Less is more
As Soon To Be Empty Nesters….
My partner Amy Simon and her husband just sold their 5 bedroom 3000 square foot suburban home this fall and moved into a 3 bedroom town home closer to the center of town. They lost about 1000 square feet of living space. Yet, instead of feeling burdened by the smaller place, She found it freeing. As each room was cleared out she realized that they just don’t need that many things. Box after box ended up going to charity or the storage unit. The smallest ones ended up getting delivered to the new place.
While unpacking the dishes yesterday she marveled at the spaces between her drinking glasses and plates. It looked like a model home. It was a stark contrast from her old jam-packed kitchen where every cabinet was stocked of accumulated gadgets and tchotchkes over the last 15 years in their family home.
She was thrilled with the change. Less time spent cleaning and organizing or delegating the work and more time spent enjoying life. Their new place is a short stroll to dinner, the movies, even the grocery store. Her husband is excited about the maintenance free lifestyle. No gardeners, tree trimmers or sprinkler specialists to hire. The homeowners association takes care of all of that.
But when some people downsize, they take it to an extreme. Reporter Caty Hill from MarketWatch found out that the Tiny House movement is getting some traction among senior citizens. Last year, 66-year-old Lauren Knoblauch sold or donated nearly everything she owned, from her two-bedroom home on a suburban Seattle lake to her furniture and many of her clothes. She moved everything else, two small carloads’ worth, into her new home: a downtown apartment that, at less than 150 sq. ft., is smaller than the average U.S. master bedroom. The move came about when Knoblauch ponder her impending retirement, and she wanted to have money to go to travel, go to the opera and theater.
The downsizing movement is catching on especially now that the baby boomers are thinking of retirement or becoming empty nesters. That’s the trigger point, which gets them started on thinking about downsizing their homes. Who needs a 5,000 square foot home when one lives in just the bedroom, the family room and the kitchen?
An important factor that few realize is if you are contemplating downsizing or buying a second home to retire in, you should buy it before you retire. Qualifying for a home without a steady income becomes much more difficult even if you have many assets. You might find yourself having to pay cash for that home or put a sufficient down payment down to qualify for the loan. The moral is if you decide you want to downsize or buy that second home start thinking about it before you actually do it.
As for Amy, She loves the simpler life. She used to dread those trips home from the Big Box stores where she would struggle to find room in the pantry for cases of pasta and enormous 2 pack jars of peanut butter. Now she gets to live the European way. Her new place makes it easy for her to pick up fresh food for dinner every night. What’s not to love?
Are you getting ready to downsize? Are you an empty nester?
We would love to represent you (advocate for you, work diligently for you..) if you are thinking of buying or selling a property come this spring, summer or fall. It’s really NOT to early to give us a call 619.980.2738 or 619.851.4084 – even if your move is a few years down the road! Let’s began to prepare NOW for what lies ahead. We are ready and available to get you the best results!