Empty nest feeling too empty? Is your single-family home (or large condo) feeling too big now that the kids have moved out? Or maybe you're tired of mowing that corner lot or caring for that huge mango tree.
If you've been in your home for 50 years - or even 15 years - thinking about downsizing can be overwhelming. Luckily, with the help of a knowledgeable REALTOR®, finding a new home that's just right for your needs doesn't have to be a hassle.
Watch Locations REALTORS® Brandon Lau and Crystal Montrone share their tips for finding your right-size home.
Prepping your home for sale
Our current market conditions favor sellers – especially those with a single-family home in older, established neighborhoods – making it a good time to downsize for sellers who have been considering the move for some time. When preparing your long-time home for sale, our experts give the following tips:
- Plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of time to decide which items you will be taking with you and which items can be given to family, friends, a charity or sold. Create a schedule for milestone, like meeting with your REALTOR® and listing dates.
- Get organized. Consider enlisting the help of a professional organizer if you’re having trouble letting go of clutter.
- Pack smart. Start your packing early. If you know you will be taking certain items with you, consider placing them in storage before listing your current home. Label or color-code boxes for easy unpacking.
- Stage your home. Remove your personal décor (including family photographs), and repaint or re-carpet with neutral colors, if necessary.
- Call the pros. Consider hiring a professional home stager to show your home in its best possible light. You might want to arrange for a professional cleaning, too. Professional photographs are also a must.
Find a "right-size" home
Finding your just-right home doesn't necessarily mean a change in lifestyle. Your next home may have a similar square footage to your current home, but the layout may lend itself to aging in place better. Or you may choose a town home or condo that will not require yard maintenance or major home repairs. A few more things to consider when right-sizing:
- Prioritize amenities. Consider what types of amenities are most important to you. Is it a pool? An exercise room? Landscaping? Security?
- Age-friendly features. If you plan to age in place in your next home - that is, live there as long as is possible for you - look for a single-level home or at least a master suite on the first level. In the kitchen, look for easy-to-reach cabinets and “comfort-height” appliances (like a split-double oven). In the bath, look for comfort-height toilets, no-threshold showers, anti-bacterial materials and finishes that require less maintenance.
- Convenient location. If driving is an issue, or it could become one, look for easy access to public transportation, and close proximity to health care, the grocery store and other vital services.