Downsizing 101

house with downsizing signWhether you want to admit it or not, if you are in the baby boomer generation, your needs for a large property may no longer exist. If the kids have moved out and you are left with a large home, empty bedrooms, and a lot of upkeep, it may be time to downsize.

It is not an easy decision, and yes, it may be an emotional one, but often a smaller home is a great step to an easier lifestyle and more cash in your bank account for having fun. Having less home to maintain means enjoying yourself instead of focusing time and money for upkeep and heating costs. This could be a step toward great freedom.

Many people hovering under the age of 65 are poised for a new beginning, but they are still clinging on to large spacious homes where they raised their families. But now is the perfect time to sell (your home will enter a market with limited inventory, so it is in demand) and downsize (set yourself up for less maintenance and repair work this spring and summer).

So the question is, where do you begin? Here are a few steps to take to make downsizing easier, and your transition to a smaller, easier to maintain home simple:

  • Get it sold: Talk to a qualified REALTOR and get a Comparative Market Analysis done to earn just what your home is worth in today’s market. Only then will you have an idea what kind of profit you will see to use toward your future home and/or your nest egg.

  • Begin dreaming: Take a look at some of the listings on the Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty website. Explore your possibilities and the freedom a smaller home will bring, and all the potential luxury items or perks that can come with downsizing. Begin to narrow down your new dream home options and important amenities you want to have, then get ready to love your new home. Also consider at what is nearby-or a short drive away- in terms of location too. Make certain your daily needs (like shopping, library, hospitals/doctor’s offices, and cultural activities) are easily accessible.

  • Find interim rentals: Locate a few month-to- month rental possibilities, just in case there is any lag between when you sell and when you close on your next home.

  • Plan on using your equity to buy: If you have owned for many years, you probably have a good amount of equity. Banks may hesitate to approve financing for you to buy another home until you sell this first one, so you waiting until you sell and using your equity is a wise plan.

  • Release sadness about letting go: It will be nostalgic and maybe even a bit sad to close the door on your old house. But let it go. You will be thankful for the time and energy you save as well as the ease and freedom a smaller home will bring.

When it comes to downsizing, accept that all of your current furnishings will probably not fit in the new home. Decide what you will keep and sell (or give to a charity) the rest of it.  As you consider new homes, don’t leap at the first one you see. Look around and take into account the amenities and the community you will be calling home. Choose extras that will make your life easier and add a little luxury to your life, making downsizing exciting and your future something to eagerly look forward to.

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