Your Guide to Downsizing in Houston
Making the choice to downsize is a big decision. Divorce, adult children leaving the home, retirement, a drop in income, a desire for less upkeep, and other reasons can factor into the decision to move. Whatever your reason is for thinking about downsizing, you’ll want to know what to consider when making the leap to a smaller home. Check out this guide on downsizing your Houston home to learn about what to expect from the process.
1.) Know Your Timing – And Your Reason
Timing your move is critical, and knowing when you’re ready is the first step. According to the National Association of Realtors®, buyers are increasingly purchasing smaller homes so they can fit more into their budgets. There’s no doubt that larger homes necessitate more cleaning and maintenance, and the heating and cooling bills of larger homes can place strain on budgets too. If homeowners stay for too long in a home that’s no longer well-suited to them, it can cost thousands of dollars and even contribute to stress-related health issues.
If the reason for a move is health or age-related, remember that waiting too long can complicate the process since health issues can impede a move. It is always easier to organize and plan for a move on your own terms.
In addition, you should know your real estate market. The average value of a home exceeded $400,000 in 2022, well surpassing previous records. Depending on the market and individual situation, sellers who are open to living in a smaller home can potentially profit from their decision to downsize. If your reason for downsizing is to save money, a profit can be pretty appealing.
2.) Know What You Can Sacrifice
Ask yourself what purpose each of the rooms in your home has. Maybe a vacant home office has accidentally turned into a storage room, or an adult child’s bedroom remains even though they no longer live at home. If the room no longer serves you, ask yourself if you need the extra space. You may decide, for example, that you don’t need it or that you would be happy to use the extra space for another reason.
If rooms you might do without contain many items, you may need to reorganize. This process may entail donating belongings, throwing things out, or distributing objects to other rooms. Give yourself some grace during this process – it can take some time.
Your new home may not have as much storage as you’re used to. Identify what items you truly love versus which ones you’re neutral about. Featured: A walk-in closet at 1639 Arlington Street
Keep in mind that if your goal is to move to an apartment from a house with a garage, you likely won’t have storage for things like tools. Set aside your must-haves and consider a garage sale or online listings for the rest.
3.) Evaluate Your Needs
Once you have a better idea of what kind of space you require, make a list of what you’re looking for in a new home. Rather than give yourself a hard estimate of the square footage you’d like, give yourself a range. Some floor plans are more efficient than others, and distribution of square footage matters.
Understanding your needs in the present and for the future is crucial to happiness in your new home. Things to consider:
Will this be your last home purchase? If so, you’ll want to take your long-term health into consideration. A single-story home offers advantages to those who wish to age in place, and there are a variety of other accessibility features that can improve safety and comfort. Purchasing an ADA-compliant home can prevent buyers from undergoing the stress and financial hassle of expensive renovations. You can learn more about house-hunting for an accessible home here.
Single-story homes like 8110 James Franklin Street can eliminate the need for an additional move if stairs become an issue later in life.
Who will live in the home? When you choose to downsize, it is a decision that is made to benefit you. However, life has a way of throwing surprises. Adult children may return to the nest, or ill or aging family members may need to move in to receive care. Evaluate for yourself how likely such scenarios are in your situation. If the downsize is a result of a divorce, you may also take custody into consideration when determining how much space is needed.
What are your maintenance needs? You’ll want to be clear about your day-to-day maintenance limitations. Perhaps a large lawn is out of the question, for example, but you’d actually be okay with maintaining a pool because you’d get more enjoyment out of it. It’s also valuable to take overall maintenance into consideration, especially if budget consciousness is top of mind. A home may tick all of your most critical boxes, but if its roof will need to be replaced soon, for example, it may not be as budget-friendly as it appears.
What are your preferred amenities? Houston is loaded with communities that fit a variety of needs. Some are located close to restaurants and shopping, and others are central to business, medical facilities, or entertainment. Ask yourself what qualities you’d like out of your community. Perhaps a backyard pool is something you could go without, but you’d love to live in an active 55+ community with access to a pool and tennis courts. Identify your must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves, and keep a list handy for the next step.
4.) Hire A Realtor®
If you’re searching for a smaller home, you’ll have plenty of competition. Standalone homes priced below $400,000, townhomes and condos, and apartments are all in demand in Houston as of September 2022. Low inventory across these home types means that your search may take some time, especially if you have specific goals.
A Realtor® can help you by telling you all about properties and local amenities. They can answer questions about accessibility and keep an eye out for homes that match your must-haves. In a competitive market, it’s important to work with someone who has your back by working quickly and efficiently.
While you search for your dream home, a Realtor® can also list your current home for sale. Since many downsizers have economic concerns, marketing strategy is always a special interest to maximize the revenue achieved from selling a home. A professional can also refer you to organizers and movers if you’d like a little extra help.
Are you considering downsizing your Houston home? Let’s chat. I’d love to discuss your personal situation and help you achieve your goals.
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