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Rightsizing: what home is right for your circumstances and lifestyle?

Rightsizing your home
Does your home still fit your lifestyle? It's a question empty nesters and those nearing retirement often ask. By answering it, you can start to determine if rightsizing is right for you.
Rightsizing refers to aligning your space with your lifestyle—finding a home that is the right size for your needs today and in the future, whether that means smaller or larger. Rightsizing typically involves moving to a home with less square footage (downsizing). But, it's really about the process of looking at how you live, what you actually need in your home, and the amenities you want in your home and surrounding area.

How Much Is Enough?

The average size of new homes built in the United States grew 62 percent from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,687 square feet in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With that in mind, it's interesting to think that Americans spend most of their time in a few rooms: kitchen, family room, and bedroom.

Here are five questions to answer that can help determine if rightsizing is best for you:

1. How do you want to live?

If you'll have more free time, think about how you want to spend your time. Do you want to spend time working in the yard? Do you want to live near trails and parks? Do you want to live within walking distance of coffee shops and restaurants? Determining what you want to do with your time will help with finding a home that matches your desired lifestyle.

2. Where do you want to live?

Determining how you want to live will also help determine where you want to live. Do you want to live off the beaten path? Do you want to live in or near a lively downtown? The type of lifestyle you live, type of home, and location of that home all complement each other.

3. What are the financial benefits?

If you've owned your home for a while, you'll probably make a profit when selling. The proceeds can serve as a down payment on a new home, pay off existing debt, or be used for something fun, like a vacation. If you move to a more energy-efficient home or a smaller home, you'll likely reduce your monthly utility bills. Beyond financial benefits, you could save time on home maintenance, yard upkeep, cleaning, and home improvement projects.

4. How do you prepare for the future?

Consider what the future could look like with both the location of the home and the actual home itself. Is this where you plan to spend your retirement? Are you planning ahead for your own health? Will this be your last, or next-to-last, home?

5. What will you do with all of your possessions?

If you'll be downsizing, you'll have to decide what to keep and what to give away or throw away. Rightsizing is an opportunity to keep what's truly important while making a fresh start.

To find the right-sized home involves thinking about how you live your life and understanding how you live in your space. Contact your CrossCountry Mortage loan officer to discuss your financing options for finding the right home for your needs.

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