Have you been thinking of downsizing? Maybe you’d like to do less maintenance on your property, have lower monthly payments, have a smaller home that’s easier to get around, or maybe you want a home that you can easily “lock up and go” to visit grandkids or family in other places.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to downsize, you may also feel you have certain obstacles to doing so, such as
- “What am I going to do with all this stuff?”
- “What repairs and updates will I need to do to get the most money for my home?”
- “How much can I expect to get for my home?”
- “Will I be able to find a new place that’s as good as this one?”
- “Will I be able to afford the mortgage on my new house, even while living off a single income or retirement income?”
- “Can I find a knowledgeable real estate agent who will understand my needs and guide me through the process without being too pushy?”
The PiperPartners Team has worked with dozens of clients looking to downsize over the years, and we completely understand your thoughts and frustrations. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to downsizing, which will walk you through potential solutions to questions and challenges you may be facing.
What am I going to do with all this stuff?
If you’re like most people, you may have gathered more stuff over the years than you know what to do with. You’ll need to find a way to work through your items and decide what to keep and what to give away. One book that’s helpful for this is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Her suggestions about going through different categories of items systematically, and keeping only the items that spark joy, has helped many of our clients lighten up their possessions and increase their feelings of satisfaction with what they have. Feel free to give us a call at (734) 845-9700 to talk about this book and learn more.
We have several articles on our blog about how to declutter your home and how to process items that you plan to keep, sell, give away or throw away. You will find everything you need to get started.
What repairs and updates will I need to do to get the most money for my home?
Over the years that you’ve lived in your current place, it’s accumulated wear and tear and consequently needs a few updates and repairs. At the minimum, most homes require fresh paint and new carpeting before being put up for sale. Nothing does more it increase the appeal of a home than paint and flooring. We have trusted vendors who can complete the necessary work.
Oftentimes, what homeowners think they should do, and what they actually should do are different from one another. On top of that, there are some things that may seem like good ideas, but either the cost in executing them or the lack of added value to your home means that they are just not worth the time and effort.
We can help you sort things out. We have resources on the website if you would like to discover on your own or reach out to us for a consultation. There is no charge and we can very quickly get you on track.
How much can I expect to get for my home?
Websites like Zillow that offer automated estimates for home values are popular with buyers and sellers. It is easy to think that their price estimates are accurate. However, often these automated estimates can be by twenty percent or even more. To find out the true value of your home, request a free, hand-prepared property value report from The PiperPartners Team. We’ll use our expertise to prepare a custom report for you that provides an accurate representation of what your home is worth.
Over time, the real estate market has maintained remarkably stable growth, adding about 4 percent in value, on average, per year. After the major economic recession of 07-08, the real estate market has returned to levels at or above where it was before the recession. While no one knows for sure when the real estate market will peak, the most important thing to decide is whether it’s the right time for you to sell, and then to prepare your home for sale in the best way possible.
Will I be able to find a new place that’s as good as this one?
The short answer is yes! We will work with you to understand and clarify your wants and needs. What’s your vision for your life in this future home? What do you want to avoid? Once we understand your wants and needs we can usually identify homes and neighborhoods that probably were not on your list previously. We like to say, once we know what you want, we can take you straight to it!
Will I be able to afford to move? Prices have gone up so much!
If you have been in your home, 20, 30 years or more, you may be shocked when you look at prices and taxes on the new property you will be buying. Talk with a highly qualified, generally local, lender and get pre-approved. A good lender will help you understand your ideal purchase price, your monthly expenses and your costs to close.
Going through a fully documented pre-approval process before home shopping will add a lot of certainties to the home buying process and save you significant amounts of time and money and worry down the road. Ask us about trusted lenders who often have upwards of 30 years of experience in the lending industry and are well respected in the local real estate community.
Can I find a knowledgeable real estate agent understands my goals and needs?
Downsizing from a home you have been in for many years is a major milestone in life! Hopefully, you are able to plan carefully and make your move in a systematic fashion. Done right, you will have the greatest sense of satisfaction and be in the perfect home for the next stage of your life.
Make sure the agent you team up with has the experience and skills needed. When selecting an agent we suggest you look for these qualities:
- Communicates honestly and clearly about the process and challenges.
- Experienced as an agent in the market where you are looking to sell and purchase.
- Willing to give you trusted information on their record as an agent.
- Able to negotiate a good deal and has the track record to back it up.
- Makes you feel at ease and is excited about helping you purchase and sell a property.
- Is a good communicator and is connected with contractors who can assist with the process
- Is willing to meet at your home to explain the process, determine a timeline based on your needs with no obligation.
To find out more about the downsizing process, and how The Piper Partners Team can help, either fill out the form below or give us a call at (734) 845-9700.