Sparked by growing environmental consciousness and life simplification, downsizing your home to a “tiny house” is a recent phenomenon you may have heard of.1
But even if you’re not quite ready to sleep in a little loft, life does change. Kids head to college, or your retirement comes into view. Other times the physical requirements of a home - too many stairs or a yard that requires a lot of upkeep - become difficult to manage.
Even just wanting to live simply at any stage of life might leave you asking, “Should we downsize?”
The advantages of downsizing (or “rightsizing”) are increasingly recognized. Not only do smaller homes typically cost less, they also take less time and effort to maintain.
No matter the reason, downsizing your home can quickly become overwhelming without a plan to accomplish it. Our 5-step guide to “less is more” will help you in your reduction efforts … and achieve success.
READY TO DOWNSIZE YOUR HOME?
1. Clearly Define Your End Goals
To help ensure a favorable downsizing outcome, get ahead of the process by clarifying what you ultimately want to achieve. Thinking about this in terms of categories will be even more beneficial. For example, some living environment considerations:
- No stairs
- Updates completed by seller
- Fenced yard
What about lifestyle?
- Convenient access to medical care
- Close to family
- Neighborhood community or certain amenities
- Budget needs for ongoing utilities and maintenance
Additionally, how long do you plan to stay in your new home? Your answer may be linked to whether you think your needs will change during that time.
Ultimately, the best approach is to spend some time to create a thorough “wish list.” Then, prioritize your wants and needs in order of importance. To help you get started, KC Homes 365 offers a simple and easy Buyer Questionnaire. We'll also assess the value of your current home so you can set a realistic budget for the new one.
2. Begin Your Search Early for the Ideal New Home
The number of desired features for your new home will likely influence the listings you’ll have to choose from. A higher number of “must haves” on your list could mean a bit more time to find the home that’s just right.
That said, the earlier the better for contacting a KC Homes 365 team agent. We'll help you find potential homes and narrow them down. As local market experts, we know the particulars of all the communities in the Kansas City area that might best meet your needs.
To begin, we can create a search for you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This will enable you to receive notifications for homes that meet your criteria as soon as they hit the market. Setting up this search a few months before you’re actually ready to buy will give you insight to the homes available in the area you want to move. You'll also be able to see how well they fit into your budget.
Once we’ve helped you find the perfect home, we’ll implement our negotiation strategies to ensure you submit a competitive bid. Plus, we have a solid network of trusted and reliable vendors who can provide storage, moving assistance, and any pre-sale home repairs or improvements. We want the move to be as easy on you as possible!
Relocating out of state?
Lastly, we can offer valuable assistance even if you’re planning to relocate out of town. Our team has access to a nationwide network of quality agents and we will personally interview/select 1-3 in your target area to help you with your search and provide superior service.
Curious as to what your home would bring in today's market?
3. List Your Current Home on the Market
Once you’re ready to put downsizing plans into motion, you’ll want a smooth process for selling your current home. The KC Homes 365 Team offers a client-focused real estate experience that removes as much stress as possible. We’ll also apply smart strategies to make sure you get maximum revenue from the sale.
Contact us for a free consultation on important selling topics, such as:
- Pricing your home correctly in today's market
- Our strategies to bring top dollar for your home
- How our complimentary staging and professional photography make your home look its very best to potential buyers
Additionally, we utilize tech-savvy marketing within online and social media platforms to connect with buyers. We also have access to a network of local buyer’s agents and will ensure they know about your property to share with their clients.
A smart way to minimize the stress that moving can bring is to prepare as far in advance as possible. This is especially true when you have items you’ve stored or collected over the years that won’t fit into your downsized home.
A smaller home means less space for furniture and other belongings, and sorting through an entire house will take time. That said, determine early on which items to keep/take with you and what to sell or donate.
It is important to note here that downsizing and parting with personal possessions can be very emotional. Starting early will provide time to process memories and feelings around items you come across and want to reflect on.
| To help, here are a few tips that can minimize the potential discomfort around the process:
- Begin with a space or room that is smaller and less personal - such as a laundry room or linen/coat closet - and work your way up to larger areas.
- Focus first on purging any duplicate items or things you don’t use on a regular basis.
- If you have family heirlooms with sentimental value or items that might be useful to someone else, consider whether there are family members who would love to have them.
- For larger pieces, kids artwork, smaller tokens and souvenirs, etc., you might keep a few favorites and photograph the rest to put into a scrapbook.2
- Be sure to take breaks if you begin to feel very emotional or overwhelmed. If you’re helping a friend or family member with a move, try to be a compassionate listener if they want to stop and share stories about particular items or memories.3 This can be therapeutic for them and an opportunity for you to learn family history that may otherwise have been forgotten.
- Most importantly, try to make sure that any items you keep still move you towards achieving the goals you outlined in Step 1. For example, if you want a home that takes less time to clean, reduce the number of knick knacks that would require frequent dusting. If you’re moving closer to young grandchildren, keep shatterproof kitchenware over fragile china.
5. Be Sure to Get Help Where and When You Need It
Undoubtedly, moving is a stressful process no matter the situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Or, consider hiring a professional home organizer to assist with decluttering and packing. Full-service moving companies might also be an option, depending on the type and number of items you need to move as you downsize your home.
Some companies offer senior move managers who assist older adults and their families with both the emotional and physical aspects of moving and downsizing.4 A list of these managers who are accredited by the National Association of Senior Move Managers can be found at https://www.nasmm.org/find/index.cfm.
If you find yourself concerned with financial constraints, you might consider tapping into the equity in your home prior to selling it. We can connect you with a trustworthy lender who can help you explore that option. It's important that you can afford any necessary move assistance to ensure your transition goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible.
IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO DOWNSIZE?
If your current home no longer suits your needs, KC Homes 365 would love to help you explore your options. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.