Tips for Parents
Empty Nesters: Four Indicators it’s Time to Find a New Home
Does your empty nest feel too big, dated or not right for the needs of your changing family?
According to the National Association of Realtors, it’s a buyer’s market and existing home sales are up. With children away at college, parents may find their transitioning lifestyles are better suited for a different home.
Here are a few indicators that it might be time to think about moving:
Consider how your family’s needs have changed. If you no longer need a big yard for kiddoes, a game room or bedrooms so each child has his own space, figure out what it is you do need.
Can you convert bedrooms to a sewing room, study or workout room? Would you rather have less space to vacuum? Does the big yard just mean dreaded yard work now? Decide if you can meet your current needs in your current home, or if downsizing or relocating is the answer.
Many parents settle their families in the best school district or in communities great for raising little ones. But as the children are raised and gain independence, parents may have different priorities for where they live.
Would you ideally live in a big city? In a rural area? Close to friends or family members (or to your student’s college)? Near work, golf courses or other places you spend a lot of time?
Moving from the family home can be a huge change, and while it might be right for some parents, leaving the community they know isn’t. Whether a move means just up the street or across the country, weigh your priorities and needs carefully.
Whether you own your home or rent, making a move in this real estate market can be financially beneficial. You might consider buying a smaller home and renting your current home to cover your new, lower mortgage payment and supplement your student’s tuition payments. Or relocate to a rental that requires less work or money, like a smaller yard, less space to heat or cool and with better amenities that you’ll enjoy.
Accommodating the Transition
As your college student gains independence, your role as parent changes – especially if you have an empty nest and no longer have children living at home. Instead of entertaining a bunch of teenagers on the weekends, you may be spending quiet nights in with your spouse. And your home should obviously accommodate your new needs.
But your student will still want a place to call home, and repurposing his room or moving to another house entirely can be hard on him. Balance your new priorities with how it will affect the rest of the family, and as always, keep communication open.