Empty Nesters: Thinking of Downsizing to Boston Condo? It’s Not Too Soon to Start Planning for a New Lifestyle in the City (Part Two of Two)

The prospect of downsizing to a smaller space with access to the lifestyle options in Boston is exciting, liberating and appealing to many of my friends and clients who’ve recently become empty nesters. While the transition to smaller space with less to maintain and more time for fun is alluring, it’s certainly a process and can be daunting. While you may not be contemplating an immediate move, it’s not too soon to get started.

Here are some tips to help you manage the process:

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    Get a market evaluation of your current home: Bring in a respected broker in your community—or perhaps several—and get opinions of value of your home in today’s market. It’s helpful to have more than one opinion so that you can make an informed decision about price and set realistic expectations.

  • Connect with your financial advisor or a lender and establish your budget: It’s best to know what you can afford in terms of the purchase price and monthly payments before your search begins so you can focus on properties in the relevant price range. If you need to secure financing to purchase a condo in Boston, get a pre-approval letter from your lender early on so that you are prepared to submit it with an offer, should you find a property quickly. This will better position you with the seller, particularly in this market where competing offers are prevalent. If, however, you are making a cash purchase or don’t have to make your offer contingent upon financing, which is ideal, you’re in the best position to land the property of choice.
  • Define you needs, specify your wants and create your wish list: Generate a list of items including preferred locations, the type or style of condo that appeals to you such as a full-service luxury high rise or a brownstone, the age and condition of the unit as well as the building, the features (e.g., number of bedroom and bathrooms, outdoor space and parking) and amenities (e.g., a concierge and on-site fitness center). My prior post, “The Boston Condo Search: Establishing Your Must Haves,” can help you through this stage of the process.
  • Get educated on the Boston real estate market: The Boston condo market is thriving. Demand is high, inventory is low, and prices are at the all-time highest. It’s important that you’re well informed as you begin the early stages of your condo search. Start by taking advantage of Sunday open houses (just ask me to provide a list) to explore different neighborhoods, types of properties and price ranges to get a more tangible look at what your money can buy. View listings on my website, where you can sign up to receive listings with your initial search criteria to help build your understanding of market values, or ask me to sign you up instead. Read my blog, BilusOnBoston, for analysis and insights on the Boston market, neighborhood updates and tips on Boston’s vibrant lifestyle.

While the idea of downsizing, buying a place in Boston and the concept of a city lifestyle can be very exciting, many clients say they just don’t know where to begin. It may seem overwhelming early on and even throughout the process, but I’ve guided many empty nesters through each stage. Please contact me to get started on your adventure of purchasing and owning your new home in the city.