Bridget's Blog


A Downsizing Boomer May Be In For a Surprise

What are my options if my house doesn't sell so I can downsize?

Talk to your realtor about updates that may be needed so your house shows best when you are ready to sell.

Then, talk to your favorite mortgage professional who can help you to decide if a refinance is right for you.   

  • Cash-out for those updates? 
  • Refinance that mortgage you kept refinancing into 30 year mortgages, but now just want to pay it off as quickly as possible? You may be surprised that the payment could be just a little more than your current mortgage or even less than your current. 
  • Refinance to a longer term to lower those payments to make them more comfortable until you can sell.

There may be good options available to you if you got the surprise that Valerie discusses below.  Don't stick your head in the sand...make a plan.  The future will be here sooner than you think!

*Be aware that some lenders/programs require a home to be off the market for up to 6 months prior to allowing a refinance.  Be sure to tell your mortgage person that the house was recently on the market.

Maryland Mortgage Mama   410-960-2061

This is a story that is being repeated all over the country.  Boomers want to downsize.  This is hardly a surprise.   The surprise or even shock is that it is going to cost them money to live in less space.  To some, it is so appalling that they have decided to stay in their current home.  

Boomers own their home in the suburbs.  Most are mortgage free.  The home has four bedrooms, three baths, a family room, a rec room in the basement, two or three car garage and a huge yard full of trees and shrubs and maybe a pool.  Okay, there may be variations of this but the essence is - the boomers own family friendly property.  Now......  The kids have finished school and left the nest.  The Boomers are rattling around a big house and find that they live in the kitchen - family room space and their bedroom.  It seems that it is time to move to something smaller.

Here is the rub.  The new home or condo may cost more than the proceeds from the sale of the big home in the suburbs. What?  

  1. The market has reacted to the demand for large condos and retirement homes by placing a premium on the sales price.  Remember, the Boomers are a tidal wave moving through demographic data.  If you, a Boomer, are thinking of downsizing then so are millions of your fellow 1946-1964 birthday buddies. Simple supply and demand economics at work.
  2. Your lovely home is a wee bit tired.  Forty plus years of the same kitchen, with the wrought iron railings, pink carpet, parquet flooring and paneled rec room is telling the story.  Although you have house size you have a house waiting for updating and renovations.  Your home is not competitive.  It is not giving Buyers what they want in updates.
  3. You want to move but you are certainly not going to settle for apples to apples.  Your tastes are now refined and you want granite and a bungalow backing on a golf course with grounds keepers or the whole top floor of a condo in the downtown area.  You are selling a MacIntosh apple to buy an organically grown Star Fruit.   Would you be happy buying the little bungalow down the block from your current home with the need for the same updates as your current home?  Would you be happy with the location?   No?  

After finding out that their home is not the gold mine that they hoped for, many potential Boomer Sellers make the decision to stay in their current home. In some cases, the Boomer will update the family home, adjust the buying expectations and make the move at a later time.  

Photo Credit:  UK Baby Boom and Bust by David Willets


Valerie Zinger 



Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO or


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.

Comment balloon 5 commentsBridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee • January 12 2012 12:15PM


Great write-up.  The effect the Boomers have played in the national market is a very interesting trend to follow.  Building their "mcmansions" at the peak, loving privacy, size of the home, and the more garage stalls the better.  Now the new entrants into the market (Xer move-ups and Gen-Y first timers) largely don't like those styles at all.  We want to be back in town, not in the suburbs, we want smaller, efficient, social.

These large boomer-drivien subdivisions are in for an interesting next couple of decades.

Posted by Brint Wahlberg, The Wahlberg Team (Windermere Real Estate) over 8 years ago

This is a very interesting post, indeed...lots to mull over, here.   Different days!

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) over 8 years ago

Brint, I think you are right, big changes in expectations.

Valerie, I think you did a great job of doing just that....lots of folks are having to adjust their expectations.

Sea to Sky, You are so right....different days!

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) over 8 years ago


I have been quoting Valerie's post for the last couple of days.


Here was my comment .."This is  a real 'ZINGER' (a surprise, shock, or piece of electrifying news)  to some of the boomers that I am dealing with right now.





Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 8 years ago

I love how you say, "Don't stick your head in the sand."  It just seems so hard for some to wrap their head around the word change.  It's a scarry concept for many but necessary.

Posted by N N over 8 years ago