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Downsizing After the Kids Move



Many first-time homeowners buy a house when starting a family with thoughts of growth. They consider things like yard space to play or run pets, rooms for the kids to each have their own space, as well as play areas, and seating room to have family meals when choosing a house. Depending on how many kids are in the equation, you are talking a lot of space. When those kids go off on their own, that space can seem positively cavernous in its emptiness—not to mention the work that goes into the upkeep and expense of owning a home with so much under-utilized space. Therefore many “Empty Nesters” choose to downsize their home when their kids are gone.


Particularly if you are approaching retirement, this is the time to look at simplification. Having a big house with property and multiple rooms was great when footsteps of children and their friends filled the air every day, especially when you could have them help you clean all those extra rooms and bathrooms-but now it is time to consider the wants and needs of parents left behind. How do you see the years ahead? Does this family home suit those desires, and can you even afford to keep it up on a fixed, retirement income?


Consulting a real estate attorney is the first step in assessing how to transition from one home-the home where you raised your family to another where you will hopefully spend the rest of your life comfortably. First, because you want the transition to go as smoothly as possible. This is extremely helpful because a real estate attorney will assist in all the document preparation and filing involved in selling a home-particularly an older home that may have various coding policies to review, going back decades. Depending on where you live, you may be required by law to hire this attorney, but they are there to make sure the process goes smoothly both in selling your home and getting you set up in a new living arrangement-whether it’s a smaller house or a condo that affords you the luxury of being able to travel or to merely not have to clean unused space when you could be enjoying your life!


The benefit of choosing a real estate attorney in this endeavor is that their primary goal is to look out for your interests. A real estate agent wants to make the sale, but you are hiring an attorney to make sure the sale goes well for you and leaves you in a position to ultimately enjoy your life after the kids leave to start theirs.

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