HOUSING CHECKLIST to Downsize, Up size or Rightsize

Are you downsizing to a smaller place, senior community, granny pod or a relative’s guest room? Or up-sizing to your forever house in a new state with favorable real estate values and tax policies? You’ll ace your rightsizing move with some pre-planning, organization and a bit of physical labor. In addition, check out Research Money Matters for more information and use this checklist to get started.

  • Do the Math

    1. Know your current monthly expenses (rent, house payment, utilities, HOA, property taxes, etc.).
    2. Open your mind and analyze alternative scenarios. For example: if you move into the townhouse around the corner, will it cut your expenses? can you live the same lifestyle?; if you move to a different state, can you cut your expenses? live in a bigger house (note: 30% of retirees up-size to a bigger home), improve your lifestyle?
    3. Keep in mind your current home memories, proximity to family and friends, access to doctors and medical facilities and lifestyle opportunities – walking paths, libraries, restaurants, retail.
    4. Make a decision! Or at least start a dialogue with yourself, your spouse, family and friends.
  • Make a Timeline & a Plan

    1. How long – are you in a hurry or can you do this at a slower pace? Most experts suggest a 6-month lead-time, but you may need more depending on your situation (variables include size of your house, housing market, rental property, availability of helpers or staff, etc.). If you are over 80, double your time window.
    2. Your Plan should include LEAVING tasks (end a lease, sell a house) and LANDING tasks (movers, helpers), etc.
  • Your Stuff To Do’s

    1. Start Early
    2. Know where you are going, the room sizes and styles – Determine what to keep and use in your new place – consider size, style, colors, durability, your changing tastes and needs. As you become more fantastic, things like hard wood floors are proven safer than thick carpets due to tripping accidents.
    3. Make a list of what will be distributed to whom even if you are going to use it for awhile. Your list will help you and your family members/friends in the long run.
    4. Dispose of stuff you don’t need or want – Will you sell, donate or store the stuff that you are not moving with you? Consider the selling process and do what works best in your case – ebay, Craigslist, tag sale, estate sale or consignment. If you are donating your stuff – to whom, where & how will you accomplish?  Maybe you need to rent a storage unit, be sure to add the  cost of getting your items moved there and the monthly fees. Be realistic when evaluating your items and situation.
  • Finally – Execute your Plan

    1. Get on it! You can do it! Know that flexibility is your friend whether you are downsizing, upsizing or simply rightsizing.