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Home Selling

6 Tips to Help You Downsize

Written by
Megan McMahon
February 16, 2018

To downsize or not to downsize? For many, bigger doesn’t always mean better.

A smaller home comes with many other benefits, and not all are about cost saving. If you’re considering the move, here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your decision:

1. Do the Math

Don’t dodge the numbers. Before you do anything, calculate your expenses and get a general sense of where you’ll stand after the move.

  • The cost of your new home: This one’s pretty obvious. Get an expert opinion on the cost and how it falls into your long-term savings strategy (as well as your current budget).
  • Moving costs: This is especially important if you plan on moving far away. It’s important to negotiate these fees after you’ve determined which items you’re keeping, and what you’re better off parting ways with. Remember to factor these costs into your overall estimate of expenses.
  • The cost of selling your current home: This could end up being pretty expensive, depending on your strategy. Our advice: work with a Jovio agent, and you’ll get all the benefits of a savvy and qualified agent coupled with an AI-backed pricing strategy and targeted online marketing. You can start your free home estimate here.

Pro tip: Don’t fall into the FSBO trap. Although it's tempting, it usually involves unforeseen challenges and expenses.

  • Cost benefits of a smaller home, including:
  • Lower cost of utilities: The smaller the home, the less expensive it is to heat and cool. This may seem like a small difference, but the cost savings from each month can quickly add up (we’re looking at you, AC lovers).
  • Decreased maintenance and upkeep costs: Avoiding a desperately-needed kitchen remodel? Moving could be your solution, especially if your new home is ready to go. There are countless other factors to consider, such as the cost of maintaining a massive yard, dealing with a pool, or keeping up with an old home. Consider every angle of the equation.

2. Prioritize Layout, Not Square Footage

While it’s easy to get caught up in square footage, the most important factor for downsizers to consider is the layout. Is the space functional? Does it support your day-to-day lifestyle? And more importantly… how will your current furniture fit into the space? It’s important to note that not all of your furniture will fit into the space, so you shouldn't attempt to fit it all (the perfect segue for our next tip!).

3. Cut Clutter

It may sound obvious, but it bears repeating: It is highly unlikely all of your furniture will fit in your new home. If you try to be creative and find a place for everything, your home will end up feeling cluttered and smaller.

Ask yourself: Can I live without it? If you’re still on the fence, seek out an objective opinion. Who knows…you may end up feeling better donating that vintage lamp from college than you would keeping it for your new home.

Pro tip: Take a picture of any item that holds sentimental value but also takes up meaningless physical space. Once you part with the item, you’ll still have a digital reminder, which will likely bring you just as much joy. Your closet, drawers, and sanity will thank you!

4. When in Doubt, Measure It

We know how tempting it is to wing it. But, based on our experience, you do not want to end up in a studio apartment with a table that can’t even fit inside of your kitchen (or a similar equivalent… you get the idea). Plus, it’s a pain in the neck to go through the hassle of moving furniture only to realize that you have to get rid of it anyway. So, do yourself the favor of knowing before you move. You’ll save time, money, energy, and space—a four-way win!

5. Sell What You Can

Need an easy way to offset moving costs? Sell furniture and other items you no longer need. You’ll not only save a few extra bucks but also space (an equally precious resource). Some of our favorite channels to sell these items include Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Craigslist, and garage sales.

Pro tip: Most towns/cities/neighborhoods have local “tag sale” groups through which nearby residents can quickly sell items to each other. Items go quickly (sometimes less than an hour) in active groups, so definitely look out for yours!

6. Give Yourself Enough Time

The last thing you want to deal with in the moving process is a last-minute scramble to pack up the house. This will not only add unnecessary stress but lead to a less efficient moving process.

Ready to take the first step in your downsizing process? Start with a free home estimate here.

About the Author
Megan McMahon

Megan is all things brand and content for Jovio. She's worked with businesses big and small over the years. You name it and Megan has probably created content for it: dentists, florists, non-profits, and more. She’s well-versed in the art of building digital marketing strategies for niche audiences. Outside of the J HQ, Megan is a vinyl record collector and concert-going enthusiast.

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