I am a Baby Boomer! Born in 1962, I am on the tail end of this infamous generation of 74 million strong, but as I examine the behaviors, attributes, buying habits, and values of this all important cluster, I definitely belong here statistically AND psychologically. Those of you who know me know that I’m passionate about marketing and a Rhode Island Realtor, so continuous learning into consumer psychology and home buying/selling market trends is my business and my joy. My musings…
We boomers with our oversized homes and suburban acreage might want to think about the next phase of our lives in terms of lifestyle. Well if you’re like me, you’ve worked your butts off (overworked) for many years to achieve your American dream--a certain level of achievement and financial success to support your family and household, and live the life you desired. And now, you’ve come to consider that you no longer need the expense and maintenance of a large home. We generally own our homes outright, if not nearly, and the nest is empty, right? Your’re thinking…it’s time to “downsize”, move into something smaller... compromise.
The word “downsizing” makes me cringe! It sounds depressing, like I have to somehow sacrifice the wonderful lifestyle I’ve built for myself and my family. Think about it. Even corporations finally woke up one day and realized that the term sounded drastic and reactive. It incited fear among employees—doom and gloom! They replaced it with the term “rightsizing”, and all of a sudden it conjured images of actual planning, strategy, attaining goals.
I’m here to say that we Boomer homeowners should also be thinking along those lines.
Rightsizing! That’s right. It’s pro-active, goal-oriented, values-based. It’s looking at your actual needs and values through a microscope, and strategically identifying properties that meet those needs without giving up the comfortable lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed. Let’s face it…we boomers know ourselves as folks who are family-oriented, active, adventurous, and successful. We like to live well; outdoor fun, travel, exercise, good food, life experiences, and making new memories with our loved ones. We thrive on community and neighborhood pride. So maybe we need to free up some time and money to pursue these values. All this means is that it might be time to say goodbye to our oversized homes with say, a 30% livability ratio, that happens to be expensive and time-consuming to maintain, and instead look at homes close to our children and grandchildren, where we can access 100% livability, and free up funds for more great experiences to share with them. It’s not rocket science, but you have to admit it is smart!
Ask yourself, do I really need a formal dining room or living room? When was the last time I used it? Do I need four or more bedrooms for just the two of us? Do I want to be in the kitchen cooking when the rest of the family is down in the finished basement watching the Super Bowl? Do I need a 25,000 square foot lot that requires ongoing landscaping and irrigation? Do I still need to live out in the boondocks where the schools are great but where the stores, restaurants, and amenities are miles away? We MUST ask these questions prior to looking at new homes to occupy. Here is a checklist…(link or branded form?) to get started, and don’t hesitate to get in touch for a face to face boomer chat!