The Lowdown on Downsizing Disasters (That you Can Avoid)

Posted by Alex Narodny on Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 at 10:16am

By, Lucille Rosetti @ The Bereaved

Everybody makes mistakes, but when it comes to something as important as moving into a smaller home, you can’t afford too many setbacks.  Although it seems like the process is pretty straightforward, there is a lot to think about and many issues that can arise on your journey to smaller living. In addition to the unknown and unforeseeable, there are also plenty of hiccups you can run into. Things like spending more than you should and making the move on the fly may leave you stuck scratching your head and trying to figure out what to do next.

The Narodny Team invites you to consider four mistakes to avoid if you want the process to move along seamlessly. 

Buying more than you can afford.

Real estate prices aren’t exactly low. This means even a smaller house may wind up costing you more today than a large house would have 10 years ago. Survey property listings to get an idea of the local market and average sale price to help prepare your budget. Once you know how much you can afford, you should maximize your mortgage budget by applying for the right loan and keeping in mind what, if any, modifications might be necessary to enhance your lifestyle. This is especially important if you are downsizing due to age or a disability.

If you or a loved one in the market for a smaller house is a veteran, one of you may be eligible for a special home loan with lower interest rates. Veterans have access to VA loans that do not require a down payment or private mortgage insurance, which can easily add more than $100 per month to a mortgage depending on the purchase price of your home. If you’re not a veteran and have less-than-ideal credit, an FHA loan may be your best option.

When it comes to applying for a loan, debt could be holding you back from moving forward. Talking to the right people and learning how to minimize your debt can put you on the path to more financial freedom, and make you more attractive to lenders. Look to the assistance of a debt relief specialist to understand your rights and options when it comes to winnowing down your debt.

Forgetting the measuring tape.

Another frequent folly among those moving into fewer square feet is assuming their furniture and appliances will magically fit into their new space. As Home Depot explains, taking accurate measurements is essential to ensuring that a refrigerator, for example, can be delivered (or, in this case, moved) without hassle. Not knowing the measurements is a sure way to fast-track to the furniture store for a crash course on how to choose the right pieces for a small space.

Failing to plan ahead.

Moving requires lots of planning, whether you’re moving into a smaller space, upsizing your lifestyle, or trekking across the country. Not having a concrete plan in place can thwart your efforts for a smooth move. When downsizing is your goal, minimizing your belongings should be at the top of your to-do list. MyMove explains that not only is taking less stuff with you cheaper and more convenient, it’s also possible to turn the items left in your attic into cold hard cash.

Plan to purge at least three months before the move so that you can give your moving company a more accurate idea of their task. Waiting until the last minute will cost more and will work to slow you down and add more stress.

Trying to do it alone.

There are lots of things that you can do by yourself, but moving shouldn’t be one of them. You have many resources available that can help streamline the process. This includes, in no particular order, a moving company (you can expect to pay $1,250 on average for a local move), senior downsizing service, and your real estate agent. All of these agencies and individuals can play a significant role in getting you where you want to be with your stuff and sanity intact.

Don’t forget to reach out to friends and family, who will be more than happy to pitch in. In addition to making the work go faster, including your loved ones in the process will help you bond over the memories you’ve made together in the home you are leaving.

Downsizing is not always easy, but avoiding these few mistakes can make the road ahead a little less bumpy. Buy only what you can afford, make sure your stuff will fit, make a plan, and ask a few friends to lend a hand. It also doesn’t hurt to make a to-do list that includes these tasks, so that you can ensure a more efficient downsizing process. 

If you’re considering a downsize into a smaller home, turn to the experience of the real estate pros at the Narodny Team to find the perfect place for your next chapter!

Leave A Comment

Format example:

What's Your Home Worth? Find out now, for Free.

Let's Go