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Empty Nesters selling home experiences
Old 08-17-2016, 07:53 AM   #1
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Empty Nesters selling home experiences

So we have been empty nesters for some time, and are tinkering with selling the family home. Although the house is under 10 years old, and presents no maintenance challenges, it is 50% too large. Local apartment rentals probably cost more monthly than the carrying costs of the house, but we would like the freedom for travel, etc.

Would like to hear experiences of those in say, their late 50s that sold the family home, and what worked, or did not work for them.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:57 AM   #2
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We are empty nesters in our 50s/60s and sold the family home to move into one twice as expensive and twice as large.
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Empty Nesters selling home experiences
Old 08-17-2016, 08:03 AM   #3
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Empty Nesters selling home experiences

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So we have been empty nesters for some time, and are tinkering with selling the family home. Although the house is under 10 years old, and presents no maintenance challenges, it is 50% too large. Local apartment rentals probably cost more monthly than the carrying costs of the house, but we would like the freedom for travel, etc.



Would like to hear experiences of those in say, their late 50s that sold the family home, and what worked, or did not work for them.

Here is our plan. Sell the family house. Buy a lake house to live full time. VRBO the lake house when traveling. We are in the process of buying and selling the houses now. Early 50's, DW mid 50's


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Old 08-17-2016, 08:04 AM   #4
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How about looking for a condo? No outside maintenance, and you own it. In our area we have a few over 55 condo communities that are connected with assisted living/memory care. I helped my dad buy one while it was being built. It sure was handy when he needed assisted living. He moved from rehab into assisted living, and I was easily able to clear it out and sell it. The proceeds and his investment income paid for his expenses with a lot of cash leftover for inheritance tax.

No landlord, no scary neighbors, no snow removal or yard maintenance.

It's sort of a cross between a CCRC and regular condo ownership.

Also consider a CCRC.


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Old 08-17-2016, 08:11 AM   #5
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How about looking for a condo?
We "downsized" from a 1500sqft house to a 900sqft condo. It was the best thing we ever did.

Forced purge of "stuff", HOA maintenance of exterior/roof/grounds ($99/mo), perfect.

I do miss a garage/shop, tho. While the tradeoff is still worth it, I am trying to find a solution for that.
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:14 AM   #6
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So you will stay in the same town? Have you done long term travel? The reason I ask is that if you love your home, I would try some long term travel to be sure it's what you really want. My DH and I semi-retired at your age. He works on and off April- November farming. Since we were coming off a schedule of 14 cow milkings
a week, we thought we'd go nuts and travel everywhere.

We do travel but not nearly a much as we thought we would. We found that without the milking pressure home became a lot more relaxing. We got 4 grandkids in 5 years and as they are babies and toddlers don't want to not see them for months at a time.

We close up our home, have my BIL watch it and clear snow and take off for 5 or 6 weeks in the winter and otherwise just like to stay pretty local. If we had sold our farm place with the idea of being gone all the time, it would have been the wrong call for us.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:53 AM   #7
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I am 54, DW is 62, 6 years ago we decided to downsize, our kids had all moved out back in 2006 from our custom built country home of 3800 sqft, and my man cave 3200 sqft. We decided to move back into town for our remaining working years. We found a 1400 sqft home with a 1500 sqft man cave, as well as purchased a small 900 sqft condo at Lake of the Ozarks.

This lasted about 18 months. We truly enjoyed our condo at the lake, DW turned 59.5 I had implemented a work from home program at work, so I was able to work from the lake. We sold the home in town, moved 5 hours away from our home town of KS. After about three months of Lake living full time, the company I worked for was wanting to reduce staff and offered our entire department an option to leave. I took the package and retired as well.

We then purchased a larger condo 1540 sqft at the lake, as well started enjoying the retirement traveling...... It is very nice to shut the door to your house, knowing that it will be OK and if something should happen, there is someone there to let you know ...HOA management company or a neighbor. We spent the first winter in MO..... At that point we decided that we did not need or want to be in a cold environment during the winter. That next winter November - March we rented a mobile home in a 55+ community in Ft Myers. Truly enjoyed it..... That same summer we purchased our own mobile home in that same community, became FL residents, tagged our cars, boat in FL, as well as we no longer pay state income tax. We live in Florida October through May, and Missouri June through September....... Endless Summers...... No regrets downsizing (it did take 5 years). We are very mobile now, it is nice knowing the management companies that we pay our HOA Dues, taking care of our two properties
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #8
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We have traveled for up to one month at a time. However, living in Canada, we worry about our home during winter travel. wifi cameras and relatives checking the house helps, but in our area, one power outage for 24 hrs and you have a big problem on your hands.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:45 AM   #9
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My wife still works part time, and this comes with a great benefit package. She may work for another 5 years, but may not. I am currently doing a short IT contract that has been extended, but would be just as happy it it hadn`t been.

I think in some ways the house just keeps us in the working for a living rut.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:33 PM   #10
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I took semi-retirement (work online about 15 hours/week only with summers off) and we "downsized," but only about 100-150 sq ft, and moved from Houston to Reno last summer. We like to hike, I like to fly-fish and ski, and the oldest son and wife are in Cali Central Valley with our youngest in Seattle.
The Reno house was more expensive, but about the same as the Houston house plus the Colorado cabin (hence the downsizing but the Houston house was paid off); we could have paid it off easily but carried a 40k mortgage just for the hell of it. We're hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail this summer--two more segments to go.
This was a great decision--for us.
DW also will probably work for another 3-5 years, although we could make it fine if not. After she's done, we may buy a used trailer and rent out the house (AirB&B) in summers and tour the national parks.
Getting rid of 25 years of accumulated stuff was part of the benefit, although it took 6 months to pull off, when we decided we were going to pull the trigger and put the house on the market and I was going to take retirement (or retire with "modified employment" ).

