The Pros and Cons of Downsizing Your Home

The Savvy Synopsis

Are you considering a downsize? Maybe your home is too big or maybe you just don’t want as much to maintain anymore. Regardless of the reason, let’s talk through the different things you should keep in mind when preparing to downsize.

Everyone wants to move for different reasons, but North Carolina is a good place to retire (and live in general) so downsizing is a common goal for clients in the Triangle. It brings the appeal of simplifying and hopefully saving some money while getting the right space you need. For many people, a downsized home is the final destination home.

Downsizing does come with its challenges though. You may have to look in areas that better fit in your budget and outside of your desired neighborhood. To fit in a smaller space, you have to purge a lot of your possessions, which can be an emotional and exhausting process. Then, depending on where you downsize to, you might be closer or father to family than you’d like (sometimes even in the same home again).

All of these transitions can bring stress, so be sure to find a realtor who is able to help. If you are looking for an active retirement community, there are options all over the Triangle and they offer a variety of amenities that might be of interest. The homebuying process looks relatively similar overall, but you might want to move at a slower pace. Take the emotional elements into consideration and give yourself the time to move when you’re ready.

Listen to the full episode to hear more about downsizing or click on the timestamps below to hear a specific segment.

0:38 - Older generations often discuss downsizing, but it can be appealing to all ages.

1:49 - A recent survey identified the pros and cons of downsizing.

2:13 - Do a lot of people in the Triangle want to downsize?

3:38 - Downsizing sometimes also means moving closer to friends and family.

4:25 - When looking to downsize, it might mean looking for something on a tighter budget.

5:44 - Having to purge possessions in order to downsize can be upsetting and difficult.

6:40 - Downsizing can feel lonely after leaving a sentimental prior home.

8:37 - Difficult adjustments after downsizing can include less space, less privacy, and proximity to family.

10:37 - How does Angie help guide clients looking to downsize?

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter Storholt alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of ACole Realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find the team online by going to eight Cole that's a C O L E or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128 and now it's time for one of the top real tours in the triangle. Angie Cole and the Zadie real tour podcast. You know, Angie, my grandparents recently went through the conversation of downsizing their home, trying to decide should we do it now they're downsizing. Situation was a little bit different. They were talking about going from a condo to a, you know, single level home, a ranch style home, and that they actually wanted to get more space, but the, the big thing was their, their sort of quote unquote downsizing was certainly getting rid of the stairs.

Speaker 1: (01:02)
That was a big thing for them. My other set of grandparents is the more traditional, they're in a bigger home and they've got this stairs with all upstairs bedrooms. They're also now entering into that conversation about do we need to downsize and it's a really tough conversation for both sets of grandparents to have and we see this a lot obviously with people that are getting into retirement age or later into retirement even and they think about starting to downsize, but we don't want to just limit this conversation to, you know, baby boomers are folks that are, you know, later in their retirement years even. There are millennials and gen Xers that are also downsizing. Their reasons might end up just being a little bit different, but we want to include all generations in this discussion on today's show. But there was a survey that kind of identified some of the pros and cons of downsizing, but then most importantly talked about some of the most difficult adjustments that those people who have done this recently had to go through. And I thought it'd be helpful to talk about these things on today's show because a, those in our area who might be thinking about downsizing could pick up some helpful tips from what others have experienced and learned before we dive into everything. Are you dealing with a lot of people downsizing from time to time here in the area? And Jamie, what has been your experience with them?

Speaker 2: (02:20)
We are, um, you know, everyone of course moves for certain reasons, but um, we tend to find that North Carolina is definitely an area for retirement. And so even if, uh, people are approaching retirement or are retired, um, oftentimes what comes along with that is downsizing. I know even at my age, I'm ready to downsize. I say, I'm like, we do not need the space that we have. And I feel like sometimes a lot of people can be in that exact same boat. It's like we have a lot of this space, but do we actually use it? So I'm there. I'm like, let's cut it back a little bit with square footage. So, yeah, we do work with a lot of people that are downsizing. Maybe they're empty nesters is what we call it, where you know, the kids are going off to college, you know, they're now, the kids are now married.

