A friend of mine, who has been a real estate broker/owner for over 30 years, told me that the first thing someone should do when considering the sale of his or her home after the passing or departure of a spouse is to wait six months before doing anything.
If you can afford the mortgage payment and the bills you have, wait before making a huge decision like selling your house. He suggested that you “take a deep breath” and figure out exactly why you want to sell your home.
Are you an older individual who wants to live closer to your children? The problem with that is that your child might get a wonderful job offer in the near future and have to decide between staying nearby to keep you company or deserting you for a better job opportunity.
Let’s say you sell your home, move quickly to be near the kids, and six months later, they have sold their home and moved away. Where would that leave you? You would be in a new place where you have few (if any) friends and you would be totally alone in a new town.
If you feel you have to move, move somewhere that you want to live. Make sure your new location is near a large airport so that you can visit your children a few times a year.
Note on airports: You may find that the nearest airport has horrible rates for flying to your children’s location. I learned recently that it was considerably cheaper to drive back to my former area and fly out of that location, rather than pay five times the rate to fly locally. The cost of my time was about the same, due to lack of nonstop flights from the new airport and hours lost due to layovers.
Let’s do the math. It takes me five hours to drive to my former airport but the cost of a ticket to my kids’ location is less than $200, one way for a nonstop 2 hour flight. There are airports very close to where I live now and I could get to three of them in less than 3 hours. I could not get a nonstop, so the flight would take about 6 hours, with layovers, and would cost $500 for a one way ticket.
So a one-way ticket from the old airport is $200 or less, but requires a 7 hour commitment of time, one way (not including TSA time in either scenario). A one-way ticket from the new airport is $500 and requires a 9 hour commitment of time, one way. My path to the old airport is a lovely drive through the countryside, so guess which way I chose?
This is food for thought as you decide to sell and move to a new place for a fresh start. I would love to hear what you think about this topic!