Is this Year the Time to Downsize?

url-3It’s a new year and now that the market’s bounced back, is it time to finally downsize? Depending on your age, and lifestyle, you might decide to simply buy a smaller house, even in the same neighborhood.  Or, if you decide that you want something with less maintenance, a condo might be a better choice.  Although there are smaller houses in every residential pocket, there are also some condo buildings that are much better than others for downsizers.

Some residential pockets are in areas that were designed for people who own cars and drive. There are no shops or cafe’s within walking distance. Whether it’s a house or a condo, try to stay close to things that interest you, and maybe even that you can walk  to ( great exercise!) It’s a lot better for all of us to ‘walk to the corner store’ instead of driving to it! Location is crucial…if you like a particular area, try and stay close by. You’re moving to a new house….not moving your life!

Is your home too big? Do you want to sell it and find something smaller and more manageable.  What do you need to do to make this happen? Here are a few things to consider.

1. Fix up – Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home, it may need a few fixes to make sure it shows like a model home. While you may not want to put any more money into your home than you have to, updating fixtures, wall coverings, and flooring may go a long way toward enticing a buyer to make an offer. One of the best ways to avoid a major fix up surprise is to hire a home inspector. A professional home inspection will give you an opportunity to fix all the habitability and safety issues before an offer comes your way.

2. Declutter – When it comes to actually having to make decisions on what to do with a lifetime of accumulation, there’s no easy answer.  The best thing to do is start early.  Start removing items from your home. While most of the objects around your house have sentimental value to you, to a buyer they are distractions. A house filled with clutter can scare buyers away. Clutter also makes it hard to get packed once you have that offer. Therefore, the more you can get rid of or put in storage before you start showing your home the easier it will be to sell and consequently move. If the kids don’t want the things you are considering getting rid of, then rent a storage facility.  You can move the items there for a short period while you get used to the idea of living without them.  Next thing you know, you’ll probably feel more comfortable with giving them away, selling them, or putting them in the trash. If all else fails, hire an expert to help you organize and make some of these decisions.  In the long run you’ll be happy you unloaded all the figurative and literal weight.

3. Paint – A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a home. You may love the colors you chose to cover your walls, but often they are not the most trendy colors. Sometimes the best thing to do is have your walls painted in a more neutral color. It also may be beneficial to remove dated wallpapers and boarders.

4. Modernize – Does you home still have a chandelier from 1977? What about green shag carpet? Quite often we don’t recognize the things that time has left behind, so it may pay to hire an expert who can give you the hard truth about what furnishings and decor need to go.  Sometimes simple changes to fixtures, hinges, and door knobs are all the changes you need.

5. Sell or Store? – Along the same lines of decluttering, you’ll want to do an exhaustive inventory of what things you need to put in the garage sale or give to Goodwill, and what things you need to put into storage. If your plans are to move to a much smaller home, you’ll not only want to remove these items while showing your home, but you’ll need to make some of these hard decisions on what to get rid of permanently. So the sooner the better.

6. Comparative Market Analysis – What has recently sold in your neighborhood and for how much? You’ll want to get a realistic idea of what the current market value is for your home. It doesn’t matter what you paid for it ten years ago. It matters what like homes have sold for in the last six months to a year. So even though you’d like to get a certain amount for your home, the market may not support that number. Make sure you are realistic about your home’s value so you have an idea about what you’ll be able to afford in purchasing your downsized home.

Downsizing is a challenging task.  It’s hard enough just buying a home and moving all your belongings. If you’re ready to start the process, contact Petersen Partners at 678-439-6699 or You can also visit us online at to request your free market analysis and browse for available homes in your neighborhood.



Posted in Home Ownership.

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