Earlier this year, everyone seemed to be focusing on the downward spiral of the housing market, and in the last few months we’ve been inundated with news about the downward spiral of Wall Street. One thing is clear: it’s been a year of uncertain economic times. However, none of the financial or real estate economic experts seem to agree on what the future holds. Market volatility makes it almost impossible to predict how soon we’ll see more stable economic indicators and a return to normal real estate appreciation. This uncertainty has caused us to hunker down, reduce our spending, and delay any kind of major life changes. Unfortunately, other circumstances in one’s life may dictate that it is time to make changes. Will you let Wall Street determine your next steps, or will you push through the fear of uncertainty and empower yourself to act in your own best interest?
Last week I was introduced to a new elderly client—I’ll call her Marge—who desperately wants to move before winter. She admitted that driving is getting more difficult, and told me that her daughter just moved out of state, and her house needs more and more repairs. She was very concerned about everything she had heard in the media about the housing crisis, and does not want to “give her house away.” Marge clearly wants to move. Fear is the only reason she would consider staying in her current home—that, and the possibility of making a few additional dollars.
If it’s time for you or an aging loved one to move, just do it. It doesn’t make any sense for Marge to white–knuckle her way through another winter in a house suffering from deferred maintenance when she has little to no support system in place. There are no guarantees she’ll receive any more for her house next spring than she will now. In fact, she may end up with less. She’ll be safer and happier making the move to her new senior housing now, without having to worry about her failing furnace or having to shovel snow.
There’s no question this is a challenging real estate market, but it is the market we have. And although I can predict what it would take to sell a house now, I can’t tell you what it will look like in six months. No one can.
If you are considering selling your home, you want to know what you can expect. The statistics you hear on the five o’ clock news may or may not apply to your home. It’s not uncommon for local statistics to be very different than those you hear about on national television Check with a local senior real estate specialist (SRES) for information that’s based on sales closer to home. You’ll want to know how long it takes homes like yours in your neighborhood to sell, and how much you’ll net after the sale of your home.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of moving now with your family and other trusted sources. Remember, waiting for next spring does not guarantee a better market; it simply means you’re waiting. Given what we know now, there's no reason to suspect we'll see anything other than more of the same. Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to move forward, it’s time to put the wheels in motion:
Here’s the bottom line: no one knows what the future holds. We can only plan and act on the information we have today. If the information you have indicates it’s time to move, then don’t hesitate. Sit down with a senior real estate specialist, develop a plan and get moving.