Do you have an older relative who would benefit from downsizing to a smaller home? Try these five tips for helping them complete the process as painlessly as possible…
As we get older, what we need in a home can change. That’s where downsizing comes in. For many older adults, moving into a smaller living space can mean a safer lifestyle, less day-to-day upkeep, and more money for a rainy day. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for those who have a lot to gain from downsizing to feel overwhelmed by (or even opposed to) the idea. If you have a loved one who could benefit from moving into a smaller home, try these five tips for easing them into the process.
1) Have the talk
Talking to a relative about downsizing isn’t always easy, so it’s important to be prepared. Start by doing your homework. If your loved one is budget conscious, look into how much they might save by opting for a condo in the area. If they value time with family, consider researching housing options close to the people they care most about. When it comes time for “the talk,” share your concerns about their current living situation, highlight the positive aspects of downsizing, and be ready to listen. Remember that nobody likes to feel as though their independence is being taken from them, so being respectful is key.
2) Simplify the decluttering process
Homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of possessions over the years, and paring them down is the first step towards living comfortably in a smaller space. Once your loved one decides to downsize, they should start decluttering as soon as possible. This step can take time, especially when belongings with sentimental value are involved. You can help simplify the process by taking a strategic approach. Set aside blocks of time to help them sort through their rooms, decide which items they no longer need, and coordinate donation pick-up times.
3) Find the right smaller space
Most homeowners form deep feelings of attachment to their living spaces. If they’ve been in the same house for years, it may be difficult for your relative to imagine a happy life anywhere else. One of the best ways to overcome this initial resistance is by presenting them with options they can get excited about. A knowledgeable real estate agent who knows the condo or townhouse market can help. If you work with a true professional, they’ll have the expertise to match your loved one’s needs and preferences with the perfect smaller space.
4) Measure everything carefully
Once your family member has chosen the right home, it’s time to start planning for a smooth and efficient move. One of the biggest mistakes many downsizers make is forgetting to measure the rooms they’ll be moving into. If your relative’s furniture and decor won’t fit inside their new living space, it’s better to know sooner rather than later. In the weeks leading up to the move, be sure to carefully measure all relevant rooms, staircases, and doorways. Note the dimensions of any furniture your loved one hopes to bring with them so that you can plan accordingly.
5) Maximize their ROI
Many downsizers decide to move for budgetary reasons, but living with less square footage isn’t just about reducing day-to-day expenses. The process can provide an impressive return on your loved one’s home investment—which will mean a more sizeable nest egg for them, and less worry for you. The keys to making a profitable sale include careful home preparations, highly-accurate pricing, and strategic marketing efforts. The right real estate agent will have the expertise to help your relative find the ideal smaller space and sell their current home for the highest price possible.
Downsizing can be complicated, frustrating, and time-consuming for all involved—but it doesn’t have to be. By thinking through the steps you’ll need to take ahead of time and finding a professional with the right expertise, you can ensure that your loved one’s transition to a smaller space is a smooth one.
For 30 years, our clients have trusted us to minimize risk, offer unbiased opinions and ensure a sale at the highest possible price. We can do the same for you. Contact us today, and we’ll get started working for you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 416-441-2888 – we’ll be here to help.