What a beautiful, busy fall day in Prescott, Arizona. Hello, I'm Gary Edelbrock, and I've got another "Food for Thought" from Lee Amble to share with you. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy all the wonderful activities that Prescott and the quad city communities have to offer this weekend!
Ups And Downs Of Upsizing And Downsizing Homes!
Written By Lee Amble, Realtor Consultant
I remember growing up on a farm in North Dakota many years ago with my parents, 1 brother and 2 sisters in a small two story home of about 800 square feet on each level, but, fortunately, some small additions were added over time. My grandparents on my dad’s side had 14 children so 16 people did also live in a small home. I would estimate approximately 1200 square feet on each level with a total of about 2400 square feet. I’m explaining this as I look back and wonder where we went wrong on feeling the need for all the new square footage that has transpired over the years. Where did we go wrong? Greed? You tell me! Many people found the price of greed during the years of 2000 through 2006. Did we learn a lesson? I really hope so! It was not fun to see first hand as a Realtor what happened because of greed and over buying. As we’re all aware, numerous people lost their homes because of their choices. I do feel for them, but, again, no one held a gun to their head to buy big or extravagant.
- UPSIZING---is it for you or not? Many empty nesters are fulfilling their big house desires by buying larger homes. This is one that I have a hard time understanding as 3000 to 5000 square feet does seem like more house than they may need. A lot of families live in 1600 square feet, which is about the size the empty nesters lived in prior to their dream home. As is often said, to each his own. I will not be the judge as that’s up to the individual wants, but probably not needs.
- Every decision on housing is a lifestyle decision.Making a housing change has many trade offs. Below are pros and cons for retires. Do you want to be responsible for the following?
- The work or cost of a large yard?
- Cost of extra square footage?
- Higher real estate taxes?
- Insurance rate increase?
- Extra cost for maintenance?
- More bedrooms that are rarely used?
- Larger formal dining rooms that are rarely used?
- Too many to list - you can surely name some of your own.
- Things people like and use in retirement:
- Small office type room.
- Three stall garage.
- Shop area for men.
- Hobby room for ladies.
- Small care free yard.
- Upgraded master bath
- Upgraded kitchen.
After selling to many retires over the years, many have felt they have over bought andit took a lot of joy out of owning a large property. Many people under estimate how much time, taxes, maintenance and money it takes to own a larger property. Do we really want the management job after retirement?
You make your own decision on the rest of the square footage that is rarely used. The savings can be incredible!
FAMILY HOMES: It seems so unfair in life that when we need more square footage, most of us cannot afford it, so we end up in smaller homes and then when we retire and become empty nesters, we buy and/or build one 2 or 3 times larger. Why? You can answer that one! Many saving ideas on a family home follow:
- Have a two story, a walk-out or a basement that can be finished. Your square footage cost is about 50% less for the upper or lower square footage. In other words, you can spend about the same for an 1800 square foot single level as a 2700 square foot two story or walkout.
- If building, plan your home on the lot and rough in for your home’s possible expansion in the future. That can save a lot over selling and re-buying numerous times, still providing the same good neighbors and schools.
- You can save a ton of money by having a moderate sensible kitchen and bathroom. Save the glitter for your retirement home.
- If building a child’s bedroom a 12 x 12 size, it can be used by 2 children, whereas, a 10 x 10 will be crowded. That’s a savings of up to $6000 for one larger than 2 smaller bedrooms.
- Forget the formal dining room and have a large kitchen, informal dining and a family room.
- Have full wall closets as walk-ins use more square footage.
There are many ways to over spend as well as save a lot of money by using your own common sense. Do not over buy or over build more than your personal comfort zone, but now with low interest rates, it may allow you to stretch your goals slightly and the future will prove you will be glad you did.
Again, thank you for reading my Food for Thought article and I hope it does just that!
'Selling A Home Is Easy, Doing It Right Is The Key!"
Lee Amble, Realtor/Consultant
National Realty of Prescott
Lee’s cell: 928 533-4455
Jan’s cell: 928 533-4488