Are you a baby boomer who’s lived in your current house for a long time and you’re ready for a change? If you’re thinking about selling your house, you have a lot to consider. Will you move to a different state or stay nearby? Is it time to downsize or do you want more space to accommodate your loved ones? But maybe the biggest consideration boils down to this – will you buy your next home or choose to rent instead?
That decision ultimately depends on your current situation and your future plans. Here are two important factors to help you decide what’s right for you.
Expect Rents to Keep Going Up
The graph below uses data from the Census to show how rents have been climbing steadily since 1988:Rents have been going up consistently over the long run. If you choose to rent, there’s a risk your rental payment will go up each time you renew your lease. Having a higher rental expense may not be something you want to deal with every year.
When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, it helps stabilize your monthly housing payment. This allows you to lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your home loan. That keeps your payments steady and predictable for the long haul. Freddie Mac sums it up like this:
“. . . homeowners with fixed-rate loans will see little to no change to their monthly housing cost over the life of their loan. You can be confident in knowing that your mortgage payments won’t change much in the long term, even when life’s other costs do.”
Owning Your Home Comes with Unique Benefits
According to AARP, buying your next home is a better long-term strategy than renting:
“Though each option has pros and cons, buying provides more pros, with a broader range of benefits.”
To help you choose what you’ll do after you sell, here are just a few of the benefits of homeownership that article covers:
- Owning your home can help you save money for the future. Your home, and the equity you build as a homeowner, can provide generational wealth that could be passed on to loved ones, giving them a better life.
- You might not have to pay a monthly mortgage payment at all. If you have enough equity to buy your next home outright, you wouldn’t have a monthly mortgage payment. While you might still need to cover property taxes or maintenance fees, not having to worry about a monthly mortgage payment could be a big relief.
- Aging in place can be simpler. If your needs change, owning your home gives you the freedom to make renovations and updates that can make everyday life easier.
If you’re a baby boomer who’s wondering whether you should buy or rent your next home, talk to a reliable real estate agent for advice. With rents going up and homeownership providing so many benefits, it may make sense to consider buying your next home.
Even though you may feel reluctant to sell your house because you don’t want to take on a mortgage rate that’s higher than the one you have now, there’s more to consider. While the financial side of things does matter, your personal needs may actually matter just as much. As an article from Bankrate says:
“Deciding whether it’s the right time to sell your home is a very personal decision. There are numerous important questions to consider, both financial and lifestyle-based, before putting your home on the market.”
So, ask yourself this: why did I want to move in the first place?
Chances are your primary motivation wasn’t just financial in nature. Why you’re really thinking about selling likely has more to do with something changing in your life or a shift in what you need out of your house.
Reasons Homeowners Still Need To Sell Today
Let’s explore some of the most common reasons sellers are moving today. A recent article from Builder Online helps shed light on this. In this research, they identified the following categories:
- Marriage – If you just got married, you may find you either need more space than you currently have, or the two of you want to find a new place you picked out together.
- Divorce – If you’re getting separated or are divorcing your partner, chances are it’ll be difficult to live under the same roof. Selling the place you have, so you can own get your own spot, may be necessary.
- Births – If your household is growing, you may need more square footage, including more bedrooms. If you’re running out of room for everyone, you may not be able to wait to move.
- Deaths – If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it can be hard to spend time in that home. You may need to move for financial reasons or because you no longer need all the space.
- Retirement – If you’re in the process of retiring, or you just did, you may be looking to downsize to cut costs, relocate to be closer to loved ones, or move to a dream location. In this new phase of life, your current home may not be able to deliver what you need.
You may find you share one of these top motivators. If any of these resonate with you, it may be time to move so you can find a house better suited to your changing needs. A survey from Realtor.com finds other sellers are in the same boat. It says, 1 in 4 sellers are choosing to move for personal reasons, even with current mortgage rates:
“. . . more than half of seller-buyers (56%) who are planning to sell in the next 12 months said they are waiting for rates to come down, while 25% need to sell soon for personal reasons.”
If you need to sell now because something in your own life has changed, don’t let rates hold you back from what you want. You have options to help make that move possible. You can use the equity you already have in your current home toward your next purchase. And with how much equity homeowners have right now, you may be able to finance less than you’d expect, or pay all cash to avoid borrowing at all.
When you’re ready to prioritize your changing needs, reach out to a trusted real estate professional. They can help you list your house and find a home that delivers on everything you’re looking for.
Generation Z (Gen Z) is eager to put down their own roots and achieve financial independence. As a result, they’re turning to homeownership. According to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 30% of Gen Z buyers transitioned straight from living under their parents’ roofs to owning their own homes.
If you’re a member of this generation, and you’re interested in pursuing your own dream of homeownership, here’s some information you may find helpful on why and where your peers are buying.
The Reasons Gen Z Want To Become Homeowners
A recent survey by Rocket Mortgage identifies some of the top motivators driving Gen Z buyers to purchase a home:
“Of those surveyed, 34% said that starting or growing their family was their main motivation to buy a home. . . . Along with growing a family comes establishing a home base.”
Another key reason the survey says Gen Z wants to buy is because homeownership can give them more stability (20.8%). That’s because buying a home allows you to stabilize what’s typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost.
