Whenever you make a major life change, even one you’re looking forward to, there is a certain amount of stress involved with the transition. Downsizing is no different, as it comes with a lengthy checklist, and if problems arise, things can go downhill quickly. But there are ways to manage this transition so that it’s less bumpy and more manageable.
- R. Alexa Real Estate Group understands the common pitfalls homeowners encounter during the downsizing process, and that’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide.
The Devil Is In the Details
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when downsizing is to overlook their lifestyle needs. The last thing you want to do is move without taking into account storage for your lawn equipment or a fenced yard for your pooch. With that in mind, think about your circumstances, not only now but also down the road.
As an example, is it possible that your family will grow in the future? Whether in the form of a furry friend, child, or elderly loved one, you want enough space — and the right kind of space — for everyone to be comfortable. Will you start your own home business at some point in time? Think through the details of your circumstances, and then ensure you make accommodations for all your interests and family members.
Be Smart About Pricing Your Home
When the time comes to sell your current home, you obviously want to sell for the best price possible. You can get a rough idea when you check out R. Alexa Real Estate Group’s local listings. Here, you can see what comparable houses are selling for and how these homes are staged (a little recon never hurts!). Ultimately, however, your real estate agent will be your best resource when determining your listing price. Looking at comparable properties yourself is a good idea, but you might miss key information, such as recent upgrades or property defects, that can make your home look more or less valuable.
While you’re at it, get a feel for the market’s temperature so you go into this process with your eyes completely open. According to Realtor.com, the Houston market is a seller’s market, with a median sale price of $314,900. Having this figure isn’t a guarantee that your home will sell for the median price, but knowing what you might have to work with will help you make a more informed decision when searching for your new home.
Get An Idea of What You Can Afford to Buy
Once you have a realistic idea of what you could get for your home, you’ll have an easier time determining what you can afford so that you can begin to shop for a mortgage. Having already purchased a home before, you’re well aware of what to look for in a loan, and you could be in a better place to make this process easier.
If your credit history has improved and you have enough for a down payment, you could secure a pretty competitive interest rate. And if you get pre-approved, you’ll be an even more attractive buyer in the current market. When you survey potential lenders, look for well-reviewed companies that offer an easy home loan experience. For example, if you want a PennyMac mortgage, this top-rated agency offers a simple way to start your application, you can get instant rate quotes, and you can quickly connect with a loan officer to begin the process. Regardless of the lender you choose, a smooth process will make this major life transition less of a headache.
Cull Excess Stuff
Downsizing means you will have less space when you move. All too often, homeowners wait to cull their belongings, or worse, they don’t pare down at all. If you live in a big house that is filled to the brim, the sooner you can get started on editing, the better.
Culling your stuff can be the most challenging part of the downsizing puzzle. If you’re struggling with where to start, try setting a deadline for decluttering if you don’t have one already. Save only your necessary and most personally valued items, and part ways with the rest. And for the best success, let go of any notion of buying new goodies until after the move, just dig into what you already have. Homeowners often find it’s a terrific reality check on how much they don’t need the latest and greatest thing.
Remember Big Belongings
Do you have a big, comfy, overstuffed sofa for watching your 65-inch TV? Or, is a California king part of your good night’s sleep? Many homeowners don’t give much thought to how well their current belongings will fit into the new space. Think through the size restrictions of your next home. If you need to ditch some big pieces, the ideal time is now, while you have time to rehome them properly and before you go to the trouble of trying to make them fit. To help you with planning, Plan Your Room allows you to configure layouts and furniture positions.
Rethink the Trash Bin
While it’s great to get rid of unneeded things, many homeowners miss out on opportunities for their old belongings. For instance, you can have a yard sale or sell things online, then put the money you make toward your move. Another idea is to donate items to charities so others can enjoy them, and Moving.com points out some organizations will even pick up your stuff. Also note worn or broken items can often be recycled, rather than tossed into the trash.
Are you ready to take the plunge to a smaller, simpler abode? Think carefully about space requirements and what you’ll do with all your stuff, and you’re sure to see success. Downsizing can be a healthy, happy choice, but you want to avoid common pitfalls
When it’s time to take the leap into selling and buying a home, you want an expert real estate team in your corner. The R. Alexa Real Estate Group has been helping Houston homeowners buy and sell for more than 20 years through top-notch service and strong client relationships. Reach out today to connect with one of our experienced agents! 713.705.0086