All Things Real Estate: Are you looking to upgrade or downsize?

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Just as a side note, the reader that sent me a letter back in early November, was accidentally shredded and I would appreciate it if you could resend it in to me at my office address located at the end of my column.
Are you in a situation whereby you are not sure whether or not to upgrade and purchase a larger home in a better location for your growing family or then again, staying and enlarging your current domicile and add as many of your “wish list” “bells and whistles” as you always wanted?

You obviously must weigh the pros and cons of considering this very important decision. Have you been searching for a new home and due to the historically low housing inventory, choices being slim and limited in what you are looking for in a “dream home”?

Is the S.A.L.T. tax another issue in your decision making, because you want or would like to pay as close to the ten thousand dollars maximum deduction as possible or is this not a factor? Are you looking for a move-in, mint and diamond condition new home or will you consider a fixer-upper that has more space than you currently have and/or a more desirable location?

Which will be easier to do, to keep looking and hope that something will pop up during the winter months when there is much less competition from other anxious and hungry purchasers searching for a similar property?

These may be challenges, but they can be minimized and solved if only you have a carefully laid out plan; as I always say, “if you fail to plan, then you may plan to fail.” You need to look at the expense of moving as opposed to staying in your current home, figuring out your budget to renovate and upgrade your current home.

Will you want to or can you stay in your home in one area and be comfortable enough, while you start and finish the renovation in the other section; and then stay in the finished area while you do the other half? Moving would seem the easiest way to go, only if “all the stars lined up in a row” and the timing (luck) was perfect and you could find that elusive home that meets almost all your requirements.

But the $64,000 question is when will that happen? I always advise my clientele to figure out what’s most crucial on their “needs list” and realize and go through what they are willing to trade-off, that maybe can be added at a later time once they move in. Sometimes it’s also, “champagne tastes and beer pockets.”

One must have the available money as well as first and foremost, the letter from your lender that you are qualified to purchase and at what price point. Maybe you can calculate how you might stretch your budget just a bit to secure the home you really need and want, anticipating the additional expense will pay off in the long run.

If you have younger children you probably will be staying in the home for at least twenty years or more, since people move after their children finish college, unless student debt keeps them in place. Those that secure higher-paying jobs would have the opportunity to move out sooner and either rent (which I absolutely don’t recommend), but figure out every angle to ascertain what you would need to do to have your children become a homeowner).

There is grant money of up to thirty-nine thousand dollars that you do not have to pay back in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, but there are income restrictions and you must reside in the home for at least 10 years(otherwise you would have to pay back the grant money), and it is only for the first time purchasers; however, you might have to go on a waitlist. Moreover, some banks are allowing the rollover of student debt into a fixed mortgage for thirty years! However, I would be very sure of your career position and path before considering that move.
Downsizing comes about when the expense and responsibilities are away too cumbersome and challenging to consider staying any longer, especially if your home is larger than is necessary at the present time.

Cutting costs is always a good idea, but for those who are healthy and can afford to stay in place and don’t mind the chores and upkeep; then staying put in familiar surroundings is a positive reinforcement and sometimes keeps you in a healthier physical and mental state of mind.

We are creatures of comfort and familiarity and don’t necessarily like change. It all depends on so many variables and it comes down also to, “whatever floats your boat.”

Today, many are living much longer, have part-time jobs or are still running their businesses and continue to reside on Long Island, which also is contributing to the lack of housing inventory.

Although more individuals and families are exiting New York than are relocating here; those that can afford to stay, I believe, have a lifestyle that is quite complete, beneficial and of excellent value, with the world-class Jones Beach and others, outstanding parks, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, wineries, and of course, the Big Apple NYC!

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and also as a Certified International Property Specialist. He can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions or concerns.

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