There are a lot of reasons why people choose to downsize their living situation from a house to an apartment: having too much space to clean, wanting to declutter by getting rid of excess possessions, becoming an empty-nester, or simply because you want to invest your wealth into other avenues.
There are a lot of benefits to living in an apartment that might be appealing to you. Oftentimes, you won’t have to worry as much about maintenance costs or physically maintaining your apartment, because a landlord will take care of that as part of your agreement. In addition, you don’t have to worry about certain costs of home ownership like property taxes, condo association fees, or HOA dues.
The thing is, moving down from an owned home to a rented apartment can sometimes be easier said than done. There might be some emotional or physical hurdles that come with your move. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for the move however you can, to make it as stress-free as possible.
Here are some of the measures you can take to ensure that your downsize goes smoothly.
Make Sure To Find Your New Home Early
Being in a time crunch is a very stressful situation, especially if you are downsizing to an apartment. It’s a good idea to start your apartment hunt early, so you don’t get too stressed out about running into a deadline if your search doesn’t go the way you want.
It’s vital that you consider what you are looking for in an apartment before you start laying out searches. If you know how much space you want, any desired amenities, and your general price point, you can use that information to avoid wasting time looking for apartments that won’t be right for you.
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind for when you are determining what you need in a home:
Visualize your new floorplan
As you find apartments that catch your eye, take a look at available floor plans — and then mark those dimensions out in your home using painter’s tape or string. Not only will this let you get a sense of how your new apartment will be physically structured, but it will help you realize how many of your personal effects you might need to sell or give away in order to fit comfortably in the apartment.
Use the best search tools
Using an online search to find your apartment can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools. Most apartment-focused property search engines can actually be a detriment to your search because they will not show you all of the properties that are available. On top of this, large apartment communities can pay to have their units featured on many of these searches — and while they might be great apartments, that doesn’t mean that they are the right move for you.
We noticed these problems when we were putting together our home search tool, and we wanted to make sure that we could help people find the right apartment, in addition to homes for sale. That’s why our search function includes properties that individual owners are putting up for rent, instead of mainly focusing on the complexes that are run by large management companies.
Learn Your Options For Timing
One of the things that frustrates many home sellers is timing a sale. This is especially true in a downsizing situation or when you are buying and selling a home at the same time. In fact, we believe that not knowing how to sync these timings is one of the most common mistakes that move-up buyers make!
As a downsizing home owner, you might have some more flexibility than a move-up buyer, but it’s still important for you to understand your options.
Speak with your agent about a rent-back
When talking to your real estate agent about timing your home sale, consider asking them about how you can put a rent-back clause in the closing agreement. This will essentially allow you to continue to live in your home for a short period after you sell it by renting it from the new home owner.
The best part of having a rent-back agreement is that it can give you some flexibility when it comes to beginning a new lease. This doesn’t mean that you should wait until the home is sold to start looking for an apartment, of course — but if your new lease doesn’t begin until a few days or weeks after you close on the home, you can use a rent-back or delayed closing to avoid being without a home during that time.
Look into an instant offer program
A lot of people try to avoid the timing issue by simply renting an apartment and then trying to sell their home fast, regardless of the market conditions. While this can work out for you, it might not be the safest move to make. If, for instance, the home sale takes longer than you hoped (which it can, if you aren’t working with the right agent) then you might be stuck paying for two different homes.
There’s an easy way to get around this issue, however, in the form of an Instant Offer home sale program. These tools will allow you to get an offer on your home in as little as 24-48 hours, with no risk of the buyer backing out at the last second. This means that you can focus your attention and energy on downsizing your home, rather than fretting about the sale itself. It also means that you save the stress that you might have spent worrying about how to time when the best time to sell your home is!
Work With An Expert Agent
Having a great real estate team on your side is crucial any time you are buying or selling a home — but it is especially important when you are downsizing your home!
The process of moving from a home to an apartment is stressful enough. Why wouldn’t you want someone on your side who can handle the heavy lifting of marketing your home, attracting a buyer, and negotiating so you can sell for the highest price?
At the Keri Shull Team, we specialize in helping home owners sell their home faster, for a better price, and with absolutely zero stress. We use innovative, cutting-edge strategies — such as showing you how to conduct an off-market home sale — to make sure your real estate needs are in the best possible hands!
No matter whether you are living in Alexandria VA, one of the hottest neighborhoods in Washington DC, or anywhere else in the DMV, we want to help you — so contact the Keri Shull Team today! Just click here to schedule a time to speak with one of our expert agents!