6969 and see why we say “Life Here is Golden-At Golden Ocala.”