From Big to Small: How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller, More Efficient Home

From Big to Small: How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller, More Efficient HomeIf you’re moving from a large home into a smaller house or condo, you’re probably looking forward to enjoying a lower utility bill and not having to do as much cleaning. But before you move, you’ll want to take certain precautions to ensure that you’re not overwhelmed.

A smaller home won’t have as much room for your belongings, which means you may need to get creative. Here’s how you can downsize without losing your mind.

Decide What You’re Going To Keep

Before you do anything else, choose which of your belongings are coming with you. Unless you’ve habitually been getting rid of things you no longer need over the years, chances are you have a large stash of things you’ll never use again. That’s the kind of clutter you’ll need to eliminate before moving into a smaller home.

The obvious exceptions would be anything of significant sentimental or monetary value, but you’ll want to get rid of lots of your everyday objects – for instance, there’s no reason why you need three soup ladles. Having trouble deciding what to throw out? Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If you can’t remember the last time you used it, you probably don’t need it.

Have Anything In Storage? Find A Storage Solution Now

Most homeowners nowadays have the luxury of large storage spaces like basements or attics – but if you’re moving into a condo or a small starter home, storage will be at a premium. And that means anything stored in your basement, garage, or attic will probably need to find a new home. You’ll want to look for a storage solution earlier rather than later.

Perhaps you could rent a storage locker in your neighborhood, or let children or relatives hold onto your belongings until you decide what to do with them.

On Your Moving Day: Move Large Items First, And Put Away Stored Items Before Anything Else

When the day comes for you to move into your new home, you’ll want to try to find the best configuration for the space right away – before your new home is filled with boxes stacked six feet high. Before you do anything else, move your furniture and other large items into the space first, and get them set up so they’re out of the way.

Once all of your boxes are in your new home, put storage items away before anything else – it’ll help you avoid unnecessary stress and sorting later.

Downsizing can be stressful, but with a solid plan and a great real estate agent, you can find a smaller home and move in without issues. Call your trusted real estate professional for more great tips on streamlining the moving process.

Dealing with the Emotional Stress of Selling Your Childhood Home

Dealing with the Emotional Stress of Selling Your Childhood HomeSelling a childhood home can be emotionally stressful and even traumatizing. This is more than a house; it is a home where years and even decades of memories have been made and where lives have been lived. While selling a childhood home may be difficult to do, there are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the emotional turmoil that may be felt during this process.

Create A Final Memory

When a family has lived in a home for many years, it may feel almost as though the home has become a part of the family in a way. One way to deal with the emotional stress of saying goodbye to the home is to create a final memory with family in the home. This may be to host a family dinner that enables everyone to walk through the home one final time and to reminisce together about the past.

Take Pictures Of The Space

Whether a final family get-together is planned for the home or not, taking pictures of the home before vacating it can be beneficial. These pictures can help to preserve the memories of the space itself, and close-up pictures of special features of the home that hold significance can be taken. Creating an album of these pictures may be ideal in some cases.

Preserve Memories Of The Home

With a childhood home, there is a good chance that there are hundreds of pictures that have been taken inside the home and in the yard, and there may also be videos of home movies. While some will want to take new pictures of the home before leaving, another idea is to preserve the images of the home that have been taken over the years. This can celebrate the historical significance that the home played with the family over time.

Bring Traditions Into A New Home

While it is important to make final memories and to preserve memories, it is also important to move on. Letting go of one home means that it is time to start new traditions in a new home, and families can begin doing this with a special get-together. After all, while a home is important for a family, it is the family that truly makes the property a home.

It doesn’t matter if a family lived in the home for a few years or for several decades, saying goodbye to a childhood home is rarely easy to do. Contact a real estate professional to begin the selling process.

Moving to the City? How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller Condo or Apartment

Moving to the City? How to Downsize from a Large House to a Smaller Condo or Apartment Many people make the decision to move from the country or the suburbs into the heart of the downtown area for a number of reasons, such as to enjoy proximity to work or to enjoy the urban lifestyle. With the higher cost of real estate in central urban areas and with real estate space at a premium, many who make the decision to relocate will need to downsize from a larger house to a smaller condo or apartment. While this can be challenging, it can be accomplished by following a few steps.

Choose The Right Pieces To Keep

When downsizing from a larger house to a smaller apartment or condo, it is often necessary to get rid of some furnishings. It is important to select furnishings that are best suited for the size of the new space as well as the individual’s needs. Items that will not have a place in the new home can be donated, stored in a storage unit or given to a family member or friend.

Think About Storage

When living space is downgraded, storage of everything from dishes to linens and clothing becomes a concern. Storage features in downtown apartments and condos is often minimal, and this means that those moving into these units may need to invest in special storage features. For example, storage bins that can slide under the bed, pull-out features for kitchen cabinets and various other types of storage features can all be put to use to improve organization and to maximize the limited amount of space available in the property.

