Downsizing?

Downsizing Obstacles That May Trip You Up on Your Path to Smaller Home

While downsizing may sound like an effortless process that simply involves moving to a smaller home, it's actually quite a complicated ordeal that includes various phases to properly accomplish your goals. There's much that can go wrong if you don't take the proper steps to plan it all out. Let's take a look at some of the pitfalls.

Keeping Too Much Stuff

First, get rid of as many items as realistically possible. If you're suddenly an empty-nester or you're just tired of caring for a large property, take advantage of the situation and sift through your possessions, only keeping necessities and a reasonable amount of keepsakes. 

You should err toward getting rid of too many things rather than not enough, as you don't want to move into a larger-than-necessary home just because you have a lot of possessions to store. AARP suggests getting rid of old clothing, exercise equipment, anything in self-storage, bulky furniture, magazines, books, and more.

When evaluating your possessions, you should separate everything into three piles. The first pile should be things you can sell in a garage sale or in an online marketplace like Craigslist or eBay. The second should be things you can recycle, donate to a charitable cause, or give to family members. The third is for items that need to be hauled away to a landfill. 

Not Getting Top Dollar on Your Current Home

Don't be in a hurry to sell your current home, even if it's much too big for your current needs. If buyers know you are desperate to leave, you will likely receive lowball offers. 

Instead, prior to selling, take steps to increase your home's market value, like enhancing its curb appeal and handling any necessary modifications or repairs. Also, don't hesitate to get help from a real estate agent when selling (or buying) a home. At BRC, we have dedicated and experienced realtors that can put together a marketing plan to sell your home. Considering that the amount of money you get for your current home will impact what you can afford to spend on a new property, it's important to do everything you can to maximize its value.

Undervaluing Your New Home's Location

Once your current home is sold (or is at least heading in that direction), the next major consideration is where you want to live. Remember the three rules of real estate: location, location, location. You can change a lot about your new home but you can't move it.

Typically, there are three main options. Firstly, you can look in your current neighborhood. This could be advantageous because you already know everything there is to know. If you already have a close group of friends and a daily routine in your neighborhood, you should strongly consider staying and simply downsizing to a smaller home.

The second option is to look for a new neighborhood. Perhaps you want to move closer to a certain family member or perhaps your current area isn't an affordable place to buy. That said, prior to making the move, do as much research as you can do to ensure the new neighborhood has everything you need and desire. You should also research mortgages for properties in your price range. If your credit isn’t stellar, you may still be able to purchase with an FHA loan, which offers low interest rates and flexible down payment options.

Not Downsizing to an Appropriately Sized Home

Once you've come this far, you don't want to settle for a home that is too big or too small. Take a look at your current home and figure out a range of square footage you really need. When downsizing, you only want to move once, so wait until the right size home comes along. The buying process takes a minimum of four months, so be prepared for patience. 

Not Considering Smaller Details

It’s not unusual for people to get caught up in the whirlwind of buying and selling at the same time. Because of this, certain details can easily fall by the wayside. For example, planning ahead for your utilities and changing your address. Many people also forget to consider their children or pets. Children can feel overwhelmed by a move, so make an effort to talk to them beforehand, and allow them to help pack some of their belongings. When it comes to pets, you want to keep anxiety at a minimum, especially on moving day. Consider boarding your pet, or sequestering them in a room with familiar items.

If your goal is to downsize into a smaller home, that's a worthwhile ambition, and you will likely have a high quality of life once you turn your goal into a reality. However, along the way, you should be mindful of the potential pitfalls and take steps to avoid them. 

ARTICLE WRITTEN & SUBMITTED BY SHIRLEY MARTIN @ TIDY LIFE TODAY

Whether you're looking to buy, sell or both, our highly skilled experts at are ready to help you make the best real estate decisions for your needs. Call us today for an appointment!

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