Whether you’re a senior, empty nester, or simply looking to live in a smaller space, once you’ve made the decision to downsize your home, the first step is usually the hardest — getting rid of your stuff.
Here are three tips to successfully downsize your home and live comfortably in a smaller, cozier place.
1. Plan ahead with your new lifestyle in mind
– Will you have room for your existing furniture in your new space?
– What belongings will you be moving with you to your new home?
Don’t wait to make decisions and begin planning your downsizing early. Set timelines with goals. Think about what lifestyle you’ll want to embrace as you move forward and build a solid plan to make that happen.
2. Declutter your space
One of the most difficult decisions you’ll make while you begin your downsizing process is deciding what to keep and what to donate or discard. It’s perfectly normal to gain an attachment to your things- after all, they’ve occupied a place in your home for some time. Begin this journey by compiling a list of your wants, needs, and what you won’t be taking with you in your new space. Once you have completed your lists, remain committed to them. It’ll be easy to deviate from your plan but remember, you put the items on a list for a reason.
3. Make decisions with quality and purpose in mind
Remain conscious about what you let into your mind, life, and new environment. Choose furniture that can be utilized for different purposes, instead of trying to squeeze too many pieces into a single room. A great rule of practice is to choose furniture with good storage and space solutions. Think quality over quantity.
Lastly, allow someone to help in sorting and packing your belongings. It could be incredibly hard for you to let go of certain items that would just clutter your new space. If you find yourself stuck on a certain decision, ask for an objective opinion.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be a nuisance or a terrible experience— although, it may feel like it temporarily, think about the life and space you’ll get in exchange for all of the “stuff” you’ll be giving away.
Spring is in full swing and the real estate market is blooming. If you are debating or on the fence about whether or not to sell your home this season, Here are 3 reasons you should list your home for sale during spring:
Tap Into Your Home Equity
According to a recent report released by Zillow, in Seattle, homeowners are gaining $54.24 in equity per hour, 3.5 times the minimum wage of $15 an hour. This indicates that home values are appreciating at a rate per hour that’s actually higher than the local hourly minimum wage. This equity, however,
is only available once a homeowner sells.
Low Inventory Means Less Competition
According to another report released by Remax, the Seattle metro area is tied only with Denver for lowest home inventory and has one of the fastest markets in the country. This means that, in the majority of Seattle, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.
Quicker Home Sale Than Ever
Due to the low home inventory, home buyers are doing all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford home shopping.
Only you can decide whether or not now is the time to sell your home or downsize, however, the real estate market is ripe for a quick and profitable home sale.
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Downsizing
Selling a home can be one of the greatest financial and emotional decisions of your life, whether you’re downsizing or not. Avoid these common mistakes and take some of the stress out of downsizing.
1. Less is not always more
Just because a home is smaller than the one you currently own, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheaper. While most home sellers focus on the costs they’ll save on energy usage and utility bills in a smaller place, they can often overlook additional costs like increased transport fees or possible long-term maintenance costs. Carefully weigh up the all the possible costs of your new property, especially if you’re looking to not just downsize space but costs in your day-to-day life.
2. Budget for your move
Make sure to leave enough money in your budget to stay-up-date on payments in your current home, as well as any additional costs you might accrue in the process of purchasing your new home or rental. To make sure that you’re covered in the time between selling and buying your new home, look into obtaining a bridging finance loan. Check with your Realtor or mortgage broker to see if you need to apply for this type of loan. Otherwise, ensure that you’re budgeting enough to cover your move and any extraneous expenses you may face along the way.
3. Not letting go of the past
It’s normal to want to keep the personal items that you and your family have accumulated over the years such as memorabilia, furniture, photos, and knick-knacks. The best way to handle this would be by creating a downsizing plan and writing down a list of what to pack and what to discard. Although it might be difficult in the moment, be ruthless and stick to your list, not only will it save you space in your new smaller place but it will empower you to start anew!
4. Don’t forget to cancel services and utilities
During your move, ensure that all home services and utilities get canceled or transferred over to your new property. Neglecting to disconnect or redirect home services like your Internet, phone line and utilities, as well as your home and contents insurance, can cause unexpected costs that could potentially result in your budget being off balance.
5. Move Comfortably
A common mistake made by folks downsizing is not allocating enough time in their schedules to comfortably move. Even the most experienced and methodical organizers would find it difficult to sort out an entire life’s belongings in just a few days. A good rule of thumb is to set aside time in blocks of 2-hours and tackle one room at a time. On the other hand, be sure to also give yourself enough time to unpack when you finally make the move to your new downsized home.
Ready to downsize?
Contact Jill Judy
Jill Judy is a Realtor with Windermere Wall St with over 15 years of experience helping Seattle buy and sell their homes. Jill specializes in helping families buy or sell their home, downsize, and manage their estate sales.
Things have changed drastically in Real Estate. With more than 90% of today’s home buyers beginning their home search online, are you marketing your home in the right places? If you are struggling to sell your home, there are 3 changes you can make to your home selling strategy to get your home off of the market.
Presentation, promotion, and pricing are three strategies that are essential to any home sale.
If after these changes, your home still receives no traction, don’t hesitate to reach out to a real estate professional. The longer a home stays on the market, the less of a chance you’ll have to get the price, visibility, and terms you are looking for.