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

Source: WGBH.com

It’s September, a time of transition… students going back to school, a change in seasons, local farmers’ markets full of sunflowers and pumpkins versus last month’s zinnias and tomatoes, and weekend afternoons on the beach have given way to artists’ open studios. A number of my clients and friends are experiencing transitions, too. They’ve dropped children off at college, now have kids who are young professionals living on their own, and some even have children who are married with their own children. At this stage of their lives, it’s natural for empty nesters to reconsider their real estate and lifestyle choices.

Perhaps the four-bedroom house you own in the suburbs seems a bit empty or too large now that there are fewer people to fill it. Maybe you’re tired of the upkeep and day-to-day maintenance and just want to simplify life. Or possibly you feel, as one of my clients once eloquently said, “I’m ready for a new adventure.” You’re not alone in these feelings. Many empty nesters are selling their homes or adding to their real estate portfolio, opting for a downtown Boston condo and the lifestyle that comes with it. In fact, evidence points to empty nesters as a key factor in the surge of demand for housing in the city.

Source: Houzz.com

Though I work with a wide range of clients, from young professionals to investors, a significant portion of my clientele happens to be empty nesters who are buying a condo in Boston as their primary residence, second home or pied-à terre… a place in the city for periodic use. For the most part, they’re drawn to Boston for the lifestyle and convenient access to all the city has to offer right outside their door or at least nearby.

I’ve guided many clients through the process of downsizing to a smaller home in the city, providing advice, insights and judgments based on the data. My clients consider this guidance invaluable, particularly in light of the current Boston condo market where inventory is very limited and prices are now at record highs. Plus, as an empty nester myself, I understand the challenges and the decisions that my clients are facing.

The transition from your house in the suburbs to a condo in Boston is unlikely to happen overnight; it’s a strategic and evolutionary process so it’s not too early to start.  Watch for my next post featuring tips on how to get the downsizing process started.