Great time to sell your home
I live alone in the family homestead as my children live overseas. It is more convenient for me to visit them than the other way around and I don't know whether to sell or not. Is now a good time to sell?
Dear Home Alone,
Downsizing is now considered a sensible option for a wide cross-section of people. It sounds like you are ready, and it's not such a traumatic event as you might imagine.
There are plenty of reasons why moving into a smaller home makes sense. Not only will there be fewer rooms to clean and smaller annual household bills, but any profit can be used as a welcome cash injection to sustain your quality of life and enable you to travel and see your family more often.
You can put cash aside for a rainy-day fund; it's nice to know it's there even if you don't ever need to use it.
It's natural to worry where you would keep your possessions in a smaller property but be realistic, do you really need all that stuff? And, honestly, how many rooms in the house do you really use on a regular basis?
Potential sellers need to spend time with an agent working out costs before committing to a move. As it happens, this is a great time to sell. Fortunately for Bermudian sellers, we are seeing some buoyancy in the market and renewed interest in larger family homes so it is likely a fair price can be obtained.
If you might be interested in selling or downsizing, invite your agent over to give you an opinion of value and discuss market trends as current events often have a distinct impact on Bermuda's real estate market. It is also helpful for an agent to see the characteristics of your home, as you will probably be looking for some of the same ones in your next purchase.
Work out exactly how much money you will likely walk away with from the transaction and factor in the various costs — stamp duties, boundary survey and legal fees — to get an idea of the price range of smaller properties you could be interested in.
There is a good selection of very reasonably priced properties on the market, particularly condos, so you will have a wide variety of choice. Condominiums can make exceptionally good “downsizes” as they tend to be sturdily built, maintenance is taken care of, you have instant neighbours and friends plus, many are on a single level.
Your agent will work hard to get you the best price possible for your property, however, the best offers aren't always the highest; the best offers are the “cleanest” (ie, no contingencies).
Obviously, the more you can get for your property, the more you will have to spend or invest but be sure to be realistic about pricing and “time on market”.
Sellers I have helped downsize have ended up feeling liberated from the tyranny of household chores, property upkeep, big air-conditioning bills and large gardens.
They have fun decorating and love the fact they can turn the key and leave for several weeks at a time, and that there is usually a neighbour or maintenance person who can keep an eye on their home. They often tell me, “Heather, I love it, I don't know why I didn't do this years ago!”
• Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty's leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate