Dream Home Arlington & Lexington
Bija Satterlee Satterlee

Cycles of Real Estate As You Go Through LIfe


We all have housing needs that change as we go through life. The home you grew up in, your first apartment after leaving home, all are part of your cycle. When you first left home, were you drawn to the bustling city for education, excitement, jobs, and to be near a diversity of people? Where you live now may reflect your lifestyle, finances, work or family life, etc, and may be still in flux. As a First Time Buyer Specialist I have helped dozens of people get a start into home ownership, often starting with a condo or small single family home.

Owning a home for the first time has its challenges and rewards. Often in that first home circumstances change: kids and pets come into the picture, and after several years it is too crowded to handle all that bustling life!


MOVING UP comes next! This gets more complex as it may involve both selling the old and buying a new home simultaneously. There are several ways to approach this task, and financing plays a big role. With enough equity in the original home, it may be possible to buy a new place first, and then sell the first home, or even keep it for a rental investment. If you are unsure of your situation, you can have a CMA (comparative market analysis) done on your home, and also speak with a lender to understand how you are positioned at this point in time. It may be necessary to sell your home first, to capture the equity and then move up to buy a more expensive home. These two can be done simultaneously, but require more skill and planning with your lender and REALTOR.

Your moving-up home is often thought of as the “forever home” or long-term home you might live in for a decade or more, and perhaps kids go through school. Choosing this special home warrants seriously defining your “dream home criteria” and aiming for something inspiring that is a real improvement in living conditions. Where it was fine to live for a couple years over a noisy street, or sharing a driveway with two other tenants, at this more mature stage, you may require more comfort, security and privacy than before, especially since you will be paying a higher price point than your first home.

As a Buyers Agent I remind people that your Dream Home criteria is a guide to finding your next home. Even my clients who have bought a $2 million dollar home, acknowledge they did not get 100% of everything they dreamed of in a home. So we remind ourselves of the 85% rule. Look for the dream – but realize every house has some limitations, and try to find a house with at least 85% of your ideals, that you can see yourselves living in. Don’t lose out waiting for the impossibly perfect house. (Trust me, it ain’t out there!)

Having successfully moved into your “Forever Home”, an abundance of wonderful and eventful years fly by, and the house does its job as Home Sweet Home. It becomes the stage for those life-defining memories and experiences. After a decade or two, kids grow up, become independent, and launch lives of their own (often swinging back through the house for short periods of time) until the nest eventually empties out.

Downsizing Dilemmas: As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist I am helping several people sort out the details of downsizing from a bustling ‘Grand Central Station’ lifestyle to the empty nest. Figuring out where to go and what to do once the nest is empty can be overwhelming yet liberating.
It means crafting a future lifestyle, whether staying in the same town to be near the kids, or moving closer to the city and activities, restaurants, public transportation, and a chance to connect with other like-minded people. Unlike previous generations, today’s healthy 50+ year old baby-boomers often gear up for an active life with simpler housing responsibilities, closer to urban activities. Hmmm… sounds like the young adults who first flocked from their parents houses in the suburbs!

This cycle of real estate is the story of life ~ with young households forming and moving in, moving up, and ultimately downsizing ~ as life stages and housing needs change.

Having studied this ongoing migration, I understand many of the needs driving these transitions. If you know anyone who is anticipating a change, feel free to share this information with them. Everyone needs a home appropriate for their circumstances in life, and someone to help with the transitions.

Where are you in the cycle?

Bija Satterlee
ABR – Accredited Buyers Representative
First Time Home Buyer Specialist
SRES – Seniors Real Estate Specialist

781-354-4835  bsatterlee@hammondre.com


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