Guest article provided by Vivek Mukherjee of inspiredexpatriates.net
You have a lot to consider when downsizing your life. Everything from packing up decades worth of belongings to preparing your home for sale and cutting ties with your longtime community can be overwhelming. However, you can avoid some common mistakes when downsizing your home when you implement a solid moving strategy. To help you plot your course, Dana Lapointe with Xcellence Realty offers some great advice about what not to do as you prepare for this major transition.
Not Planning Ahead
Don't let the excitement of embarking on a new chapter in your life cause you to throw all caution to the wind. Stop and take some time to plan the relocation project before you jump into it headfirst.
Start by working up a budget to see how much cash you have available. It's also a good idea to set aside some additional funds for any unexpected expenses that may arise during the process.
When looking for your new home, take your lifestyle into account. It's essential to live in a place that accommodates your lifestyle without burdening you with unnecessary expenses.
Forgetting About Your Pets
Another common mistake people make involves pets. Whether you're moving across Florida or across the country, it's crucial that you consider your fur babies.
Have a pet bed available during the move. An elevated bed is beneficial for pets with hip problems, and couch or sofa beds for pets can provide additional comfort if they’re senior animals. When considering beds, it helps to read ratings and reviews, especially if you’re looking for specific materials or features, like water resistance.
Also, if you're flying with your pet, book a direct flight, and ask your veterinarian about sedating your pet. If you're taking a road trip with your pet, bring water, food, any medications, and a first aid kit. Using CBD can be helpful if you notice that your pet is acting anxious. Most vets believe CBD is safe and often helpful for reducing anxiety, so consider it as you prepare to move and hit the road.
Underestimating Moving Costs
Unfortunately, moving is expensive. For example, a cross-country move from New York to Palm Harbor, Florida, can cost between $1,700 and $3,000. That said, when you work with qualified and dependable movers, you will know your money is well spent. Look into local movers with good customer ratings before calling for quotes. It’s important that you budget appropriately.
Not Calculating All Potential Home Costs
The last thing you want when you downsize is to be house poor because you overspent. A smaller home will, hopefully, cost less, but look at the current real estate market to get a realistic idea of how much your future home will cost you. But there are other factors to keep in mind. This includes items like closing costs, maintenance costs, a home inspection, a home warranty and quality homeowners insurance, which is an absolute must.
Homeowners insurance is required when you apply for a mortgage, but it is still the wisest choice if you pay cash. Remember, your insurance will provide financial protection should your property become damaged or destroyed. Considering that Florida’s East coast sees plenty of hurricane and tropical storm activity, this is really a non-negotiable, but it could be expensive. Finding the best rates requires due diligence. S o make sure you choose the right policy for your needs by working with a broker who can walk you through preferable options. If you do get a mortgage, remember, you can roll your homeowners insurance payments into your escrow, so this is automatically paid every year.
When it comes to downsizing your home, the less you have, the better. This is why it's crucial to declutter thoroughly before you start packing. You can start by listing everything in your home. Next to each item, write down how many times you've used it in the past year. This helps you prioritize which items are worth keeping and which ones need to be donated, sold, or thrown out.
The Upside of Downsizing
Although downsizing can be a difficult task, it provides several benefits. For example, moving into a smaller home requires you to spend less money on operational costs, such as rent and utilities. Additionally, you don't have to spend as much time cleaning or maintaining your home because the living space is reduced.
So when you’re ready to take the next step towards downsizing your home, contact local real estate professional Dana Lapointe with Xcellence Realty!
Plan for a Successful Downsizing Experience
When you’re ready to take the leap, a carefully crafted plan will get you from point A to point B with fewer headaches. So budget wisely, keep your furry family members in mind, account for all moving and home purchases costs like movers and insurance, and make sure you thoroughly declutter before you pack everything up. In no time, you’ll be in your new place, enjoying everything that Florida has to offer.