We have been living in Grand Junction for nearly 12 years. When we moved here, we had our 3 children living at home and our lifestyle required much more space, inside and out, than it does now. We are in our late 50s and have a large home on several acres and we need to downsize, as it has become way too much for us to keep up with. First, is this a good market to downsize in? Second, we don’t know where to begin. We have so much stuff that has accumulated over the years that the process is very daunting. Help!
William and Barb, Grand Junction
William and Barb,
Downsizing can be a very daunting task that can seem overwhelming as you sit and look at everything that must be done. I would suggest creating a game plan and timeline for making your move. Break it down and put a realistic timeline on the items that need to be completed and then mark them off as you get them done. This timeline will help make the process not appear so daunting and will give you steps to guide you. It still can be quite overwhelming so, hang in there!
My view on timing, when you buy and sell in the same market, then all things are relative. Also, you must ask yourself, am I willing to keep slaving away on the large house and land or am I willing to cut ties and make a serious lifestyle change? Quality of life is typically worth the tradeoff of waiting for and hoping your property value goes up, but only you can make that decision.
After you have decided the time is right, these next steps will get you well on your way. First, assess your current and future space needs. Walk through your home and ask yourself… Do you use your exercise equipment? How often do we eat at the dining room table? How many times have we used the sitting room in the past year? If you have a collection of 300 books, do you really need to collect them? Or better yet, are you going to read them again anytime soon? Same can be said for movies, etc… Many times, much of what we have accumulated is kept for those “just in case” moments. “Just in case” moments can lead to a never-ending amount of clutter that needs to be thinned out.
For the items you really have a hard time getting rid of, make an agreement with yourself and put the items in storage. If you don’t need or use them within 6 months, give, sell, or throw them away. I bet you’ll find that most of your stuff you do not need.
After you have downsized the amount of stuff you have or have a good grasp on what stays and what will go, you need to start looking at replacement homes. Go out on a home viewing tour and establish if there are homes currently on the market that will meet your new “downsized” needs and living requirements. A good rule of thumb, we use, is if you can find two or more homes that you would be happy with, then it is reasonable to anticipate you can find a home you will love, once your home goes under contract.
Remember, control the things you can control and try not to eat the elephant in one bite! You need to pace yourself and making a game plan with realistic goals will help set you up to succeed and make the process as enjoyable as it can be.