Frequently Asked Questions
1. We're thinking about making a move. Where do we begin the process?
If you have a location in mind, spend some extended time there either by taking weekend trips or renting a place. While you’re there explore the neighborhood’s shops, museums, parks, restaurants, and other attractions to see if it’s a good fit with your preferences. If you don’t have a particular neighborhood in mind, starting by researching those and then see what each one has to offer and how it fits your sense of what you want. Talk to friends and acquaintances who live there and ask specific questions.
2. We've lived in this same home for more than 10 years and have so much "stuff". How can we live in someplace smaller? What do we do with all of our "things"?
You don’t necessarily have to move to a smaller home. Many Empty Nesters decide they want the same space just in a different place. If that’s your situation, you will just need movers and perhaps an organizer to help with the move. Your agent can help with that. If your finances or your preferences dictate a smaller space, don’t worry. There are many professionals ready to help you figure out what to do with your stuff, whether that means selling it, giving it to charity, or throwing it away. These people can help with discrete tasks--like actually conducting an auction--to more comprehensive jobs, like going through all the furniture and helping figure out what can be sold and what has no monetary value. Your listing agent can recommend reputable, reliable people to do these jobs.
3. What repairs and improvements will need to be made in order to sell our home?
Your listing agent will be able to tell you what if any repairs you need to make to get the highest price. Then the listing agent is a good resource for referrals to the professionals who do that kind of work.
4. When is the best time to make a move like this?
The best time to make a move like this depends on a number of factors: market conditions (seller and buyer), your motivation and desire, among others. The best course of action is to consult with your real estate broker, attorney, and other financial professionals.
5. What is the market like right now?
The latest State Of The Market Report can be found HERE. Again, your real estate broker will have the best insight about current market conditions.
6. Should we buy or rent? If we buy, should we finance our purchase or pay cash?
7. Am I going to be able to live without a car?
Yes, but you don’t have to. Day to day you probably won’t want to drive. Between the subway, walking, cabs, and ride share services, you definitely don’t need a car for everyday life. If you want to keep a car, you can certainly do that. Parking is a big expense but one many people are happy to pay to have the convenience of their own vehicle.
8. Will our dog successfully transition to an apartment?
There are many, many happy dogs living in apartments. Thanks to an abundance of parks and dog runs, they don’t have to feel deprived of space and the great outdoors. First thing is to find out whether the builidng you are interested in allows pets and if so are there weight or breed restrictions. If not, you can count on a happy pup who will have lots of companionship. Many owners also make friends through their animals and report having doggy playdates, much like the kind parents have with their kids.
9. How do we tell the kids?
10. What do our housing options look like?
Basically, if you are buying, you have a choice of co-ops, condos, or townhouses. A co-op is an apartment in a building organized as a cooperative in which the owners own stock not real property. Condos on the other hand are, like houses, real property. Co-ops are generally less expensive on a per square foot basis but are more restrictive in terms of who can buy there. Generally they do not allow subletting. Condos are more expensive but also have more liberal subletting policies and are easier to get into. For more info on the difference between co-ops and condos see link here. Purchasing a townhouse is the same process as purchase a home anywhere.
11. What are the tax consequences selling our home in the suburbs?
12. How does it fit with our financial plan for retirement?