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Condo living: Downsizing in Five Simple Steps

by Prestige Properties 12/11/2020

Behold the condo. Safe, convenient, full of amenities, low-maintenance and growing in popularity. If you're like a lot of people, you've probably spent a minute or two daydreaming about a life of leisure. It's a dream where the home buying experience transports you to a place where there are no lawns to be mowed, no gutters to be cleaned and no wasted weekends worrying about pests or other problems related to home ownership. 

In other words, you've imagined condo living.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 5 million Americans live in condos (or condominiums, as they're referred to in more refined company). Some appreciate the simplicity of never having to worry about yard work or maintenance. Others enjoy all the amenities, which range from swimming pools to gyms to libraries. And then there are those who love the fellowship afforded to them by sharing space with neighbors who quickly become friends. 

Yes, there's a lot to like about living in a condo. 

And maybe you've even considered it during your home buying journey. Perhaps you'd love to make the move but are a bit nervous about downsizing. After all, a lot of empty nesters and retirees tend to look toward condos once their kids have flown the coop and their careers have run their courses. 

A lot of them have lived in large houses that they've filled with furniture, decorations, family heirlooms, tools, toys and a lot of other things people tend to collect over the years. For some, the idea of downsizing seems entirely too big to tackle. 

But it doesn't have to be. 

A lot of people just like you have, during the course of their home buying process, decided to downsize and move into a condo. Thankfully, they haven't been shy about sharing their stories, advice and tips. 

So here, for your reading pleasure and peace of mind, are five simple ways to downsize from a house to a condo:


1. De-clutter Before You Downsize

If you're being honest with yourself, you'll probably admit that a lot of the stuff you have is ... well, not really needed anymore. Maybe it's paperwork from the foregone days of in-person banking. Perhaps it's those outfits from 10, 20 or 30 years ago that have been tucked away in the back of your closet. It could be anything you haven't used in a while (a year or two).

It's just clutter--and you don't want to move clutter. 

Before you move, early on in the home buying process, you need to go through your home and make an honest inventory of clutter. Mark it as such and then move it on out. You can give it to friends and family, sell it, donate it to charity or throw it away. 

The benefit of de-cluttering before you attempt to downsize is that you'll be able to focus entirely on the things that matter most without being distracted by the trophy you took home from an intramural tournament back in college (unless it means a lot to you).


2. Make a List of What Matters

Now that you've successfully de-cluttered, it's time to get serious about the materials that matter most. Love your couch? Keep it. Addicted to the Peloton? It's coming with. The bed(s), chairs, artwork, family heirlooms, dishes, clothing and everything else you absolutely want to bring with you needs to be measured and put on a list. 

It's hard to know how much space you'll need if you don't know with precision how much stuff you have. 

So make a list of what matters, what is a must-have, what is a would-be-nice-to-have and what you could probably live without or replace. This will make your home buying process a lot easier. 


3. Know your condo

Once you know what you'll most likely be bringing with you (or at least what you absolutely can't live without), it's time to move on to the next home buying step. It's time to contact a realtor and start looking for a condo. 

Remember that daydream you had about condo living? Tell your realtor about it. Talk about how space you envision needing. Share your list of what matters most. Be honest about your needs and wants. 

The more you share with your realtor, the better the home buying process will go for you--and the more likely you'll be to find a condo that has the right amount of space. 


4. Find Your Condo

It has been said that the thrill is in the chase, and that is certainly true when it comes to home buying. 

You and your realtor are going to have a great time chasing down the right condo with the right amount of space to meet your needs--especially now that you know exactly how much space you'll need. 

Enjoy it. 

And as the home buying process moves along--as you walk through the condos--close your eyes and imagine how your things--your furniture, dishes, decorations, clothes and other personal items--will look, fit and feel in the space. This is one of the joys of home buying. You get to see yourself and your possessions somewhere new. 

And when you see a good fit, your agent will be there to close the deal. But even then, you're not quite done with the downsizing and home buying process. 


5. Re-imagine Your Life

Congratulations! You've discovered and purchased a condo you love, but the downsizing isn't finished. 

The last step in the downsizing portion of the home buying process involves re-imagining your life now that you've got a new place to live, a place with new amenities. 

Maybe it has a gym, so you can do away with that old NordicTrack. Perhaps there's a theater room, rendering your 75-inch 4K television unnecessary. 

Who knows what the amenities in your condo can replace? It all depends on where the home buying process leads you. But before you begin to move, just make sure you've re-imagined your life and made one more effort to downsize. 


Ready to get started? 

No matter where you are in the home buying process, a trusted partner with Prestige Properties is ready to help. We've helped countless others just like you make the move into a condo--and we were there with them through every step in the home buying process, from downsizing to re-imagining to find the right space. 

If you've been thinking about home buying and are ready to get started, connect with us today. We're excited to meet you!