Your parents retired and moved out of town, and your childhood home is now vacant and for sale.
Baby boomers are retiring in droves and looking to downsize, leaving their millennial children – many of whom want to buy a house – left contemplating whether they should buy their childhood home. You know the house, you have memories there, and you’re in need of a more permanent place to live – so why not?
Should you purchase your childhood home? There are both pros and cons to consider before making a decision. Ask yourself these questions to decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Are you ready to see another generation enjoy growing up in your childhood home?
How Much Do You Have to Spend?
Obviously a major positive to purchasing a family home is that you’ll (hopefully) be paying less than you would at market rate. But it’s important to ask yourself whether you are buying your childhood home to help out your family, or whether you are doing it because it is right for you.
Does Your Partner or Spouse Agree?
If you are in a relationship, how does your partner feel about living in your old home? They don’t share the same memories with the place as you and may feel like they will never truly “own” your former home. Similarly, do you both share the same vision? If one of you wants to strip the house bare and start over while the other wants to preserve all the original details, things will get complicated. You need to be upfront from the beginning that the home will be both of yours, and you need to take your emotional memories out of the equation.
Are You Ready to Face Your Past?
If you move back into the home you grew up in, even with renovations and changes you’ll likely experience moments of déjà vu. From watching your daughter sleep in your old bedroom to worrying about whether your old tree house is stable, you’ll be surrounded by things that make you think of your past. Will you be taking over the master bedroom – previously occupied by your parents?
You can, however, make some changes to alleviate these anxieties, such as putting kids in a different school from the one you attended and renovating specific spaces. At least you won’t need to face all of your old teachers when you attend a parent-teacher conference.
Your childhood home is full of memories – for you and your family.
Have Your Parents Relinquished Control of the Title?
The last thing you want is to move into your home and have a family member criticize every potential renovation or change you make. You want to have the freedom to make your own choices for your home, not be concerned with hurting someone’s feelings. Be willing to address this with family if you are concerned they may overstep their bounds.
Is the Neighborhood the Same?
Depending on how long you’ve been gone, you may notice significant changes to the neighborhood you remember. Perhaps there was little traffic on the street that allowed you to play outside uninhibited, but now new condos and developments down the block have added more people – and more cars.
Of course, you may also notice that the neighborhood has changed for the better. Are there more options for dining and new parks for kids to play in? Then you got a great deal on a house in a desirable neighborhood.
Ultimately, the decision to buy your childhood home should be made the same way you would decide to buy any home. Consider costs, financing options and home loan rates, quality of life, and location first, and then approach the additional concerns that come with moving into a family home. If you’d like to see what financing you qualify for, answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you.