Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
The "empty nest" is a term commonly used to describe a household where the children have grown up and moved away from the home permanently.
"Empty nesters" (the parents who still reside in the home) often have a difficult time determining whether or not it would be appropriate to sell the "family homestead" and move to a more suitable residence.
Typically, a family's home is full of fond memories and the decision to sell is sometimes painful.
The following checklist is meant as food for thought.
It represents a compilation of concerns that many people in this exact situation have mentioned to me over the years.
Check the ones that apply to your current situation.
EMPTY NESTER'S CHECKLIST
- _______ 1. Are you currently paying people to do chores around your house that you used to ENJOY doing yourself?
- _______ 2. Are there rooms in your house you have NOT visited in a month or more?
- _______ 3. Is it becoming inconvenient or strenuous to use the stairs?
- _______ 4. Are you concerned that you may need to make an expensive repair to your home in the near future just to keep it livable (i.e. new roof, furnace, exterior paint, etc)?
- _______ 5. Are you tired of "keeping up with the Joneses"? ... (Or are you just plain tired of the Joneses?)
- _______ 6. Are you worried about the wear & tear harsh winters are putting on your home?
- _______ 7. Could you easily maintain (or improve) your current standard of living if you moved to a different geographic area?
- _______ 8. Do you often wonder if the equity you have in your home, might grow more rapidly if it were invested in the financial markets, rather than being tied up in a single real estate investment ... your home?
- _______ 9. Are you no longer actively involved in community affairs or activities?
- _______ 10. Do you find yourself wondering what ever happened to the quiet little, "traffic-free" village you moved to only a few years ago?
- _______ 11. Have many of your friends already moved away?
- _______ 12. Are real estate taxes and normal home maintenance expenses eroding your ability to save for retirement?
- _______ 13. Do you often ask, "Why am I paying so much in property taxes for services & schools that I don't even use?"
- _______ 14. Are the carrying costs for your home approaching half of your total income?
- _______ 15. Are most of the rooms in your house currently being used exclusively to warehouse all the stuff you have accumulated? Is the ONLY reason you still own your house because you don't know what to do with your stuff? In other words, have you become a prisoner of your possessions?
- _______ 16. Is the only reason you have not already sold your home the fact that selling the home & moving seems overwhelming?
- _______ 17. Have you ever promised yourself that you will sell your home NEXT year? How many times have you said that? And for how many years have you been saying that?
- _______ 18. Have you ever hoped that someone would just knock on your front door and offer you a fair price to buy your home?
- _______ 19. Is the cost of owning your house always on your mind? Has owning your home become a very stressful burden? Have you become "angry" at your house?
- _______ 20. Are you beginning to feel that your house owns you rather than you owning it?
In other words, is the tail now wagging the dog?
FINAL TALLY __________
If you've checked 8 or more of these items, it might be time for you to re-evaluate your need to own your present home.
This does NOT necessarily mean that you are ready to sell BUT it should indicate that it's time for you to start gathering the information that you will need to make some very important decisions.
Your home is "the single largest investment of a lifetime". You owe it to yourself, and your family, to "do your homework", so that, when the time does come, you'll be prepared to make good decisions.
If you would like to remain in your current home but its configuration is becoming a challenge,
then you may want to consider modifying your home to make it more suitable to your present needs.
READ my valuable FREE publication.
Universal Design & Aging In Place
Adapting Your Home For Accessible Living
As Mark Twain said
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by
the things that you did NOT do than by the ones you did do."
© Copyright 1998 Bill Boeckelman Publications