Why Not Sell to Downsize in 2017?


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 21st 2017 – More folks could be convinced on the merits of downsizing to smaller homes in 2017 and the years ahead. This likelihood arises not only from the growing number of “empty-nesters,” mainly consisting of retired or retiring baby boomers. Also fueling it is the growing interest on smaller and more affordable homes which came as a learning from the last housing crisis.

There are strong reasons why attention has been growing on the tiny home movement. Besides lower cost, environmental concern and minimalist living drive this advocacy espousing residences with small square footages, typically those with less than 1,000 square feet.

Significantly, Florida has been reported as amongst several states where this movement has gained traction. Some of its adherents in the Sunshine State are notably in Sarasota and Bradenton.

Houses Got Too Big?

Why Not Sell to Downsize in 2017?

Downsizing to a smaller home now would make sense even for an ordinary person or family, besides retirees, if we compare the average square footages then and now. According to the latest U.S. Census stats, new single family homes now average 2,700 in floor area. This compares with less than 1,000 square feet in 1950; and families then were even larger than they are now.

In the current market, there are windows of opportunities for homeowners to sell their property and downsize to a smaller and less costly residence. This pivot is quite likely to work given that financing rates for home purchases remain relatively attractive while values of Sarasota homes for sale have significantly risen.

According to real estate researcher ATTOM Data Solutions, the median sale price of condos and single family homes in the Sarasota‒Manatee region rose 12 percent in 2016 to $224,000, a $24,000 increase from 2015. Over the past five years, the price gain has been estimated at 72.3 percent.

Even though mortgage rates have been rising since mid-October last year to slightly above 4 percent, the rates for the most popular home loan—a 30-year fixed mortgage—still hover near 30-year lows. Industry analysts expect a 4.6‒4.8 percent range till end-2017 and a continuous trend upward henceforth.

Extra Cash from Smart Pivot

With a sale now, owners of big residences can cash in on the higher value of their homes and pivot to a smaller and less pricey one at still-favorable financing rates. Earnings from that sale provide plenty of benefits, such as paying off debts, investing or boosting your retirement fund.

Buying a smaller home may mean less space, but it likewise opens the possibility of closer family bonding. It will also mean less time, effort and money spent on home maintenance.

In Sarasota, there are plenty of buying opportunities for those keen on home downsizing. One destination is the mid-rise condominium Central Park where there is a current listing for a 940-square-foot unit priced in the low $200s. There are larger options as well for two-bedroom condos in the same price range in this cozy community within nine lush acres just south of historic Luke Wood Park.

Turning to new listings of single family homes, an 815-square-foot residence is now available at the Bay Point neighborhood in Nokomis. This residence too is sales-listed in the low $200s, a tempting proposition for downsizing home buyers.