Do you have Real Estate FOMO?First, let’s address what FOMO means; FOMO is the fear of missing out. It has been a term used by millennials who have grown up in a world where the next best thing comes quickly. In the current real estate market, we see buyers (notably millennials and Gen Xers) hesitating to buy because they fear they might see something better or are envious of someone else who they felt got a great deal or a great house. This often has negative effects. The house never comes along and in the meantime, buyers have bypassed good interest rates and lower prices.
We are also seeing FOMO with baby boomers. But in this case, their FOMO is fear of moving out. Even knowing that smaller digs or fewer stairs may be a better choice, they are paralyzed by their belongings. Unable or unwilling to go through decades of collections and accumulations in their basements and closets, they delay making a move even when health issues make it imperative. The other stopper, rightfully so, is the fear of the unknown–where to live next. Some sellers embrace the opportunity to live in places where they have vacationed or dreamed about and move forward with enthusiasm. Others have no idea where to go, have conflicting opinions, or may wish to stay in their home and adapt.
In all of these cases, planning is the first step, otherwise, someone else, like your children, might make the decision for you.
To begin, start thinking about where you would like to live. If you know one-level living makes sense, explore retirement communities and condos. If you don’t know if condo living is for you or if a home in a warmer climate will work, rent a place for a couple of weeks and try it out. Having a vision of where you want to go will give you the motivation to move out of the “stuff”.
At the same time, work on editing your belongings. What do you really need and how much of your home do you live in? This will give you a sense of how much space you will work for you in a new home. If you prefer to stay in your home you can think of modifications – can the dining room that is never used become a bedroom?
The fear of moving out can be problematic when it prevents folks from moving when and if they need to. Staying in your home is a goal of 90% of seniors. However a realistic assessment of the costs of staying in a home as well as an assessment of the livability while aging is important. Thinking of where to go, or how to stay and what to get rid of will take away the fear of moving out. If you would like to talk through your options, we are here to help!
If you’re thinking about selling your home and downsizing, I would encourage you to download our downsizing guide here. It has lots of tips for how to start the process in a way that is not overwhelming. Of course, we are always happy to chat with you and set up a custom plan.
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