Organization is Key
If you’re downsizing and/or relocating staying organized is absolutely vital. The last thing you want to do is end up throwing away a family heirloom or misplacing entire portions of your past. room-by-room, and don’t move on until each space is packed, labeled and ready for the movers. And don’t forget, downsizing means downsizing, so you’ll have to declutter and kick some things to the curb for sure. A storage unit is always a good, and inexpensive option, but you don’t want to have it filled to the brim and impossible to navigate.
Optics vs. Reality: Consider a trial-run
If you’re planning to relocate to a region you’re not very familiar with, don’t rely solely on reputation and online accounts, spend some real time there before taking the plunge. Optics can often be deceiving. Rent a house in the area for a week and really get the feel of the neighborhood. Sometimes an area can seem like the perfect match, but once you’re there, fully-immersed it doesn’t quite measure up. It’s always a good idea to get your feet wet before diving in.
This may seem like a paltry sum in comparison to the cost of real estate, but moving costs can be significant, especially if you’re moving far away. Time is money, they say, and moving takes a serious amount of time. Remember the first tip about staying organized and shop around for certified moving companies with good reputations and solid rates. And make sure to look for any hidden fees in the moving contract that could pop up.
Real Estate Trends
If you’re planning to relocate, you need to be aware of market tendencies to ensure you’re marking a sound investment. Urbanization is very much still booming but there are deals to be had, even in large, vibrant cities like Toronto and New York. Obviously, you want to buy low, regardless of any future plans to sell. So do some research on the neighborhoods you like, find out if the houses tend to increase in value, hold or fall. Ideally, you’ll be able to sneak in before another boom and be sitting pretty for the future.
Smaller Doesn’t Always Mean Cheaper / Don’t Give Up
Most of the time, downsizing results in net-positive savings. But that's not always the case. If you're moving from a more rural or Suburban area to a city, cutting the size of your home in half could still result in larger bills each month. A studio apartment in the West Village of Manhattan, or in SoMa, San Francisco can cost more than four bedroom homes in certain regions of the country. But this doesn’t mean it’s not worth it to move to a big city. On the contrary, the beautiful chaos and wealth of opportunities in a large metropolis can be utterly life-affirming. The key here is to shop around a bit; don’t settle on the first decent place you find. If you have a realistic goal condo or apartment in mind, don’t stop until you find it.