Are you an empty nester with too many bedrooms? Do your senior parents need a smaller, one-story home? Is your large house too much for you to manage anymore? Downsizing can solve those issues.
If you or a loved one is considering downsizing, many things can affect the process. Learning from the mistakes of others can help your efforts go smoothly. You can probably list things you know you need to do when downsizing, but do you know what not to do? Here are some common mistakes.
Downsizing Without Having a Plan
If you're not in the habit of making lists, it's time to start. Trying to downsize without having a to-do list often results in a crisis. What are you hoping to achieve from downsizing? Work your plan around those goals.
Be sure to include these items in your plan:
- Find a real estate agent to sell your current home and help you purchase a new one.
- Define the kind of new home that will work best for your future needs. For instance, a one-story house or condo is more accessible for seniors.
- Make a realistic timeline for prepping and selling your home, buying a new home, and moving.
- Decide if you want to undertake the move on your own or hire movers. Some organizations specialize in assisting seniors when they downsize and move.
Failing to Make an Accurate Budget
You'll need to budget for several things, including:
- The cost of living in your new location
- Monthly mortgage payments and yearly property taxes
- Homeowners association, seller and buyer real estate, and mortgage fees
- State income taxes where applicable
- Moving expenses
Don't go over your budget with the price of your new home. Shop around to find the best mortgage rates and terms. If you or your senior loved ones are veterans, look into a home loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you qualify, there are many benefits to a VA loan, including not having to purchase private mortgage insurance and not needing to make a down payment. Make sure you research VA home loan rates to make sure they work for you.
Taking Unnecessary Items With You
Moving to a smaller house means that you won't have enough room for all your current belongings. It can be emotional deciding what to get rid of, but you might not have a choice. Decluttering is a healthy step toward a new beginning in your new home.
Moving to an Area That Doesn't Suit Your Lifestyle
Research the area you're planning on moving to. If you want specific amenities in a home or neighborhood, see if they are available in the area.
Failing To Stick to Your Schedule
When a move is still a couple of months away, it's easy to put off doing things to prepare; however, if you keep procrastinating, you'll likely be overwhelmed when it's time to move. Make goals, note them on your calendar, and don't get too far behind schedule.
Focusing on the Negative Aspects
Leaving a home or neighborhood you've lived in for years will be stressful. However, you have the opportunity for a fresh start in a new home.
People choose to downsize for many reasons, and making common downsizing mistakes makes it stressful. Take the time to think about all the aspects to make the process as smooth as possible.
Neda Nourani is one of San Diego’s most experienced real estate agents - so let her put that experience to work for you! Get in touch with Neda by calling (760) 822-7154 or emailing [email protected].