Get Back To The Basics

While storage features can be useful, the fact is that most people who are making this transition will need to get rid of some of their items or store them in a storage unit. A smart idea is to consider only the basic items that are truly necessary for living as a first step. If space permits, additional luxury items can be added to the space provided there is room in the apartment or condo.

Downgrading from a larger home to a smaller living space can be frustrating and stressful, but eliminating the unnecessary items and improving storage and organization can go a long way toward streamlining this process. Those who are searching for a new place to live in the city can request personal assistance from their trusted real estate professional.

Hunting for the Best Local Schools? Here Are 5 Checklist Items You’ll Want to Look For

Hunting for the Best Local Schools? Here Are 5 Checklist Items You'll Want to Look ForThere are numerous factors that you may review when choosing a new place to live. If you have children, the quality of the schools and the level of education that your kids will receive in the schools is important. However, you may not be certain how to determine if a school is good or not. When you are looking at schools, use this helpful checklist to guide you in making a great decision.

Achievement Data

One of the easiest factors for you to research about different school districts and individual schools is achievement data. This may include the percentage of students graduating high school versus dropping out, the enrollment percentage for college, SAT and ACT scores and other relevant data. This is typically published online, or a call to the district’s office may provide you with the information.

Student to Teacher Ratio

The student to teacher ratio can vary drastically between school districts. This will impact how much personal attention your child receives as well as how crowded the classrooms are. Generally, the lower the number, the better overall experience your child may receive.

A Safe Location

The last thing you may want is for your child to be exposed to safety issues or to feel threatened or intimidated in school or while getting to or from school every day. You can research crime statistics online for the area surrounding the schools, and you can visit the school personally to visibly inspect the area.

Extracurricular Activities

The school age years are a time for kids to experience many new things. Everything from a drama and art club to a wide range of sports can benefit kids. Consider reviewing extracurricular activities available for younger and older students alike so that you can get a better idea for the experiences that a child may have outside of the classroom.

A Positive Environment

A final important factor to consider is the environment in the school. You will need to set up a tour of the school to experience this yourself. The staff members and students should be happy and positive. Remember that this is a place where your child may spend many long hours each day.

Where you choose to live will impact what school your child attends. Therefore, it is important to review the schools carefully before you make a final buying decision for a new home.

Multi-Generational Living: Our Guide to Buying a Home That Suits Your Whole Family

Multi-generational Living: Our Guide to Buying a Home That Suits Your Whole Family It was very common decades ago for several generations of a family to live together, and this may have included kids, parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents in some cases. Today’s modern homes are generally designed to accommodate a more traditional modern family, which includes only parents and kids or for only a married couple without kids. When you are buying a home for other generations as well, it is important for you to pay attention to a few important points.

The Right Living Spaces and Accommodations

Generally, a home with a floor plan that is most suitable for multiple generations is one with different wings of bedrooms and several different living areas. There is something to be said for togetherness, but you may find that having several different living areas as well as having a floor plan that keeps older family members’ bedrooms away from the bedrooms of younger family members is a good idea.

After all, there will be plenty of times when older family members may want to chit chat or read a good book in a living area while others may want to turn on the TV or music. In addition, they may have different sleeping schedules, and noise from either of their rooms can be bothersome.

Special Considerations for Older and Younger Generations

You should also think about the special needs of older and younger generations. Very young family members, for example, may benefit from a large, enclosed backyard, a play room and well-insulated windows or a home location removed from loud busy roadways. Older generations may prefer a bedroom on the first floor, special safety features in the bathroom and a home without many steps or steep elevations outdoors.

It may be challenging to find a home that can accommodate older and younger generations perfectly, so some modifications may need to be made to a home after purchasing it.

Finding the perfect home for a basic nuclear family is rarely easy, and your challenges may be more significant when you are searching for a home for a multi-generational family. While you may have more needs and desires when looking for a home that is ideal for a larger number of people with more variation in their ages, the fact is that most will be able to find a great home that is ideal for most or all of their needs with a little time and effort.

Ready to Relocate? 3 Tips on How to Set a Moving Budget That Won’t Break the Bank

Ready to Relocate? 3 Tips on How to Set a Moving Budget That Won't Break the Bank Relocating to a new area can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. There are many resources to help, but most cost money. However, if you take your time and plan carefully, you can reduce the expense so you don’t start your new life with new debt. Here are three tips to controlling your moving budget.

1. Find Out What’s Free

Nothing is better than paying nothing, right? Don’t assume you have to fork out money for everything you need to move. If you have accepted a new job, ask your new employer whether the company can cover any of your moving expenses.

When it comes to moving supplies, see what you can get without having to pay for it. Stock up on free moving supplies by asking your workplace, local grocery stores, and friends and family for unneeded, sturdy boxes. Instead of paying professional movers, see if you can barter with friends or family for help in moving boxes to and from the truck.

