8 Mistakes to Avoid When Downsizing Your Home
Once the kids are grown, you want to be debt-free or at least have less space to keep clean. When that happens, you may be thinking about downsizing your home. This can be exciting but also a little scary since it means leaving a comfortable place that’s been part of so many memories. Before getting started on the process, be sure to take the time to think it through and plan. Read on to discover some common mistakes made when downsizing so that you can be sure to avoid them.
1. Failing to Set Goals for Downsizing
Downsizing just because you think you should may not cut it. Make sure you have clear goals for downsizing and moving into a new home. Here are a few popular goals:
- Eliminating or decreasing debt by purchasing a cheaper home.
- Putting the proceeds from the sale into retirement.
- Eliminating a mortgage payment by selling your home and purchasing a cheaper home for cash with the proceeds.
- Saving money by shrinking costs related to utilities and home maintenance.
- Reducing the demands of home upkeep and maintenance by choosing a smaller home and yard.
2. Not Planning for or Recognizing Extra Costs
When selling your current home, there will be realtor fees to pay. Other extra costs can include purchasing a home that needs work or choosing to buy in a community that has homeowner’s dues. If you are moving to an entirely new location, properties may also be more expensive, or property taxes may be higher. It’s important to research all the extra costs associated with selling and moving.
3. Failing to Set Money Aside for Moving
Moving costs money, and it’s very stressful. You can certainly cut costs by moving all of your belongings yourself, but moving companies are very convenient and also carry insurance so that you could be reimbursed if anything breaks. While packing, get rid of belongings that won’t have a place at the new home. It’s a great time to get rid of stuff.
4. Not Considering All of Your Lifestyle Needs
Think about your lifestyle and how your home will fit in with your hobbies, employment, possessions, and free time. Consider whether you will need extra rooms when your kids come to visit. Will you be watching your grandchildren frequently or hosting dinner parties? Think about what your life will be like and how the new home will fit in to meet your needs. Also, be sure to purchase a home with only the rooms and yard that you need.
5. Being Disorganized
Moving can be a fiasco if you are unorganized. When you first start thinking about moving, begin downsizing and organizing your possessions. Go through your entire home room by room and get rid of stuff that you don’t need anymore. Donate the items to charity, or try to make a few extra bucks selling items online. If you need extra help, consider hiring a professional organizer to help you get ready for the move.
6. Taking Too Much Stuff With You
Sentimental items can be difficult to part with, but sometimes it needs to be done. If you absolutely can’t part with some things, consider how you can reduce their footprint. Scan in childhood drawings from your children and keep them on a flash drive. Digitize old photos or home movies and put them on the cloud or on a hard drive. Also, consider your furniture. Think about each room in your new home and what furniture will fit there. Get rid of any furniture that will not be needed in the new home before you move, not after.
7. Not Drafting a Schedule
Diving right into downsizing without much planning can turn the whole process into a mess. Sit down and create a timeline for the downsizing process. Give yourself plenty of time to sort through your belongings, search for the right home to purchase, and make any needed repairs or upgrades to your current home before getting it on the market.
8. Choosing the Wrong Home
Really take the time to weigh all the options when searching for your new home. Would you like a home with no stairs or a condo with no yard, or would you like a yard because gardening is your favorite hobby? Make a list of all of your must-haves before searching for a new home.