For decades, home sizes have been increasing. The average American home today is about 1,000 square feet bigger than it was in the 1970s. Now, however, a competing trend is emerging. Led by the ‘Tiny House’ movement, there’s a shift towards enjoying a more minimalist lifestyle and downsizing to more sustainable living spaces.
There are a host of reasons why you might be considering downsizing your home. It may be in preparation for aging, to reduce living expenses, to simplify your lifestyle, for eco-friendly principles, or more. Whatever the reason, downsizing involves serious consideration. There are a lot of decisions to make as you embark on your downsizing journey. Read More
Papers, mementos, clothes, and more: there are many reasons why we amass an abundance of things that can end up making our homes look and feel messy. Keeping clutter under control enhances your home’s attractiveness, function, and value, and numerous studies prove that it can improve your overall outlook on life.
Your desire to declutter may be a response to a life event, like inheriting belongings from a family member, deciding to downsize your home, the end of a relationship, or the start of a new one. Regardless of the impetus, there’s a process to calming your clutter. Read More
Joint ownership is one of the most common forms of asset titling. It offers numerous benefits centered on sharing use and control, it allows transparency of assets, and it helps with daily money management and bill paying.
While the decision to jointly title assets often seems straightforward, there are underlying considerations to be taken into account, particularly when it comes to non-spousal shared assets. For the following reasons, think carefully before you sign on the dotted line to initiate joint ownership with a significant other, family member or friend. Read More
For many of us, our home is our largest asset. It also represents one of the biggest decisions to be made in retirement. Choosing whether to stay in your home or to move is a common consideration, as you enter retirement or at a later date. There are a multitude of things to contemplate, including location, family and friends, memories, climate, home maintenance, finances, and your health, just to name a few.
If you, a family member or a friend are deliberating on this topic, we offer some insights into the most important aspects of this decision, to help you evaluate your housing options, now and longer-term. Read More
Entering retirement debt-free is psychologically and financially liberating. Yet for many individuals, enjoying lower expenses during retirement can turn out to be nothing more than a myth, in large part due to your mortgage.
Your mortgage payment is typically your largest monthly obligation. Today, people seldom stay in the same house long enough to pay off a 30-year mortgage. Even if they do, many people restart the payment clock by refinancing or by taking out a home equity loan. Here are seven tips to consider if you’re contemplating your mortgage as you enter retirement. Read More
Home equity is one of the largest assets for many Americans. This may be especially true if you’re a retiree living in the DC Metropolitan area; the family home that you bought years ago is likely to be worth many times what you originally paid for it.
Besides selling your home and downsizing, a reverse mortgage may be an option to access the equity in your home. Financial professionals are increasingly recognizing the potential role that reverse mortgages can play in retirement planning. We offer a brief summary of the program, its withdrawal methods, and how it compares to the more traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Read More
Mortgage rates have recently fallen under 4% again. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or simply considering your options in terms of a current loan, this could be a great time to evaluate opportunities for refinancing or purchase.
We offer the following advice to help you determine whether the new rates offer you the potential for savings, and if it’s time to make a move.
If you’re like most people, you’d love to reduce the clutter in your life. This includes paperwork, particularly the volumes of home expense receipts.
We’re often asked what you need to keep versus what you can toss. Here’s a quick overview on how to make sure you have what you need to reduce any taxable gain exposure on your house when it’s sold, while opening up some valuable living space in the meantime.
Living together without the union of marriage is increasingly common, among both younger and older couples. For many, living blissfully without the complications of marriage, tax penalties and more is ideal. It certainly reduces life complexities in many ways. However, as with just about everything in life, there are pros and cons to consider.
Before you and your loved one decide to take the plunge and move in together, it’s important to discuss the financial fundamentals of cohabiting. Jennifer Myers was recently quoted in an article from US News and World Report, addressing some of the money issues that non-married couples should consider: ‘Financial Mistakes Couples Make When They Move In Together‘. Read More
A rustic cabin or a seaside cottage? Buying a second/vacation home can be an alluring prospect. Before you decide to purchase one, though, you should consider a number of issues. These include the costs associated with owning a second/vacation home, the attributes of the home, its rental potential, and the income tax treatment. Even if you rent it out or deduct part of the costs of ownership from your taxes, a second/vacation home is primarily a luxury, not an investment. You should buy one to add value to your life instead of to your net worth.