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Is your current home feeling a bit too spacious and time-consuming to maintain?
At some point in everyone’s life, it’s natural to start thinking about downsizing. Whether you’re considering a move to a luxurious condo in the city or a rustic lakeside bungalow, taking steps to reduce your space represents another exciting stage of life. If you’re ready to start the downsizing process, there are some important things to take into account before making this major transition. Read on to discover the most common downsizing mistakes along with helpful tips for avoiding them.
Mistake #1: Assuming you’ll save money.
Depending upon where you move, you may very well find a great new home in an area with a lower cost of living. But it’s also important to look at the big financial picture. Upscale condominiums and townhomes can be pricey, and you could wind up paying a small fortune in recurring condo fees, as well.
How to avoid this issue: When you’re calculating expected savings, consider taxes, utilities and maintenance, too. Don’t forget to include things like a higher utility bill for air conditioning if you’re moving to a much warmer climate and whether property taxes are higher in your new location. There are also expenses involved in selling your home and buying a new one. If you wind up paying thousands in real estate and closing costs, plus more to a moving company, how long will it take you to recoup those expenses? With so many financial variables involved, saving money through downsizing isn’t a sure thing.
Mistake #2: Forgetting about what matters most.
It’s easy to get swept away by a gorgeous beachfront property or a cozy cabin with sweeping mountain views. But isolation is a common issue as we age, so particularly if you’re a senior, proximity to loved ones has definite value.
How to avoid this issue: If you’re considering a move to a more distant location, give careful thought to the accessibility of your social circle, including your children, grandchildren, other family members, and friends. Don’t forget about other important facets of your lifestyle, such as health care, religious organizations, clubs, and favorite shopping and dining establishments.
Mistake #3: Not considering privacy needs.
Many homeowners who downsize say they feel cramped with less living space in which to maneuver. It’s also harder to enjoy private, quiet time when needed because a smaller floor plan offers fewer options for sanctuary.
How to avoid this issue: Think about how important solitude and “me time” are to you and your partner before you decide to scale down. Converting a spare room into a ‘man cave’ or adding a ‘she shed’ can provide privacy for those who crave it.
Mistake #4: Putting lifestyle needs on the back burner.
Will moving to this your new home require a major shift in the way you do things and how you enjoy spending your time? For example, if you’re an avid gardener, a high-rise condo with no green space may not be the best choice for you.
How to avoid this issue: If you’re downsizing because your kids have gone to college, then make sure your new home will suit the lifestyle you envision. Make a list of those features that are must-haves and those that are nice-to-have as you assess your potential new digs.
Mistake #5: Underestimating the stress of decluttering.
We all have our treasures and possessions we can’t bear parting with. The emotional toll that comes with downsizing these items can be significant and surprising.
How to avoid this issue: While you’ll still have to rid yourself of some things when you downsize, taking control of the process can allow you to make the best decisions about what to keep and what can go. Well in advance of your move, make a list of the items you absolutely cannot live without. Then, for everything else, decide how you wish to dispose of them: give them to family or friends, donate them to charity, recycle them if possible, or as a last resort, put them in the garbage.
Mistake #6: Thinking only about the present.
How long do you anticipate living in your new smaller home? If you want to be there long term, is it suited for a mature lifestyle? Your needs at 60, for example, are likely to be vastly different than they will be at 80. Eyesight and hearing may become impaired, and the stairs you climb easily now may be impossible when you’re older.
How to avoid this issue: Carefully evaluate accessibility and practicality if you’re planning to stay in your new residence for the long haul.
Downsizing your home is a major undertaking, but with the proper research and planning, it can be a productive, life enhancing adventure. To make the most of your move, please contact our helpful team of professionals.
About Certified Title Corporation: Since 1994, attorney-owned Certified Title Corporation has been furnishing residential and commercial real estate stakeholders across the nation with robust title insurance, settlement, and escrow services. Renowned for their industry-leading reliability and exemplary level of service and quality, the Maryland-based company helps clients from all walks of life achieve their asset goals. To learn more, call (888)486-5511 or visit https://www.certifiedtitlecorp.com/.