All this talk of downsizing (selling a house that seems too large for you to move into a smaller sized house) seems to be yet another great money-making idea for the Real Estate world. Will you be happier downsizing ? Richer ?
Real estate agents are attempting to dislodge folks out of paid off houses, so they can “capitalize on the value of the house” and have “more liquid assets”. This sounds a bit better than the reverse mortgages being offered, so it all sounds legit, until you peel the onion a little.
The difference between your existing house and your new house seems to be obviously your “net gain” on the deal until you throw in some of the costs nobody likes talking about:
- The real estate fees for selling your house. Yes, you can try to sell that yourself, and save that money, but will you be able to sell to someone who doesn’t have their own agent? You can ask for a lower rate, remember that answer is always no, unless you ask.
- All of the associated costs to prepare your house to sell it, which can be a fair amount of cash as well. Some agents include that in their fees, but repairs could mean another big chunk of money. You can try to sell it as a Fixer Upper’s Dream, but that is going to knock the price down (a great deal).
- The cost of moving, given you are older, you are much less likely to find a bunch of friends who want to help you pack and move for Beer and Pizza, and the cost of a U-Haul Rental? Even if you promise not to move your rock collection.
- Land transfer taxes, no one likes talking about that one.
- Storage? I really hope not, but some folks might not do a “purge” of their stuff and then end up paying to store their valuables?
If your house is paid off, the question to think about at your new house is are the delta costs of your utilities at your current house and your new house going to be significant? Folks in Ottawa who live in Ottawa, that move to a more rural setting, find out that Hydro One charges in the country are actually much higher.
If you live in a 3000 sq foot mansion, and are thinking about traveling a great deal, downsizing sounds like a better idea, but is it really going to save you money? If an agent calls you, maybe you can sit down and have them go through all of the costs?