When you have a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you can lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years. If you keep renting, you don’t have that same benefit, and you won’t be protected from rising housing costs.
So, if you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life or if you’re craving more stability, know that your peers feel the same way, and those motivators are why they’re turning to homeownership.
Gen Z’s Next Stop: Where Are They Making Their Moves?
If those reasons have you feeling ready to buy, here’s some information on where your peers are finding their homes that could help you with your search. According to a recent Lending Tree survey, Gen Z buyers are focusing on more affordable areas to help boost their buying power and offset the challenges that come with today’s mortgage rates.
Many Gen Z buyers still want the convenience and excitement of city life, but also value the affordability, open air, and space more suburban areas offer. Jacob Channel, Senior Economist at LendingTree, explains:
“. . . they want to live in a city, but they also want to be close to nature.”
Locating a home that offers both of those things requires expertise. Working with a trusted real estate professional can help you find a home in your budget and desired area. Your agent will know the most affordable neighborhoods to search in. They can also highlight the amenities and features that location offers and how those are aligned with your goals. They’ll also be able to walk you through how things like remote work can help you cast a broader net for your search.
If you’re a member of Gen Z and are just getting started on your homebuying journey, or if you want to learn more about the process, it’s important to connect with a trusted real estate agent. Their expertise will guide you to a home that fits both your lifestyle and your budget.
Downsizing has long been a popular option when homeowners reach retirement age. But there are plenty of other life changes that could make downsizing worthwhile. Homeowners who have experienced a change in their lives or no longer feel like their house fits their needs may benefit from downsizing too. U.S. News explains:
“Downsizing is somewhat common among older people and retirees who no longer have children living at home. But these days, younger people are also looking to downsize to save money on housing . . .”
And when inflation has made most things significantly more expensive, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. So, if you’re thinking about ways to budget differently, it could be worthwhile to take your home into consideration.
When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares:
“A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from selling your larger home and buying something smaller.”
That windfall is thanks to your home equity. If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’ve developed a considerable amount of equity. Your home equity is an asset you can use to help you buy a home that better suits your needs today.
And when you’re ready to make a move, your team of real estate experts will be your guides through every step of the process. That includes setting the right price for your house when you sell, finding the best location and size for your next home, and understanding what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate.
What This Means for You
If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions:
- Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then?
- Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit?
- What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing?
Once you know the answers to these questions, meet with a real estate advisor to get an answer to this one: What are my options in the market right now? A local housing market professional can walk you through how much equity you have in your house and how it positions you to win when you downsize.
If you’re looking to save money, downsizing your home could be a great help toward your goal. Talk with a real estate agent about your goals in the housing market this year.
In the United States, there are over 72 million millennials. If you’re part of that generation and have thought about buying a home, you aren’t alone. According to Zonda, 98% of millennials want to become a homeowner at some point if they aren’t already. But why? There are plenty of reasons you may choose to become a homeowner. Here’s why other millennials have made that decision (see graph below):
This graph shows why millennials are buying homes according to Zonda’s 6th annual millennial survey. The top reasons include building equity, a change in life stage, wanting stability, rising home values, and wanting to make somewhere truly their own. Here’s a look at each in more detail.
Building equity – Homeownership is a long-term investment that allows you to build wealth, increase your net worth, and become more financially stable. Beyond that, the alternative to owning a home is typically renting. With the way rents have risen so dramatically over time, it may make sense to build your own equity instead of the equity of the person you’re renting from.
A change in life stage – As a millennial, you’re reaching your prime homebuying years. That means you may be at the point where you need more space or a different location.
Stability or settling down – This could mean establishing your career or just generally deciding more concretely what you want your life to look and feel like. As that idea becomes clearer, you may want to establish that lifestyle in a particular place and put down roots.
Rising home values – By purchasing a home, you own an asset that traditionally increases in value over time. That can mean your home will have a higher resale value if you decide to move again.
Wanting to make somewhere “mine” – Owning a home gives a sense of freedom because you can customize it however you want, make updates as you see fit, and be yourself in a place that’s solely your own.
There are plenty of great reasons why millennials are buying homes today. If you’ve thought about becoming a homeowner and any of these reasons resonate with you too, partner with a trusted real estate agent to explore your options.
Throughout Women’s History Month, we reflect on the impact women have in our lives, and that includes impact on the housing market. In fact, since at least 1981, single women have bought more homes than single men each year, and they make up 17% of all households.
Why Is Homeownership So Important to Women?
The rise in women pursuing homeownership hasn’t just made an impact on the housing market. It’s also been an asset for those buyers and their households. That’s because homeownership has many benefits, both financial and personal.
On the financial side, housing proves to be the key to building wealth for single women. Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First American, says:
“For single women, housing has always made up a large share of total assets. Over the last 30 years, the average single woman’s wealth has increased 88% on an inflation-adjusted basis, from just over $142,000 in 1989 to $267,000 in 2019, and housing has remained the single largest component of their wealth.”
The financial security and independence homeownership provides can be life changing, too. And when you factor in the personal motivations behind buying a home, that impact becomes even clearer.
A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares the top reasons single women are buying a home right now (see chart below):
Homeownership can be life changing no matter who you are. Work with a local real estate agent today to talk about your goals in the real estate market.