Downsizing Mistakes

As you start thinking about downsizing, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

LOVELAND – It seems that everyone needs to downsize at some point in their lives. Some do so because of an empty nest and others as a way to reduce home ownership expenses. As you start thinking about downsizing, it’s important to avoid some common mistakes. Below are a few examples.

Going too small
There are many levels to downsizing. You can drop down in size just a little bit, such as from a big 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom, or you can dramatically go from a 4 bedroom to a studio apartment or a tiny house. A common mistake is making too big a leap. Extreme transitions can be difficult to adjust to and you may find yourself unhappy as a result. The key is to find a comfortable next step. Your next home need not be a permanent one, just a logical transition from your current living situation.

Not preserving quality of life
Adjusting to change is difficult. Preserving certain aspects of your living is important. For instance, if you enjoy gardening, moving to a single floor condo with no outdoor gardening space would negatively impact your quality of life. Think about aspects of a home that are important to you and find downsize options that enable to retain some key aspects of your daily living.

Not involving the kids
Although your kids may no longer live at home, they likely have a strong connection to it. Selling that family home can often be more emotional for them than for you! Be sure to involve your kids in the process. Even if their preferences ultimately have little bearing on your decision, making them feel included and considered can go a long way to easing the transition for them.

Miscalculating the savings
The ultimate goal of downsizing is normally to save money. Larger homes not only have higher mortgages, but they also cost more to heat and maintain. As you consider the benefits of downsizing, be sure to take a realistic look at what you are actually saving versus what you are giving up. Smaller homes are not always cheaper! Consider both short-term and long-term figures for an accurate financial picture.

Summary
When done right, downsizing can be a beneficial life change. By giving careful thought to the above, you can avoid making common mistakes in the process. With any real estate venture, be sure to work with an experienced local real estate agent. Your agent will help you make smarter home buying and home selling decisions.

By Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance. Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail suzanneplewes@remax.net.