Should We Stay or Should We Go? GetSmart.com Offers Advice on Downsizing

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If this "back to school" season has you evaluating your empty nest, check out some tips from GetSmart.com on downsizing your home.

We've all seen the TV commercials where the kid is backing out of the driveway heading for college, while the parents are upstairs discussing whether to turn his room into a home office or workout center. While those commercials paint a rosy view of an empty nest, the truth is that a child leaving the home can have a big impact on the parents downsizing options. How do you know if downsizing is the right thing for you? Let GetSmart.com help you discover and answer some of the tough questions about this life changing event.

Does downsizing suit your lifestyle?
Do you enjoy taking care of a home, or do you view it as a necessary chore? Many people rush into downsizing, only to realize that they have difficulty filling their days now that they don't have the chores associated with owning a home. Of course, others have no problem finding new ways to entertain themselves and enjoy the newfound freedom that downsizing can bring.

Is your nest really empty?
The problem with empty nests is that they often fill again. If you're considering downsizing, discover whether or not you expect your children to return and stay for any length of time, and if it's a short solo visit or a return to the family home years later with their own family in tow. Also, consider how much you've accumulated over the years. Do you need to keep a larger home to house all of your family heirlooms and prized collections? Or - in fact - are you ready to downsize in more ways than one?

Can you afford to?
If you're entertaining the idea of downsizing, contact a real estate agent to discuss what market value your home will likely warrant when it sells, as well as the agent's fees to sell it for you. Will your current home bring you enough money to afford the kind of smaller place you covet?

Also, be sure to look closely at the costs of the new place. If it's a condominium or retirement community, be sure to factor in homeowner's association dues or activity fees. In some neighborhoods, these numbers can be high enough that you don't realize any cost savings by downsizing.

For more tips to help determine whether downsizing is right for you, visit http://www.getsmart.com.

About GetSmart®

GetSmart is a leading financial services marketplace that offers borrowers access to a range of home loan products such as mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans and lines of credit from a network of more than 250 lenders. Consumers who visit the site at http://www.getsmart.com of call 1-800-GETSMART complete a short and simple form and will then be matched with up to five competing lenders.

GetSmart is owned by LendingTree, LLC, which is an operating company of IAC.

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ALLISON VAIL
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