Welcome to It's Just Stuff's #whatsonyourmindwednesday guest blogs. Every week #TeamIJSis inviting one of our Preferred Partners to share what is on their minds as it relates to the services they provide and the connection to helping anyone struggling with organizing and executive functioning skills.
This week we invited Robyn Lewis-Oglesby to share her professional opinion as a former financial advisor and now Real Estate Specialist about how the pandemic has changed the way we are rethinking where and how we live and the potential financial implications. In 2008 she had to take on the role of caregiver to both of her parents and experienced all of the struggles and challenges that come with that including the decision to sell the family home. She quickly realized there simply weren't enough resources available to adult children caring for their parents and became an advocate for families trying to navigate this time in one's life. Since It's Just Stuff is definitely a related service in terms of what we do to help seniors downsize their physical "stuff", we are thrilled to be partnering with someone with such a wealth of knowledge on this particular matter.
Our Post-Pandemic Housing Realty
Over the past year, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to reflect on what we consider most important in our lives. The place we call home is one of the biggest things many of us are reevaluating and according to George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com...
“The very nature of the pandemic, through the health implications, social distancing, and need to isolate, has really brought a central focus on the importance of home for most Americans…In a sense, it has elevated real estate markets as a centerpiece of our lives.”
For some, this has spurred an interest in making a move to a home that better suits our changing needs. In a recent study on today’s homebuyer preferences, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) states:
“When asked more specifically how the pandemic may have impacted their preference for home size…21% or about 1 out of every 5 buyers, do want a larger home now as a direct result of the health crisis, while another segment – 12% – would prefer a smaller one instead.”
While you might expect more time at home to lead to a need for more space, it’s interesting that a significant portion of homeowners actually want less. For those who own larger homes right now and have a desire to move, today’s housing market is full of opportunities. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains...
“In a real estate market that is tipped in the favor of sellers, boomers and older homeowners are really the ones holding the cards…Those who are selling homes can use the profits to help them buy new ones.”
As a homeowner today, you likely have equity that can be put toward the purchase of your next home. With the equity growth homes have seen over the past year, you may have more than you think, which can help significantly as you make a move into your next home. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicated the following:
Homes sold for a median of $66,000 more than they purchased it.
Sellers 22 to 30 years gained the least at $33,400 in equity.
Sellers 66 to 74 years gained $100,000 in equity as they likely had lived in their homes for a longer period of time.
Despite the benefits of growing home equity, some homeowners are still hesitant to move and could be considering remodeling or making changes to their current space instead. However, if you’ve thought about aging in place rather than downsizing, you may want to reconsider. The U.S. Census Bureau points out:
“Of the nation’s 115 million housing units, only 10% are ready to accommodate older populations.”
If your house is no longer the best fit for your evolving needs, it may be time to put your equity to work for you and downsize to the home you really want.
Bottom Line...Today’s housing market favors homeowners who are ready to sell their houses and make a move. If you’re thinking about downsizing this year, feel free to connect to discuss your options in our local market.
Robyn Lewis-Oglesby has over 30 years of experience as a financial advisor and always thought that was the path she would continue on until she was ready to retire. But her own personal experiences dealing with her aging parents enabled her to parlay her financial know-how to transition to becoming a Senior Real Estate Specialist, Probate Real Estate Specialist, Chartered Advisor for Senior Living, and a Certified Living In Place Professional.