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My wife still works part time, and this comes with a great benefit package. She may work for another 5 years, but may not. I am currently doing a short IT contract that has been extended, but would be just as happy it it hadn`t been.

I think in some ways the house just keeps us in the working for a living rut.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:43 AM   #11
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We semi-retired 3 years ago. Sold 2400 sq. ft. home and downsized to older 1500 sq. ft. home with unfinished basement. (Part time online business that we shut down when we travel.) Condo in FL for winters.

Because our new home is in a small "bedroom" community, we walk and ride bikes alot. This allows ownership of only one car, which we drive to FL.

Your concern about the Canada house in the winter is legit. We live in IN. 10 years ago, a pipe burst on the second floor in Jan. (we were in FL for 2 weeks) Neighbors noticed water flooding out front door. All carpeting, and ceilings in 4 rooms ruined. That would not have been a problem if we had winterized the house and turned off the water. We now turn off the water when we leave town (still don't winterize).

To restrict your travel due to concerns about the house is a tough burden to carry into retirement. You may want to consider relocating, or finding a house sitter (college student?),
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:36 AM   #12
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"Empty Nesters selling home experiences"

I was trying to figure out what a "home experience" was and how I could sell one. I was thinking one more income stream. Guess not.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:59 AM   #13
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We sold 2700 SF house and now own 1100 SF condo. It is quite secure and we also have neighbors look in on the place when we are away for up to 3 months. Since it never freezes, only serious issue would be water leaks or storms (hurricane.) DW misses the old house occasionally but I do not. It was WAY more work than I like. Condos are nice since all external maintenance is taken care of. Usual caveats on renting first and checking out HOA covenants and management, etc. Otherwise, I highly recommend condo life. YMMV
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:33 AM   #14
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As we've posted before we sold our 3200sf house on 1.6 acres with pool and 40x60 shop and bought a 45' motorhome. Traveled a couple years and last year bought a 1700sf house in a 55+ community. Love it here, safe place to leave for a month++, near family. The builder put in a water shutoff valve in the garage and a switch for the water heater. Turn them both off when we leave. Also have a wifi thermostat so I can adjust it remotely while we travel.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:50 AM   #15
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I was just talking to DW this morning about taking trips after I FIRE (she's been FIRED for 20 years).

Our house is 5300 sq ft on an acre and is nowhere close to being lock and leave. We don't want to sell it either.

So I guess we'll just have to take relatively short trips? I'd much rather do the motorhome thing but I'm not sure she's up for it.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:23 AM   #16
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We looked around a lot with the intention of downsizing and so far have not found place that suits us better than where we are now. It was good to look around though. We appreciate our current home much more than we did a few years ago.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:10 AM   #17
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So we have been empty nesters for some time, and are tinkering with selling the family home. Although the house is under 10 years old, and presents no maintenance challenges, it is 50% too large. Local apartment rentals probably cost more monthly than the carrying costs of the house, but we would like the freedom for travel, etc.

Would like to hear experiences of those in say, their late 50s that sold the family home, and what worked, or did not work for them.
I'm not in my late 50's - - I'm in my late 60's, which believe me arrive at the speed of light once you have made it to your late 50's.

My choice is to live in a single family home that I have set up to be elderly friendly. It's working out very nicely. If I wanted to travel, which I don't, I'd pay someone to check on my home now and then or get a house sitter.

You could do this too. Since your house is 50% too large, you could just close off 1/3 of the house and live in the other 2/3rds of it. Moving and setting up another house the way you want it, can be a lot more expensive than one might expect. So, you would save a lot of $$ by not moving and from what I understand, travel can be a good way to divest yourself of excess money.
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:20 PM   #18
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4 years ago when we were 53 & 58 we semi-retired and sold our 2 story home for a 1 level 1400 sq ft house. Since we are in a drought area we put in astro-turf, etc so our house is low maintenance. We don't like to be gone longer then a month. WE have my son check on things when we are gone. I love having no steps and only a smaller space to clean. We didn't buy a condo because we have 4 dogs but would consider it in the future. We also moved into town close to everything.
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:51 PM   #19
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We did this very thing last September. After a few months, I felt collected enough to sit down and post about it here. Almost a year later, I'm more convinced than ever that we made the right decision.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:20 PM   #20
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We downsized 5 years ago. When we were ~50 we bought a 3-season lakeside "camp" about 25 miles from home on a lake that I grew up on and we spent a lot of time at my parent's place down the road. About 5 years later, we demolished it and built our energy efficient retirement home of about 2,400 sf and moved into the retirement home.

We spent the following summer of 2011 de-cluttering our main home to prepare it for sale. Just before we were about to list it DW put an ad on craigslist and a young couple inquired about it... we showed it to them and they liked it and brought her grandparents (who were wealthy and playing the bank) to look at it. Grandpa made a disingenuous low-ball offer that we firmly rejected along with a message that if they ever became serious then to let us know.

They later came back with a low, but more reasonable offer with no financing contingency... only an inspection. After assessing the offer, it was about the same as what we would net if we held out for 4 months to the spring and got close to our asking price, paid a commission, and carried the property for 4 months.... so we accepted their offer and moved out a few weeks later.
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