Downsizing doesn’t have to be scary.
Change is hard, in fact, it’s so hard we sometimes don’t allow ourselves to envision actually what is wanted and needed. If you’re at the stage in life where you are looking at downsizing, thinking about all of the changes that are part of that puzzle can be scary.
There’s a lot more to envisioning your new life than the hours you’d be able to devote to reading, golfing, and binge-watching TV. Planning trips and bucket list adventures are all great, but what about looking seriously at your day-to-day living situation? Is your current home the right space for your next phase? Are you going to do all of the things you did when you were in the kid-raising years? Are you prepared to mow the lawn for the next couple of decades or is there a different vision bubbling up in your head?
In my experience, that vision of downsizing often times gets shut down pretty fast when we walk into the garage and see the stuff in boxes or on shelves. The very thought of moving it all or cleaning it out diminishes whatever creative and dreamy thoughts we had about living on a boat or moving to Spain for a year.
We think… I could… actually, no I can’t do that. What would I do about the huge dining table and chairs? How about Mom’s china… where would that go? More importantly, I’d want to pay cash for the next place I move to but then I can’t pay cash for the lifestyle I want to have. So, nope, I’ll just stay where I am… dream crushed and flame out even before it got to flourish. I’m stuck.
However, you aren’t really stuck at all. You’re just tethered to a place and things that no longer serve you or the life you want to have. All these beautiful things have memories and events attached, but they do not hold promise for you or your future. When you downsize, your future is fresh, new and different. Which is actually the whole point. When you downsize, life is lighter and way more fun.
In April, Dwell Well Realty hosted a community event that was all about downsizing. We introduced two services that addressed the big issues when it comes to downsizing: what to do with all of your stuff, and how a reverse mortgage can help you. We heard from expert guest speakers, Margaret Zamora of Next Phase Moving and Ian Wright from Bay Equity. Each service provides help in loosening the tethers that prevent a move into a home that serves you for the next phase of life.
Margaret is a certified Senior Move Manager (who knew that even existed?) and she and her team are trained to take the stress out of downsizing. They help sort, box and plan for what is going to fit in your new home, they set up utilities and even arrange donation or sale of things that won’t be moving with you. She will hire the muscle and even help get the TV mounted in the new place – how great is that?
Ian discussed a loan program that most of us have heard of, but didn’t understand. We learned how a reverse mortgage for purchase can literally change lives. Here’s how: let’s assume you own your home with little-to-no mortgage and it’s worth $800,000. You want to sell it and move into a nice condo or smaller home for $600k. You thought that because you are retired and have no income, you need to pay cash. You figure you could do that, but you wouldn’t have much left over to travel or just to live.
With a reverse mortgage for purchase, you could put down around $300k (depending on your age) and get a loan for the balance. Here’s the good part though… you don’t make any mortgage payments! You also don’t need income to qualify because the payments are accruing against the equity in the new purchase. In your new downsized life and home, you’ve got close to $500k cash and are living in a $600k home!
I personally can’t wait to turn 62 because I might want to do this. My husband and I can sell our home and buy with a reverse mortgage while being able to keep the cash for all kinds of adventures. The program’s interest rates are competitive and it’s an FHA-approved program with mortgage insurance. I do suggest you check with Ian (his info is below) to get a scenario proposal and all of the details. The thing I like the best is about all of this is the opportunity to redesign life just the way you want when you think about downsizing. You can have a swanky new place and the money to enjoy your life with the possessions that spark joy.
The downsizing event taught all of us a lot about the options that are available when making the big move to a smaller home. If you’re interested in learning more about each of these services, please feel free to contact us, or reach out to Margaret or Ian directly.