For almost every homeowner, there will come a time when you’ll be faced with the decision to downsize or hang onto your current home. This decision is often filled with emotions, as many times the home you’ll be selling the home is where you raised your family and made a lifetime of memories.
As you start to think seriously about whether you should downsize now or stay in your home for a little while longer, take time to ask yourself a few questions to help make your decision easier.
1) What Do I Hope to Accomplish Through Downsizing?
If you’re even thinking about downsizing, chances are it’s because your current home feels wrong for you in some crucial way. Maybe it’s too large now that your kids have all left the house. Maybe you’re still paying a mortgage and the monthly cost is keeping you up at night. Maybe your current home has too many stairs, too much grass in the backyard, or a pool that requires too much of your time and attention.
Knowing what problem downsizing would solve in your life can help you when you’re sorting through your feelings about a possible move. Sometimes, you may be able to find an alternative solution to your current homeownership woes without putting your house up for sale. If your home is too large or the mortgage too high, maybe you can have another family member or roommate move in with you. If you hate taking care of the pool, maybe you can hire a pool maintenance company to come once a week to service it.
Sometimes downsizing really is the best solution! In this case, you’ll want to consider the following:
2) How Much Time Should I Give Myself to Move?
Sorting through a lifetime of stuff takes time. Be honest with yourself about how long it will realistically take you to sort through everything you have, get your home ready for market, purchase a new property, pack, and move.
While no one can predict the future, if you have general deadlines you’ve set for yourself like, “In a few years I want to move closer to my kids” or “Before I retire, I want to purchase a condo by the beach”, take these into account now. Tomorrow always comes much sooner than we expect.
Most experts advise that you should give yourself at least six months to prepare to list your home. During this time, you’ll want to be ruthless in your editing. If you’re at a loss with where to start, grab my free download “101 Things to Get Rid of When Downsizing” to help you figure out what to keep and what to toss!
3) How Do I Want to Feel When This Process is Over or What’s the End Goal?
This is a great question to ask yourself because it helps you discover what’s most important for your next home. For example, if you want to feel “Free” when the downsizing process is over, you’ll want to look at condos, townhomes, or low-maintenance homes that will easily allow you to travel, visit family and friends, or just generally not tie you down with a lengthy home to-do list. If you want to feel “Peaceful,” look for a home in a quiet location or with tranquil spaces that encourage you to relax.
If you ultimately decide that now isn’t the right time to begin the downsizing process, still grab my free download “101 Things to Get Rid of When Downsizing” to have on hand for when you are ready to start simplifying your life. Even if your move is more than a year away, it’s never too soon to start sorting through your possessions now.
If a move is in your future, contact me to get a free estimate of your property’s current value – you might be surprised about what your home is worth in today’s market!