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Moving it, But Not Losing it

July 29th, 2016

They came in with a boom, and years later their presence is reverberating in the housing market. Baby boomers are reaching retirement age in large numbers, but they aren’t necessarily following the rules on what many of us consider to be “old people” behavior.

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In a new survey by Trulia, the online real estate tracking firm, many boomers indicate they aren’t ready to downsize; in fact, many would like to upgrade their space. Instead of downsizing, many boomers are choosing to “right size.” This “right-sizing” term does a few things differently than what the typical downsize includes. For one, right-sizing keeps the future in mind as boomers needs change. Many are beginning to look for homes with masters on the first floor, or perhaps cutting out stairs all together. They’re looking for details like more open and “roomier” bathrooms with features such as easy access in and out of showers. The right-size doesn’t necessarily mean less space; it implies that the space be set up differently to better serve current and future lifestyles as well as allow them to stay in their homes longer.

But while some might be upgrading their space for larger digs with better lay outs, the advantages of downsizing still hold strong weight for some retirees. As they consider different places, even a few hours in one direction or another can have an impact on household expenses such as property taxes, ultimately allowing them to put their saved money to better use. Furthermore, less space means less utility cost and maintenance, again saving a big chunk of change.

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There are significant things to consider when deciding what’s the best move for a boomer. Advantages on both sides make staying, leaving, or upgrading a tough choice. Goldilocks said it best when it comes to your home search; it needs to be “jussst right.”

Source of survey data: TRULIA