2. Focus On Essentials

After you’ve pursued every possible angle to cover your needs for free, you will likely need to pay for something. The trick is to only do so for what is absolutely necessary. Many providers will offer you help along the way, but you should only sign up for basic services. This could include moving big items such as a piano, paying for gas and tolls, or buying cartons for oddly-shaped or particularly valuable items. If you are not able to move things yourself, this could include hiring professionals.

3. Do It Yourself

If you have the time and are physically fit, start long before moving day and pack everything yourself. Rent or borrow a truck and move your boxes yourself, perhaps with the help of a friend. Take care of disconnecting old utilities and signing up for new ones. Handle both cleaning your old home and preparing your new one. Anything you can do with a little elbow grease will mean less money out of pocket.

Call your real estate agent for advice on keeping moving expenses down. Ask about providers who may give you a discount for being referred by your agent. Remember that you are in charge of your move, so don’t automatically sign up for every service available. By using free goods and services when available and doing much of the work yourself, you can set and follow a moving budget you can afford.

Buying a New Home in the City? The Pros and Cons of Buying a Home on a Busy Street

Buying a New Home in the City? The Pros and Cons of Buying a Home on a Busy Street Finding the perfect property is an exciting feeling, but its relative location can leave a lot of room for worry. Buying a home in the city is a venture that comes with an entire assortment of advantages and disadvantages. While the location might be close in proximity to businesses, services, and other people, it’s easy to worry about the other aspects of city living. What are the great and not-so-great facets of living on a busy street?

Pro: Access to Businesses and Schools

The chances are high that anyone living in a busy area is within walking distance of any store, shop, or service. Likewise, children have a range of options for education in busier areas; there are often multiple schools to choose from in any given busy area.

Pro: Access to Many Internet/TV Providers

In highly populated areas, a large number of internet and TV providers can co-exist. This means residents have a number of options when the time comes to choose providers. Luckily, it’s often difficult for providers monopolize densely populated areas.

Pro: Sense of Community

Many people that live in busy areas will be quick to share that they adore the sense of community. In fact, a large population is often one of the biggest reasons that people choose to move to bigger areas.

Con: Noise Level

As a street sees more activity, there’s no doubt that the noise level will also be a bit higher than usual. Residents that own homes on busy streets not only hear lots of noise from outside traffic, but they also often hear police sirens, animals, conversation, and more.

Con: Higher Price

It’s no secret that busy areas are a bit more expensive to live in. As anyone would expect, the convenience of city living comes with a higher price. Expect to hand over quite a bit more for a property in a highly populated area.

Con: Parking

Depending on the location of the neighborhood, parking can also be a problem. If street parking isn’t allowed, a resident in a big city might have to sacrifice their vehicle or park it a long distance from the property. This can be off-putting for many buyers.

If you’re on the fence about purchasing a property on a busy street, get more information from your trusted real estate agent before making a decision. A professional agent can provide valuable information about the property, neighborhood, chances for resale in the future, and much more. Don’t proceed any further without an agent’s advice!

Moving in to a New City or Community? Here’s Why You’ll Want to Meet the Neighbors

Moving in to a New City or Community? Here's Why You'll Want to Meet the NeighborsAre you moving to a new community or a new city? When you find a new house that meets your needs and seems like a perfect fit, you’ll want to take some time to meet your potential new neighbors before you sign on the dotted line.

In today’s blog post we’ll share a few reasons why meeting the neighbors can help you feel right at home in your new community.

Your Neighbors Are Experts on Your Local Community

Whether you have questions about the area’s safety at night or you simply want to know where the best coffee shops are, you’ll find that your neighbors are an excellent source of information about the local area.

Spend some time thinking about questions that you would want answered before committing to buy in a certain area, and ask the locals after you’ve viewed the home. Yes, you could ask the seller, but remember that it’s their goal to get you to buy the home and you’re most likely interested in impartial answers.

They Can Help the Kids Get Settled in

If you’re moving to a new city with children you’ll likely want to get them introduced to other neighborhood kids so they can start making new friends. Meeting your potential neighbors during the home buying process will allow you to determine which have children that are of a similar age as yours. Of course, if you find that there are no other children in the local community that might be a sign that the area isn’t very family-friendly, so you’ll want to factor this in as well.

You’ll Need to Assess Your Future Relations

If you decide to buy this particular new home you’re likely going to be living in the local neighborhood for years – perhaps even decades. Meeting the local neighbors before purchasing your home allows you to make an assessment of how well you’re going to integrate into the local community and whether or not you’ll be able to have warm relations with those that live around you. It takes just a few minutes of asking around friends and family to hear horror stories about bad neighbors; meeting the locals will help ensure that you don’t make a mistake that you’ll regret later.

When you’re ready to start your hunt for the perfect new home – and the perfect new neighbors – contact your local real estate professional. Working with an experienced real estate agent is the best way to get the home you’re after in a price range you can afford.