Downsizing Guide for Seniors


Having lived in the same home for a long time, we tend to accumulate many things in our lifetime.  While some items carry a significant emotional value, others may not. Many items we simply keep because it’s convenient and comfortable, until our shopping and hoarding habits get out of hand and we start to feel as if we’re drowning in stuff and the city hustle and bustle starts to wear us out. Could it be that the time has come to downsize, to ease the burden and move to a smaller, more peaceful neighborhood such as Coronado or just closer to family?

While it may not be easy to break the circle and leave the house it took you decades to customize to your way of life, is there really a better reason to downsize than to make life easier, more comfortable and more convenient for your future self instead of dwelling on the past and in a house more suited for your former self. Check out our brief but comprehensive downsizing guide for seniors and decide for yourself if the time has come for you to take this road.

How do I make downsizing easier?

Below is an overview of top tips on how to plan and organize the downsizing process:

  • Take your time but start early
  • Start small to spare yourself the risk of burnout
  • Declutter, recycle, repurpose, all with your new home’s space and layout in mind
  • Get rid of duplicates which do not serve a purpose
  • Make yes or no piles and do not waste time dwelling on the maybe items
  • Reduce your collections in a meaningful, creative way
  • Give away, donate or sell any redundant items
  • Distribute family heirlooms and legacy gifts now

How do you know when to downsize?

We’ve shortlisted the 7 most compelling arguments in favor of downsizing:

1 Your upcoming or recent retirement: Retirement is a time for a more rational use of resources, and a smaller home will take less of a toll on your retirement savings and your energy levels.

2 Demanding maintenance: If you no longer need a big house, no longer wish to cope with its upkeep or struggle with keeping up with its costly maintenance, take the logical next step and downsize.

3 Spare bedrooms just gather dust: If family visits once a year and friends seldom do, you have too much space that is expensive and complicated to clean and maintain. Moving to a smaller home with fewer amenities, fewer bedrooms and less storage space but better suited for a senior lifestyle is a safe, logical and responsible next step.

4 Lifestyle changes: even if you still have a vibrant social life despite having entered retirement, you may no longer need a huge spacious home. Besides, consider what may happen 10, 20 or 30 years down the line: you might lose the physical capability to climb stairs, let alone perform a regular cleaning and maintenance routine. So why not make the switch while you’re ahead?

5 Financial concerns: The bigger the house, the more it will drain your resources, and that is the last thing you want, especially if you are paying for it by dipping into your savings fund. Play it safe and downsize now. Struggling to make house payments month in, month out is certain to take a toll on your mental and physical health. The trick is to downsize at the right moment so you can maximize your home’s resale value while snapping a favorable deal with a comfortably affordable house elsewhere that will not jeopardize your financial future.

6 A financial boost: Selling your family home could come with a major payback. You may earn a substantial amount of money based on your home’s appreciation in value. San Diego is a seller’s market and houses in the city and beyond are in high demand among buyers due to the auspicious combination of the amazing career and education opportunities the city has to offer, low interest rates and low inventory of houses in the area.

7 Shift of priorities: we have different priorities at different stages of our lives. Now that you no longer go to work, you no longer need to live in the city. You can move to a place where you can enjoy all the peace and quiet you want. You also have different medical needs and you might want to move to a place with a warmer climate and close proximity of a healthcare facility. Finally, you may simply move to a smaller place closer to your family. If there is one way to make every second of your retirement count, it is more quality time with your children and grandchildren.

We’ll create your custom-made downsizing plan for seniors

Having a large house used to make sense, but now that things have changed considerably, you deserve to take a break from all that and find yourself a new home, one that will be better suited to your current way of life and circumstances. We know downsizing can be an emotional time for you but we will guide you through the process, even if your house is in probate, and help you gradually lighten the load so you can start your cleaner living as soon as possible!

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