It’s school opening again, but my house is unusually quiet – deafeningly so. You see, my daughter, who’s 25, has left for a university in Australia to study Business Administration and Marketing, and my 21-year-old son has also decided to live on-campus here in Calgary. So after more than two decades, my wife Bette and I are empty nesters! Suddenly, the house is too big for just the two of us.
Being a Calgary real estate agent, I am always thinking about houses — and now I get to ask myself, what do we do? I figured we have three options.
Stay where we are.
This is the path of least resistance, as we’ll just need to get on with our lives and look forward to the times when the kids can spend time back home (when our daughter comes home for her semester breaks). I’d add that we’ve grown pretty fond of this place and of all the great memories we have here. But staying means foregoing savings that I’ll discuss in the next option.
With the extra expenses of both our son and daughter going to university, downsizing maybe an option. It will let us cut the cost of maintaining a big house that we no longer need, and free up some extra funds for our children’s education. We could move to a smaller house or even a condo; but Bette and I need to talk about this some more as I’d like us to be really prepared for a different condo lifestyle if we choose that option.
Thank God for in-betweens! This may yet be the best option: keep our home but rent it out and move to a condo. That way, we keep our investment while cutting our expenses on it and even earning off it! Rental prices are up in Calgary because a lot of people migrate here for jobs, and more often than not, they look for a house to rent that’s closer to where they work. Our house would be perfect for those renters.
Deciding what to do with an empty nest is a really daunting decision, but we’re glad to have good options. Thinking about them keeps us busy and grounded, and makes this next phase of our lives not depressing at all, as it seems to be for lots of people, but in fact, exciting! And perhaps even more exciting is that soon, we will be empty nesters without kids in university!
Would you like a stress-free real estate experience? If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell in the next few months, call me today at 403-259-4141 and I’ll put you and your needs first.
About Brad Willson
Brad Willson has been making home buying, selling and investing in the Calgary area smooth and stress-free for nearly a decade. He is an awardee in the Calgary Real Estate Board Million Dollar Club, a member of the RE/MAX 100% Club and a recipient of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award, and is one of the few Certified Condominium Specialists in the Calgary area. Brad is as devoted to his clients as he is to his wife and two children who are now young adults.