You know how it goes. In the beginning, it was all sunshine and heart emojis. You fell in love, and it was hard to imagine ever feeling differently. But time marches on, and sometimes you grow apart or fall out of love – with your house. Buying a house is just as much of an emotional decision as a practical one. And when it comes time to break things off and move forward, it can be tough. Here’s how to break up with your home gracefully.
Understand that your home no longer suits your needs
As we get older, our needs change. The house that you bought as you started your family may no longer suit your needs once those kids are grown and move out. Perhaps you’ve gotten a new job and the commute is too long and is making you unhappy. Maybe you or your spouse have mobility issues that make climbing stairs difficult. Or maybe it’s time to care for an elderly parent and you don’t have the room you need. Whatever the reasons, it’s smart to reassess your current needs to see how your home is no longer the right one for you. Although it can still make breaking up tough, you’ll at least know that you’re doing the right thing.
Admit that the neighborhood doesn’t feel right anymore
As with people, neighborhoods change, too. As cities and towns grow or shrink, the character of its neighborhoods can change over time. What was once a forest preserve is now a sprawling subdivision. Maybe a new shopping center has been constructed nearby that is sending much more traffic down your street. Perhaps being within walking distance of a school was great when you had kids, but is now more of a nuisance during the school year. Or maybe all your favorite neighbors have left and it just doesn’t have the same sense of community. It’s okay to fall out of love with your neighborhood. But it’s also important to understand why you’ve fallen out of love, so that you can find a new neighborhood that is better for your lifestyle and taste.
Celebrate the time spent there
Just because you’re breaking up with your home doesn’t mean the relationship was all bad. This is the place where you’ve made lasting memories, and moving out can sting. Take some time to celebrate your time spent there. Throw a family gathering or invite the neighbors over for coffee. Give people time to reminisce and say goodbye. It will be healing for both you and the people who visited you in this home. They made memories there, too, and the break up can also be difficult for them.
Enlist the help of a professional
Finally, it can be helpful to enlist the help of a professional real estate agent when you’re breaking up with your home. Just like a married couple that may seek the advice of a counselor, it can ease the burden when you know that you’re getting assistance from someone who understands. An experienced agent can give you expert advice on your home’s value, how to market your home to new owners, and how to find a new home that’s better suited to your needs and lifestyle. All it takes is a phone call to get started.