Monday, April 9, 2018

Downsizing...Or Upsizing?

I came across this article today about people downsizing their homes as they age.  We did this when we moved from Seattle.  We wanted a smaller house and a smaller yard so that we would have more time to spend on life and need less time to spend on home maintenance and upkeep.

Fast forward to living in Las Vegas where after we downsized we now think we should have upsized a bit due to how many of our friends and family come to the vacation destination we live in to both see us and see all of the tourist attractions here!  As we look for another place to live, the question to upsize or downsize is one of our considerations.  Among the things we are thinking about:

  • Cost.  Due to the booming housing market here we have a significant amount of equity in our current home.  If we sell then move to an area with much cheaper housing we would be able to pay cash for a new house.  That would be awesome, budget-wise.  On the other hand, if we want to stay in the general Las Vegas area, that big piece of equity would not make such a huge difference because of the high house prices here.
  • Property taxes.  We love the property tax situation in Nevada (low) so moving elsewhere in Nevada--or several other states we are considering--would be good.  Many places also offer property tax rebates for both seniors and veterans which we qualify for.  Other states we have looked at, however, have really high property taxes and no rebates which would definitely put a crimp in our budget.
  • Size of home.  We know now that living in a popular tourist destination means a bigger home is more comfortable for large groups of visitors.  I also like more space--although it isn't REALLY necessary but nice to have--in order to do more things in the space (like have an exercise room, an office, etc).  This is kind of a conundrum, however, since a more spacious house is nice to have, but on the flip side, everything from utilities to maintenance costs more (new flooring, for example, is much cheaper for a 1500 square foot house than a 3000 square foot house; and it's cheaper to air condition a small house than a large house).
  • Cost of living.  Each place we have looked at has a variety of cost-of-living factors to consider.  The area we are looking at in Tennessee has cheap FIBER internet (wow!), another place has very expensive utilities (gas, electricity, water), in another places all of the houses are on well and septic tanks (very cheap until one of these systems fail then very expensive). 
So in addition to deciding where to move geographically, we are also looking at a range of other factors about the specific kind of house to move to.  It's a work in progress...

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