The 10 Most Attractive Places Older Americans Can Sell Their Homes, Maximize Profits, And Retire Elsewhere

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According to a recent Vanguard report, Hawaii is one of the most attractive states when it comes to home equity.


It definitely pays to own a home before you reach your golden years. According to a paper published in February 2023, about 80% of Americans who are 60 and older own a home, with housing wealth accounting for about 48% of their average net worth. By Pawn. And tapping into your home equity can provide an attractive path to retirement (Check out the best HELOC rates you can get right now here) — especially if you go to a less expensive place. Nearly 60% of retirees who migrate are going to places with lower prices – and typically taking away $100,000 of home equity in the process.

Where you buy your home matters a lot. Retirees who move out of their primary residence on the West Coast (Washington, Oregon and California) are most likely to be able to maximize the home equity they build up, and then retire and relocate. Similarly, retirees in the Northeast (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington DC) are also well-positioned to come out of home sales with cash, the Vanguard report shows.

This data shows that where you now matters if you plan to rely on home equity to help fund retirement. In fact, says certified financial planner Derrick Hodges, selling a home and living off the profit is “very viable for coastal residents living inland in the Midwest,” while it may not be for others.

Most attractive states for older Americans to sell their homes

Average ratio of home equity drawn to destination home price

Washington DC












new Jersey


New York






Hodges says: “Since the pandemic, rents have increased and home buying prices have also increased, so many homeowners are downsizing their spaces, but moving expenses on the sale of their home. And you’re fundamentally not saving after paying closing costs. ,

The least attractive states for older Americans to sell their homes

Average ratio of home equity drawn to destination home price




North Dakota


South Dakota














How to Get the Most Out of Your Home When You Sell

“One of the best things a retiree can do to get the most value out of their home is to make sure it’s in good condition when they go to sell it,” says Jacob Channell, senior economist at LendingTree. For those who have lived in their home for a long period of time without making any significant changes, it is not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where your home looks old or outdated. “You don’t need to renovate your home, but modernizing your kitchen, replacing worn carpet in a high- part of the home, or even painting and fixing creaking doors can appeal to potential buyers.” can make a big difference and can not only help you sell your home faster, but also get a bigger offer,” says the channel.

Plus, says Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet, when you in a home for many years, you stop noticing things that bother buyers, like the baseboards or toilet handles. Scuff, which should be jerky. “Ask a neutral person … to walk you through the home and identify all the little things that might turn off buyers. Make sure the home’s major systems are functioning and don’t need replacing.” . This includes plumbing, roofing, heating and air conditioning, electrical systems, and water heaters,” Lewis says.

For her part, Claire Trapasso, executive news editor for, says this year’s homebuyers are really looking for move-in ready homes that are well located. “Those homes are still selling with multiple offers, sometimes well above the asking price depending on the market,” says Trapasso.

Essentially, it is important for sellers to put themselves in the buyer’s place. “When buyers walk through a house, their first inclination is to start discounting the house for items that need repairs or upgrades. I don’t believe in altering items to sell to someone who Ultimately going to change it to your own taste, but I advise my clients to make sure items that are easily noticeable to the buyer’s eye are fresh and in working order,” Aaron Kirman at Christie’s International Real Estate says Morgan Trent, the group’s real estate agent.

Before selling their home, experts say retirees should observe the real estate market for 24 to 36 months before pulling the trigger. “If the market has taught us one thing over the past few years, it’s that it can be very volatile and the value of many Americans’ most valuable can seriously decline in a matter of months. While there are many variables that can affect any one meet the overall demand in the housing market, it is imperative that sellers do their job and understand the market they are located in,” says Trent.

If you’re set on selling, Lewis says it’s imperative to consult with tax experts to gain access to accumulated equity because capital gains taxes can be factored out of the sale. “A reverse mortgage is a way to sell the home and take out equity without making monthly payments. A reverse mortgage requires financial counseling and should not be entered into lightly,” says Lewis.

Other options for retirees who want to tap into their home’s equity include applying for home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), assuming they have a good credit score and can afford Don’t have the burden of debt. “Before you jump into one of these, be sure you understand what you’re getting into. Defaulting on a home equity loan could result in losing your home and a reverse mortgage could be the way for you to put your home on your own.” Handing over to children or other members of your family can make it extremely difficult,” says Chanel. Check out the best HELOC rates you can get here.

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