The 411 on Downsizing

Have you been considering downsizing?  Maybe you are worn out and ready to retire… maybe you are tired of the upkeep of a large home… or maybe, you just want to put money in the bank for that lake home you have been dreaming about…


Or perhaps, you have been…

…noticing a huge spike in your home’s water, electric, and energy bills.

…away from your home more than you are home due to travel, work, or visiting friends and family.

…in the red after you pay for groceries, a mortgage, and other expenses.

…finding it difficult to manage the upkeep, including costs and labor on your home.

…daydreaming about a lifestyle that is slower paced with more free time to do the things you love.

…dreading the spring and summer because it means more yard work or dreading winter with all the snowblowing, or maybe you are tired of all the costs associated with hiring someone to do it for you.

…pondering a change of scenery.


If you have been having one or more of these thoughts on a continual basis, then downsizing could be the answer you have been searching for.


Good news for downsizers


The good news is that we are still in a seller’s market. It isn’t as HOT, HOT, HOT as it was a year or two ago, but it is still pretty darn hot. Calling your real estate broker and checking into the market in your area is a good first step when considering a downsize. If you are looking to get a particular price for your home, your agent will be able to pull comparables and give you the thumbs-up. Or, they might tell you that it would be better to wait. Either way, you will have some good information for making an informed and important decision.


The bad of downsizing

It’s always a good idea to consider the cons of a situation before spending too much time daydreaming about the pros. One of the big drawbacks of downsizing is that, oftentimes, it means living in a shared property, and while that was fun in college, it can be less fun as an adult. Of course, condos aren’t exactly like the dorms and the more you pay the better the amenities and privacy. But, it can also mean waiting on elevators, issues with noise and privacy, a limit on storage, difficulty reselling, and association/amenity fees.


Of course, leaving behind your neighborhood and the familiar can be difficult, so it is important to imagine what life will be like without those people and things that you love about your current home and neighborhood. On the flip side, you may be able to leave nosy ole’ Ms. Kravitz behind as well.


Another downside is that you will likely be losing a lot of outdoor living space. While a balcony or small garden is an option with some places, they aren’t always an option, and many times, it is a shared outdoor space. Think about whether you are okay with less space because, after all, it does mean less maintenance.


More pros for downsizing


The time you will save not working in the yard, the money you will save not replacing the leaking faucet, and the peace of mind you will experience with not having as much to take care of could mitigate the cons.


Another big positive is that a condo lifestyle can afford you a sense of community that you may have not experienced for awhile. Let’s face it, life is a little different these days, and it can be extremely difficult to meet and connect with new people. In a condo, you have more opportunities.


One of the best things about condo living is the many amenities that you would like to have are often available without even stepping foot outdoors. Many are like small cities. During those long cold winter months, you can go to the fitness room without wading through slush and driving on icy roads. Some have restaurants and grocery stores, and there might even be a post office or a party shop!



Shopping for a new, smaller living space

When you are looking at and considering new places to lie your head, consider what kinds of spaces you must have and what you can live without. For example, if you love having a bath on winter nights, then you need to tell your realtor that it is non-negotiable. Maybe you still work from home or are planning to write a novel, make sure your new living quarters has an office. If you want to be able to still have big dinners with family and friends, make sure a dining room and larger kitchen are included. While it is important to take time to figure out just what exactly you need for your living space to be functional and feel like home, also remember to keep an open mind because with any new home there are likely compromises to be made.



Downsizing advice

616 REALTY - Real Estate Professionals


Whether you decide to downsize or stay put, call 616 REALTY and get some expert advice. They can give you a heads-up on what is out there, how much you can get for your home, and just help you consider all the pros and cons of making a change.