Is Downsizing the Right Step for You?
Top Reasons You May Want to Downsize
There are many reasons for wanting to downsize or simplify your housing situation. Life transitions such as kids moving away to college, retirement, divorce, changes in financial situation, physical limitations, desire for more time to enjoy life, and less time and money spent on keeping up a larger home.
Some of the most common reasons for wanting to downsize are:
- Your home no longer fits your needs
- You want to convert your home equity to income for other purposes
- You are no longer tied to your location
- You want a lifestyle change
- You want to spend less time and money on house and yard maintenance
- You would like to accelerate your retirement by saving more
You've Decided to Downsize — What's Next?
Deciding to downsize from your current home can naturally carry with it some anxieties. You're changing your way of life as you knew it, and that can bring on some challenges. On the other hand, this life transition will open new doors and opportunities. In all the excitement, there are several steps you need to take in order to successfully sell your home with minimal hassle and stress.
- Hire a real estate agent to handle your house search and sale
- Revisit retirement planning and re-assess your estate plan
- Take photos of your home before downsizing
- Start planning for the move and set a target timeline
- Only move things that have a designated space in your new home
- Purge paperwork
- Eliminate rooms you won’t have in your new home
- Get rid of duplicates
- Only make yes or no piles – no maybes
How to Happily Downsize to a Smaller Home
If you want to make the most of your next big move, here are some things to remember for a seamless, happy life transition:
- Set new life goals
- Find purpose and determine lifestyle needs
- Focus on quality and multi-purpose spaces
- Connect with your new community while staying connected to previous
- Plan your dream vacation
- Pick up a new hobby
- Volunteer with a local charity
Pros & Cons of Condo Living
So you've thought about it and decided that your next home should be a condo? Here's why that could be a good idea for you — and where it could potentially go wrong:
- Less maintenance and upkeep
- More affordable
- Locations are often more desirable
- Increased security
- HOA and amenities
- Social connections and activities
- One-level living space
- Lack of privacy
- Less space
- No land ownership
- Limited storage
- More efficient layout
- Parking limitations
- HOA fees and regulations
- Leaving existing neighbors and community
Ask These Questions Before Buying Your Condo
If you've weighed your options and decided to downsize to a condo over a single-family home but don't know where to start, you're not alone. Transitioning from being a homeowner with land and certain responsibilities — and privileges — to living amongst others in a close, community space can be daunting. Here are some questions to ask when buying your first condo in Boston:
- What is the assessment of the building’s remaining useful life and of its systems? Are there any independent reports available to review?
- What is the condo/HOA fee and what is included?
- Are there any upcoming special assessments? Has an independent audit been done with regard to future required repairs and renovations to the building?
- What does the master insurance policy cover?
- Is there parking assigned to each unit or available for lease/purchase? Are there spaces for visitors?
- What are the qualifications to run for the condo board? How and how often are elections held? Are there term limits for officers and how long is a term of service?
- What renovations and modifications to units are allowed?
- Are pets allowed and under what conditions?
- Are sublets permissible? What percentage of the building is owner-occupied?
- Is it possible to speak to current owners/residents?
Best practice: Engage a real estate attorney to review all documents related to the purchase of a condo.
Find a Chestnut Hill, Brookline, or Newton Home With Me
Whether you're downsizing to a single-family house or condo, I'm here to help you make the best choices and avoid the pitfalls of buying and selling in the current market. Contact me online or call my office at 571-481-0440!