12 Reasons Empty Nesters are Winning the Real Estate Market

Should you Downsize your home in omaha
Empty Nesters are winning the real estate market.
Last year, the median age for a homebuyer was 58 according to the National Association of Realtors.
Thats up significantly from 36 years old in 1981.
Rightsizing your home is how many are moving up in life. And, the current real estate market is rewarding those with built up home equity.
No generation has shaped the modern housing market more than empty nesters.
According to a 2019 report from the National Association of Realtors, living larger in less space was one of the top reasons homeowners 55 and older decide to sell their home.
Financial planners across the country report an older, supersized home can be the single largest hurdle to living an active lifestyle.
Any way you slice it, downsize or rightsize, you’ll have less responsibility, a smaller workload, and more energy for family and friends both in and out of the home.
Here are 12 reasons NOW might be the perfect time to make a move.

1. Housing market.

Timing is everything and there has never been a better time to sell a home. The supply of available homes are at historic lows. Homes are selling in the matter of hours, with multiple offers, and getting premium prices. And built up home equity translates to significant negotiating leverage over other buyers.

2. Less is More.

Ideal floor plans and HOAs. Baby boomers, empty nesters, and retirees triggered floor plans to fit one-level lifestyle, flat driveways, extra room in the garage, walk in pantries, pull out kitchen drawers, covered patios, dedicate office space, and the greatest benefit of all – someone else shoveling snow and mowing the lawn.

3. Proximity to Family and Friends.

A consistant priority for homebuyers 55+ was to move closer to family, friends, and similary aged homeowners. Instead of waiting and hoping for the holiday visitor, they simply made visiting easier and moved next door.

4. Proximity to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Communities surrounding a golf course, a lake, walking trails, retail and entertainment centers make living that dream lifestyle a reality, one thats right outside the front door.

5. Increasing costs.

As you’ve aged, so has your home. Maintenance costs increase with a home’s age. Finding a newer home assures you less hassle with the landscaping, appliances, energy saving fixtures, roof and mechanicals. Retirement only compounds this issue: as incomes decrease, home maintenance costs increase.

6. Freedom.

The definition of retirement has changed considerably as we plan to live longer and healthier. Now more than ever, Americans are planning ahead to enjoy an active lifestyle that includes travel and avoiding the winter blues before and during retirement.

7. Financial Savings.

A UCLA report found that homeowners spend 68% of their time in the kitchen and living room alone. It doesn’t make sense to pay for heating, cooling, and upkeep for rarely used rooms. That money could be your next vacation or visiting family more often. In fact, covering everyday expenses is the number one reason retirees tap into their equity.

8. Financial Profits.

Trade in your mortgage for a paid off home and the savings could be put towards your retirement- make that, early retirment. Even if the purchase price is similar to your sale price you’ll be money ahead on less upkeep while enjoying updated floor plans and features.

9. Downsizing is a step forward, not backward.

This move is often seen as the reward for years of hard work. And many are using built up equity to splurge on the ideal location, lifestyle, or hassle free home features.

10. Rightsizing vs Downsizing.

While it might appear that middle-aged adults are downsizing after kids, this is often a financially lateral move with an eye towards long term savings and enjoyment.

11. Inspections, Appraisals, and Termites, oh my!

In todays hot sellers market home sellers have the upper hand and are often able to negotiate favorable terms like no inspections or extra time to find a new home. Never mind the less stress on getting your home ready for the market.

12. Reduced moving stress.

Let’s face it, we aren’t spring chickens any longer. Planning, packing and executing a move is challenging and only gets more difficult the longer we wait.

Final Thoughts

As my clients often hear me say, “not all square feet is created equal.” Bigger isn’t always better.
These 12 reasons to downsize or rightsize your home only scratch the surface on how a home seller can take advantage of todays real estate market.

Additional Articles and Resources:
The Best Omaha Neighborhoods to Downsize or Rightsize
For a list of newer one level ranch homes for sale click here
For a list of villa/townhome/condos with an HOA that covers seasonal, exterior maintenance click here
For a list of homes on a golf course, a lake, or with a pool, click here
How to Buy and Sell a home at the same time
Common HOA fees and rules
Tips for a Stress Free Move