There’s a growing trend of people moving closer to the City, looking for walkability and easier commutes. I’ve had several conversations recently with homeowners ready to downsize and forgo the space for added convenience. Interestingly, it’s not just retirees. People of all ages and stages of life are deciding that they just want a simpler lifestyle with less space. Before you put your home on the market and commit to something smaller, like a condo, here are a few things to consider in going from “big to small”:
Hi everybody, it’s Ruth. I want to talk a few minutes about downsizing, moving from a bigger home to a smaller home, moving from big house to small house, or a condominium. And because I’ve had this conversation about three or four times just in the past couple of weeks, and I think a lot of people can relate to this topic. This is not a topic only for people who have an empty nest, who no longer have a need for a big house, but also for a lot of young families as well, who are looking for a simpler lifestyle, or maybe a lifestyle closer to the city, a more walkable lifestyle, as people are entertaining less in their home, and have less of a need for that spaciousness of a house.
A lot are enjoying an urban lifestyle more where you’re foregoing the space for the walkability, and for the accessibility of the city. Most times it’s a lifetime … most people that I’ve spoke with, it’s a lifestyle consideration, not an economic consideration so much, but here are a few things I want you to think about if you’re thinking about a move from big to small, a downsizing move.
So, first of all, I want you to start eliminating stuff now before you start really thinking about your next home. One of the reasons for this is to get used to having less stuff, to get used to needing less closet space. That is the issue that we’re coming up against over and over again when looking at smaller homes with buyers who are moving away from a big house, so start living with the less stuff.
Also, consult your real estate agent to talk about what you should be leaving in the home, so it shows well if you do choose to sell the bigger house that you’re living in right now before you get rid of everything. But certainly start with elimination of stuff from the house.
Next, I want you to talk to your financial planner and have a very clear conversation about what it is you can afford once you sell the bigger home, what else you can afford if you want to also help family members, if you want to maybe move to a smaller condominium, but maybe it has a very high condo fee as well, so have the conversation. Be very clear about your affordability before you start this move.
Scope out locations. A lot of times we think a certain is going to be perfect for us and then when push comes to shove, well, maybe we don’t really want to live there. Take a look at a few locations if you thought your whole life I’m going to love living right in the middle of Harvard Square. Well, spend some time there. Walk around there. Make sure you really do enjoy it. Make sure you will enjoy the buildings that are available to you in Harvard Square before you make a commitment, and also look at some of the alternatives. Maybe also look at Coolidge Corner, or some area in Somerville, or maybe a smaller place downtown. Take a look. Become very familiar with the different areas and the different lifestyles you will enjoy in those areas.
Fourth consideration, I want you to think in terms of a 7 to 10 year timeline. It is very tempting to look for our forever home, for the home we’re going to live in for the next 30 years or so. It is tempting to do so, but it is extremely difficult. It becomes an overwhelming decision, and no matter where you are in your life cycle, I do always suggest buyers think about 7 to 10 year terms. It is a much more manageable decision, and honestly you really don’t know where life is going to take you that far ahead.
All of the properties I’ve purchased have been with the consideration of the next five years. I own them well after five years afterwards, but it certainly made the decision easy. If you have any more questions about the idea of downsizing, about how to solve this puzzle of big home to smaller home, between all the considerations you have to make, both financial and non-financial, give us a call. We’re happy to answer any questions. Me and my team are here to help. Call, write, text, email, love hearing from you. Talk to you soon.