Mesa Real Estate

The Downsize Dilemma

Have you thought about downsizing? As experts in Mesa Real Estate, We have had a steady stream of clients this year who are looking to scale back their maintenance, expenses, or both. We will admit, it is not always an easy process, but with some forward thought and planning, it can be both positive and liberating.

The first thing to do when downsizing your home is to truly define why you want to downsize and define why that is positive. Maybe downsizing allows you to work less or retire early. Perhaps the move will allow more time for family or resources for travel. Maybe the change will simply provide peace of mind. Our clients who have established their goals, and focused on them, have found happiness in the process. They feel more liberated and less like they are having to compromise.

Secondly, think about how you are going to use your home in the next 5-10 years and then prioritize your wants and needs. Perhaps, you love to restore cars and a three car garage is a priority. For someone else, a gated community with yard maintenance included is key because they travel frequently. Another person may just want to eliminate their mortgage. The challenge with downsizing is that most clients have everything they want in their current home, so the process of giving something up feels uncomfortable after a lifetime of trying to move up the ladder!

Next evaluate the costs. If you are downsizing to reduce expenses, carefully consider your current expenses and run scenarios for what the expenses in your next home may be (we can help with this). Perhaps your idea is to move from a single family home into a condo. This sounds like a great idea, however, will it really be less expensive? HOA fees in condo communities are normally much higher, so it is worth taking into account whether the savings on pool and landscape maintenance, for example, will offset these other fees.

Before you actually have to move, do a “pre-move” and sort through your things. When downsizing, it is not possible to take everything from a 3500 sq ft, 3 car garage home and fit them into a 1600 sq ft condo with a two car garage. If you are trying to simplify your life, getting a storage unit for the extras is probably also not the answer. We will admit this part of downsizing can be a difficult process, but if you focus on the end goal you can liberate yourself from the burden of “stuff.” Speak to your kids and loved ones and see if they can use your duplicates. Keep just the things you love and will use everyday. One of our clients recently told us that they decided that from now on they would just use their Waterford glasses and sterling silver every day, “What are we saving them for?” they laughed. “With our luck our kids will just donate the lot to Goodwill, so we may as well enjoy them now!”

Enjoy now, free yourself from storing and maintaining stuff, and you will find a lighter, happier life no matter your age!

Don’t hesitate to contact us at 480.568.8680 and let us help you talk through the process. We can evaluate what your home is worth in today’s market and also help you find your next property!


John, Natascha, and Christina