The trend towards smaller homes has been on the rise, with many people choosing to downsize to meet their changing needs and lifestyles. Life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle. In fact, the real estate market has shifted over the past year to being more and more driven by life events and necessities and less driven by low interest rates and rapidly increased equity. In these times where all we seem to hear about is inflation and rising costs, it deserves mention that not only does a smaller home typically cost less, it also takes less time and effort to maintain. (1) Guess bigger is not always better!
Whether it’s for financial reasons, health issues, or simply a desire to simplify life, downsizing can feel like an overwhelming process. However, by following these five steps, you can achieve a much better downsizing experience. And in the end, we hope you’ll find that less is more … more comfort, more security, and more time and energy to spend on the activities and the people that you love.
5 STEPS TO DOWNSIZING SUCCESS
Determine Your Goals and Limitations
Start by establishing your goals for your new home. Consider factors like proximity to family, community amenities, and medical care. Make a "wish list" of features and prioritize them. Don't forget to estimate how long you plan to stay in your new home and how your needs may change during that time.
Goals can include the following:
Do you want to live closer to family? Are you hoping to cut down on home maintenance? Are you looking for a community with certain amenities? How much space do you need? (What’s not “too much”?)
Examples of limitations may include:
Are stairs an issue? Do you need access to medical care? In the case of divorce, are there child-custody issues you need to take into account?
As with any endeavor, it’s important to set goals and plan while also seeking out the advice of trusted service providers to guide you along the way.
We’d be happy to sit down with you for a free consultation.
Find the Perfect New Home
With your wish list in hand, enlist the help of a local expert real estate agent, who will have the necessary knowledge of the top communities in your area. They can help you identify the neighborhood and type of home that best meets your requirements.
We serve clients in all stages of life! If you or a loved one are in need of extended support, we can also share our knowledge of the assisted living facilities in town and help you identify those that offer the optimal level of care.
Do you need to sell your current home before buying? We can show you how to do both of these things at the same time utilizing one of the many nifty programs that are available to accomplish this like bridge loans, HomeLight’s “Buy Before You Sell”, and the “Home Swap” program offered by Knock. We have many unique and cost-effective solutions to suit a wide range of needs.
Are you planning to relocate out of town? If so, you can browse network properties right here on our website as we are a part of a trusted network of real estate agents and teams throughout the country.
Sell Your Current Home
If you need to sell your current home, a listing agent with experience in major life transitions can help. They will guide you through the preparation, pricing, and promotion process. Employing tactics and strategies to maximize the sales revenue of your home, such as aggressive marketing strategies that utilize online and social media platforms. This ensures your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers. The value of the long-term experience we bring to the table is priceless!
If you’re ready to sell your current home, we’ll begin the process of preparing to list it as we search for your new one. Alternatively, we could employ one of the aforementioned programs like the Knock Home Swap or HomeLight’s Buy Before You Sell. We are certified with both companies to utilize their solutions.
We believe that our clients need to know all of the options that may suit their individual needs so that a fully educated decision can then, and only then, be made.
Sort and Pack Your Belongings
Sorting through your belongings can be an emotional process, so start early. Begin with small spaces like a laundry or powder room and work your way up. Focus on eliminating duplicates and things you don’t use regularly. Consider donating or selling items that you no longer need. Make sure you keep items that align with your goals for your new home. If you have sentimental pieces, family heirlooms, or just useful items you no longer need, think about who in your life would benefit from having them. For large collections, consider keeping one or two favorite pieces and photographing the rest to put in an album. (2)
Even before you find your new home, you can begin preparing for your move. A smaller home means less space for your furniture and other possessions, so you will need to decide what to keep and what to sell or donate. Sorting through an entire house full of belongings will take time, so begin as early as possible.
Make sure the items you keep help you achieve the goals you outlined in Step 1. For example, if you want a home that’s easier to clean, cut down on knickknacks that require frequent dusting. If you’re moving to be closer to your grandchildren, choose the shatterproof plates over the antique china.
Allow yourself time to take breaks if you start to feel overwhelmed. If you’re helping a loved one with a move, try to be a patient listener if they want to stop and share stories about particular items or memories throughout the process. (3) This can be therapeutic for them and an opportunity for you to learn family history that may otherwise have been forgotten.
Get Help When You Need It
Moving can be stressful, especially if you're downsizing due to health issues or a major life change. Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends, family members, or professionals such as home organizers, full-service moving companies, or senior move managers.
A senior move manager, which is a professional who assists older adults and their families with the physical and emotional aspects of relocation. (4) You can find one accredited by the National Association of Senior Move Managers at https://www.nasmm.org/find/index.cfm.
Downsizing is a big step, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. With the help of a local real estate agent and a step-by-step plan, you can achieve your goals for your new home. Remember, the key to success is to take it one step at a time.
If your current home no longer suits your needs, maybe it’s time to consider a change. We would love to help you explore your options. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
- The Tiny Life - https://thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/
- National Association of Senior Move Managers - https://www.nasmm.org