Does Your Property Still Work For You?
If you own real estate, when you purchased it, you were motivated, consciously, or unconsciously to meet certain needs. If you've owned real estate for 5 years or more, some of the reasons that you sought a particular property may have changed. There are many remedies for changing needs besides selling, although selling can be one of the solutions.
Sometimes it is as simple as hiring help, or remodeling your present home. My husband and I found, once the kids were gone, and our grandkids were catching frogs in the mud at the bottom of our swimming pool, that we no longer used or maintained, it was time for a change! All of this led us on a great adventure were we created a "Piazza", inspired by our trip to Italy. We now have very easy-care grounds bordered by retaining-wall-planter-boxes on a watering system. This fits our hectic and busy life (it also fits my husband's retirement plan because there is no lawn to mow, he just hoses off the piazza).
People buy real estate for many reasons, some common ones are:
- For security (i.e., financial, kid friendly or gated community)
- For prestige
- For comfort
- For freedom
- For investment (whether residences and/or rental)
- For privacy (physical or personal privacy)
- For simplicity
- For convenience
- For fun (vacation, second homes)
- For a family
- For expanding a family
- To share living space with a friend, partner or relative
- To downsize
- To gain more living space or to work at home
- To move into or out of a specific neighborhood or area
Are you still mowing the lawn that was so great for 'Sonny' and the dog, even thought Sonny is married with his own kids and dogs? Did you buy a condo to keep life simple because you traveled or were gone a lot? Do you still travel? Is the freedom you purchased (no maintenance), now limiting your growing desire for privacy?
Did you buy with a friend who loved to garden? Do you have the weeds while the friend has moved on? Did you buy the home with the in-law area for your teen child? Now the child is gone and the space wasted because you don't really want a roommate at this stage of your life?
Has the sweet 2 bedroom, 1 bath home become just too crowded now that you have 2 children and no family room? Has the neighborhood changed and the neighbors you enjoyed have moved away? Was your house size just fine until you decided to work at home and now you find you are living in a sea of boxes and paper?
Has your income grown to the point where the tax deductions on the income property you bought no longer have much financial advantage? Is now be the time to put that equity into a second home, which unlike income property, still allows interest deductions in higher income brackets? Have you built up a high equity position that would best be utilized and diversified?
Most of us are served by periodically re-evaluating many aspects of our lives, including our real estate ownership. Each of us deserve to get the most life has to offer in the areas we value. I hope I've asked some questions that will help you to decide if your real estate still works for you? Is a modification or move in your future?