Speaker 2: (03:07)
They just don't need all this space that they had whenever they have three and four kids growing up. Um, so downsizing is very common for sure in our area. Yeah. And, uh, that feeling of simplifying life a little bit can certainly be a good one. So some of the pros that were listed are the top two pros of downsizing where you know, relatively obvious you in most cases are going to spend less money and thus save more money. So obvious pros there if you're downsizing into a smaller home, that one kinda makes sense. Right? Uh, but then you also have the opportunity to move closer to friends and family. And that's one of the things my grandparents in may. Yep. We're considering they're the only ones way up there in Maine. So they were thinking of, okay, let's maybe move closer to what, we've had a lot of family in Pennsylvania, New Jersey.

Speaker 2: (03:53)
So they were thinking that's where they would downsize to. That was going to be a big pro for them. That would makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And you know, oftentimes I see that this might be their kind of last destination in the sense of this is going to truly be their forever home. Um, so you know, we oftentimes see that all right or done with the traveling, figuring out where we want to be less finally settle and be closest to those who mean you know most to us being friends and family. And so yeah, it's a great opportunity to be exactly where you want to live longterm. Yeah, it's a great point. Now, interestingly, the cons were had an overlap. So the opportunity to move closer to friends and family was a pro for some. But then in the cons, downsizing actually meant that people might have to move farther away from family.

Speaker 2: (04:39)
So if you are living in an area that maybe is higher cost with most of your family members, you got to downsize. You actually have to move further away from folks. That was listed as one of the top cons, which I found interesting that it can work both ways. Yeah. And to add to that fact, um, I believe it might be a lot of times when people are looking to downsize is because like I mentioned, they're entering into retirement and maybe they are, you know, IX, monthly expenses need to decrease because the income that they have coming in has decreased as well. And so now that they're on maybe a tighter budget, um, you know, it's wonderful that they're in a position that they can retire, but also, you know, you don't have maybe as much consistency as far as income coming in as what you did when you were actively working.

Speaker 2: (05:26)
And so that might push you to need to move to a different location just because, you know, the affordability is not quite there. You're not able to afford as far as price point, um, what you were able to afford before when you were still actively working. So I, I see what they're saying there so it can go both ways. Yeah. The other con was having to get rid of possessions. You know, obviously that's the biggest, yeah. I mean that I find can be the most upsetting for someone who is, you know, ready, downsize, you know, I know there's a lot of times that, you know, just emotional attachment, um, to the actual home. You know, maybe, you know, just because of this is where we grew up. This is where our kids were born, you know, all of the um, you know, just traditions and stuff took place in this home.

Speaker 2: (06:12)
But above and beyond that as far as getting rid of items because you're downsizing, you don't have space for them. That can be really just upsetting for someone. And I've seen many people hold onto their home and just really take their time to downsize or really give kickback on it because they didn't want to pick and choose from things that are all very important to them. Yeah, I can see that being a really tough thing for a lot of people to adjust to. And then a lot of people reported feeling a as one of the cons of downsizing, a feeling of loneliness compared to their previous home. Yeah. That's where it comes right back to what you were talking about. Yeah, yeah. That, that kind of all ties together as far as, you know, those memories, that place of like belonging, you know, that's all you knew.

Speaker 2: (06:58)
And, and then like our generation, we definitely move a lot more. Right. I know at least personally I do, I'm going on, I, you know, six years at our current home and I'm already like, okay, onto the next. Um, I just, I, I'm not one of those people that, you know, connects a home with, you know, traditions and memories and stuff. That's just not me, where other people are that way. But I feel like the older generation, definitely like the baby boomers and whatnot, you know, home to them, it has a lot more meaning to it. Um, you know, maybe our generation, we kind of look at it more as a materialistic thing maybe instead of like really tying thoughts and beliefs to the home. So, you know, I understand that home has a soul, you know, it's like a member of his family. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (07:43)
And I don't know why that's different. And I know that's not the same for everyone, but I'm just talking on, you know, my personally, you know, I have never been one who, you know, gets upset when it's, when it's time to move. I'm always excited about the new transition, whether it be upsizing or downsizing. But yeah, we, we see that a lot that, that sense of like loneliness almost like a PC out their soul or their heart is left behind in that old home. Yeah, we experienced a little bit of that when we left our previous home. Now, I mean, I was gung ho about the move. I was really excited to make our move, but it was really funny when it actually came time, you know, for the move to happen. Uh, you know, literally the, the house emptied out saying goodbye walking out.

