How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Homeowners Make During a Downsize

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How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Homeowners Make During a Downsize

Downsizing can be a huge benefit for many different types of people and for various reasons. For seniors, a downsize can make them safer because a smaller home can be more easily modified for accessibility. For those whose older children have just left the nest, a downsize means a reduction in monthly costs as well as less square footage to clean and take care of, which translates to more free time. However, there are some things to consider when it comes to moving into a smaller home, and mistakes are often made due to a lack of preparation.

The good news is that creating a plan for your move will help to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Figuring out your budget is the first step; then, it’s time to plan for the actual packing and moving. This is a very big job that can’t be put off until the last minute, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time and get help along the way. It’s also important to make sure you consider all the costs and how the move will affect your monthly budget. Many people who downsize fail to realize that they won’t see immediate savings right after the move, especially if there are new expenses to worry about, such as covering the cost of repairs in your current home or modifications in the new one.

Here are a few tips on how to make sure your downsize goes smoothly.

Research your funding options

There are many more options for home loans these days than there used to be, so it’s important to research them before making a final decision. A low-interest rate will benefit you for years to come, as will a loan that doesn’t require a huge down payment. An FHA loan is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of money to put down (down payments can be as low as 3.5 percent) or have a short credit history. So, if you’re a first-time buyer this might be your best option.

Don’t be tempted to store belongings

Downsizing requires quite a bit of cleaning, sorting, and decluttering — especially in your closets —  and many people are tempted to store items they know won’t fit in their new home. Worse, they often buy shelving, storage units, or large bins before they’re sure of what their needs will be. It’s best to go through your belongings and figure out what you can sell, donate, or trash. Make some decisions about which pieces you’ll bring to the new house before you even think about storage. This will save you quite a bit of money and hassle down the road.

Don’t procrastinate

It can take a lot of time to get things ready for a move, particularly when it’s a downsize that requires some planning. Give yourself several weeks to prepare, and stay organized so you can keep track of everything you’ve already done and the tasks you still need to take care of before moving day. Write out a checklist and share it with your loved ones so they can help you throughout the process.

Don’t make guesses

Downsizing requires more careful thought than a regular move because the new home won’t have as much room and because one of the main goals is to save money. Rather guessing, get the details in place from the beginning. Measure the rooms in your new place to make decisions about furniture, figure out the costs for the move and for hooking up utilities, and make sure you have help for moving day. Being prepared will help to eliminate stress so you can get through the process smoothly.

There are so many things to think about when you’re getting ready for a downsize that it can be easy to make mistakes if you’re not prepared. Start planning as early as possible and ask for help when you need it so that you can focus on the important details.

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