Homeowners in Massachusetts have many reasons for downsizing. Some want to move because of retirement, and others move because their kids have grown up and moved out. Others want to live simpler lives.
How Do I Downsize Before I Move?
It can be quite a daunting task, downsizing and moving. What can you do before the move to make things easier for yourself?
- Start early – There’s no time like the present to start planning your big move. You’ll need to look for a smaller home to downsize to, think about the lack of room for all your belongings, and emotionally prepare yourself.
- Make a list – Walk through each room in your home and make a list of items you want to keep and items you need to get rid of. Think practically, and if you’re unsure of getting rid of something, ask yourself if you really need it and if you can live without it.
- Involve your kids – Often, we keep items to give to our kids or grandkids. Involving them as you make a list of all your things will allow them to choose what they want or don’t want. Not everyone wants family heirlooms or the very first chair you bought 50 years ago when you met your spouse!
- Sell or donate your things – Once you’ve decided what needs to go, consider giving a few things away to those who need them. Charities, a friend who’s struggling – there’s always someone who needs a bit of help. The rest can be sold online, or arrange a yard sale and let go of the clutter!
At What Age Should Seniors Downsize?
A study from the UK suggests that the perfect age to downsize is 64. This is because most people in the study agree that they will still feel young enough to make a move. Physical and mental fitness plays a massive role in determining the right age.
If your health is deteriorating quicker than you expected, it might be a could choice to downsize into a home with no steps and very little maintenance.
If you’re unsure when the best time is to downsize, work out a timeline when you expect all your kids are out of the house and plan a date that best suits you. It will make the transition smoother with a plan in place, and you’ll also be in the right headspace.
What Should I Look for When Downsizing a House?
The first thing you need to look for is the size of the home. Will it be costly to maintain, and will it be sufficient over the years should you face health challenges? Look for a house with no stairs and a small garden – you don’t have to give up your favorite hobbies!
Is the neighborhood friendly, and do you see yourself living there over a long period? Are you close to stores, or are you stuck in the middle of nowhere? Be practical when you look for a house to downsize to.
Is it Smart to Downsize Your Home?
Downsizing your home comes with many advantages.
- Living in your home for a long while can increase the value of your property. If you haven’t already paid off your mortgage, you should be close to it.
- You will have a lot of equity leftover if you buy a smaller and cheaper home.
- You will get to buy a new home in cash and live mortgage-free.
- Property taxes and insurance costs will reduce, and you get to save money.
- There’s less upkeep when downsizing to a smaller home, which means lower bills. You get to save both time and money.
- If you’re older and retired, you can choose a property that’s better suited to your needs. You can find a home with no stairs and a smaller garden to avoid maintenance.
With advantages come disadvantages. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Downsizing to a smaller home will result in fewer rooms for guests.
- A smaller home will provide less space, so you might feel cramped with less room to move around in.
- You’ll have to get rid of some of your belongings to make everything fit into a smaller space. This could result in emotional attachments as there are memories tied to some items.
If you’re unsure if downsizing is a smart move, think about each room in your house and how often you use these rooms. You and your family are most likely spending more time in a few of the rooms. You can ask yourself if much of your home’s square footage gets used for living or storage.
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Whether or not it’s a smart idea is a decision you and your family make together.
How to Downsize / Declutter Your Belongings
Once you have a list in place of what you want to keep or get rid of, choose a room to start in. Get boxes to store the items you’re keeping until you move, and put everything you want to sell or give away into another corner of the room.
Box up and move out all the items you plan to get rid of to prevent you from changing your mind. Don’t second guess yourself. See this as a cleansing ritual! These are all just things. Do you really still need that chair from 50 years ago that you bought when you first moved out on your own?
Keep your most sentimental and valuable items if you feel it’s hard to let go. Whether it be a photograph or a keepsake from your honeymoon, these are your memories and deserve a small space in your new home.
Downsizing your home can be a significant move both emotionally and financially. Many memories get made in your home, and sometimes letting go is hard for us to do. Once you’ve decided to downsize and come up with a plan, everything else will fall into place.
Need Help Downsizing?
If you’re ready to downsize your home in Massachusetts, we can help you sell your house for top dollar. We buy houses for cash in an as-is condition through our “Fast Cash Offer” option.
We can help you find a smaller home where you can build new memories. Contact us if you need more information from one of our licensed real estate agents.
To get a free, no-obligation cash offer, or you want to discuss your situation further, then call us at 781-309-7085 today!