Speaker 2: (08:23)
You definitely do feel it's kind of that flood of emotions now. It may just be stronger and felt before that moment for previous generations and then they may have it linger longer as well, so. Right, exactly. Exactly. I can certainly understand that. So the most difficult adjustments people had to make when it came to downsizing was the top three were having less space, less privacy and proximity to family. And so we kind of covered those in the pros and cons, but those ended up being the three things that people said were the most difficult to to have you found that to be the, the case among folks that you've talked to? Yeah, I agree with these. You know, I don't know that once again, the proximity to family, I feel like when most people they are ready to downsize, I feel like they take that into account and they actually make a point to get closer to family.

Speaker 2: (09:10)
So I would say, um, I don't see proximity of family being so much a con versus being a pro and get, you know, living where they want to. But yes, you know, having definitely less space, of course you're downsizing, right. And then, um, less privacy, especially in those active adult neighborhoods. You know, if that's the route that you decide to take, you know, they are really on top of each other. You know, there is no privacy in between the homes, you know, um, but you're allowed around a lot of people that are more of likeminded, this similar ages you, um, so maybe you'll gain some new friends there. Yeah. I also thought it was interesting. 23% of those who responded in the survey said that they lived with their parents after their most recent downsizing. So kind of going into that multigenerational home setting, it sounds like as part of the downsizing that is becoming very common and you'll see more and more builders that are thrown up houses that are that multigenerational, um, house because, you know, we're seeing where the parents are moving back in with, you know, their children, you know, and it kind of almost like their own separate living quarters, which is wonderful.

Speaker 2: (10:16)
I mean, it's a great idea. Um, I've seen where it's, I mean it's a win window. I mean a lot of the kids love it because the parents are there and they maybe can help out with the grandkids. So they have some type of agreement that Hey, you know, you move in with us, but you also can help out, you know, day to day when we need to go to work and help out with your grandbabies. And so it's, you know, a positive all around. Yeah, absolutely. So, Angie, how do you help guide clients who are thinking of downsizing? Is anything about the process different than, you know, just kind of the normal process of, of buying a home and we're also some of the popular places people downsize in this area. Yeah. So, um, you know, as far as the process, honestly the process is all the same when it comes to buying a home.

Speaker 2: (10:57)
Um, the only main difference is just moving at a slower pace. I would say, you know, be insensitive to the subject that this might not be an easy transition. You know, maybe this isn't a transition that person is wanting to make. Maybe they're more forced to make it. Um, you know, so just taking our time and just helping them, you know, really emotionally go through that process of, you know, Hey, you're selling your current home, you're downsizing, you're leaving your home that you've been in for 40 years. Um, I actually am working with someone like that right now that they're in a position where they're more of forced to sell their home just because of health reasons and they need to be closer to their son. Um, and so it, but it's been a, it just the process kind of dragging on in a sense of it's not equipped move, but that's okay.

Speaker 2: (11:48)
So, um, I would say that's the main differences when it comes to someone downsizing is just we really need to kind of let them work on their time, which we always do, but their time might be a lot longer than the average person who's looking to make a move. And as far as locations go, um, you know, it, it really depends on what downsizing means to someone. Downsizing. For example, myself, I said, I just want to downsize. Well, you know, that might mean completely different versus someone who is maybe an act of adult who's looking to downsize, but very common areas we've noticed for the general person that's downsize and that's an active adult is there's those wonderful neighborhoods that are by Del Webb and there's other active adult neighborhoods. But we see that those are very popular because they're ranch-style living right, which, you know, if you're an active adult that's going to of course be probably important to be on one level there.

Speaker 2: (12:41)
Um, you also are in neighborhoods where everyone is similar of age. And then there's also a lot of activities which I love too. So, you know, as we get older in life, you still want to keep our bodies and our minds active. And so they have daily things happening at the clubhouse. There's all these amenities, um, and so it's just a great overall setting and environment. And so, uh, those active adult neighborhoods are just kind of sporadically throughout. I know there's one right behind Briar Creek, we have in Kerry, there's location and wake forest. So, you know, they're really kind of all over the place.

Speaker 1: (13:14)
You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store Holt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a Cole and you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128 

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