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Keep These Items When Downsizing

by Melissa Thompson


Getting organized to move is an arduous task. When you are downsizing to a smaller home, you will hear a lot about getting rid of stuff.  It makes sense to get rid of a lot of unused belongings when you are getting ready to pack and move, especially if you are downsizing.  But it’s important not to go overboard! There are some things that are worth keeping. In fact, there are some things you should never throw away, even when downsizing:

  1. Important Papers

You should let go of as much paper as you can before moving, but be careful that you don’t thrown away important documents.Hang on to the following: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, social security cards, retirement documents, medical records, insurance policies, passports, wills, trusts, power of attorney documents, property deeds, investment records, education records, diplomas, military service records and vehicle titles. 8 Ways to Organize All of Your Most Important Paperwork

  1. Collections

If you collect something, clearly it has significance to you. Maybe you just like it, or maybe it has sentimental value.Either way, you should definitely take your collection with you and make room for it in your own home.Now, if you have several collections, you might have to pick your favorites and leave some behind.But downsizing doesn’t mean having to let go of the things that mean the most to you.

  1. Family Heirlooms

Sometimes you inherit things that you feel you must keep just because they were passed down to you from family, but you don’t really like them. You keep them packed in a box and don’t use or display them.There is no point in moving these to your new home. However, family heirlooms that you love should make the cut.Downsizing gives you the opportunity to take stock in your family heirlooms and decide what is worth keeping and what can be sold or given away.Take the items that you enjoy and that are meaningful to you…leave the rest.

  1. Electronics

Unless you have the time to make sure that all your electronics have been completely cleared of personal information, you should take them with you.The last thing you want is to give away, sell, or dispose of electronic devices that still carry your personal information. How to Get Personal Data Off Your Devices

  1. Photographs

When you are in the midst of packing for a move and you are exhausted and overwhelmed, you might start throwing away things that seem unimportant at the moment…but you may regret it later.Take all your photographs with you.If you have time, save space by getting them digitized using a company like Legacy Box, but don’t throw them away!

  1. Landline Phones

Many people rely solely on cell phones these days.But you never know when you might misplace your mobile phone, run out of battery or lose service.Keep at least one land line for emergencies. 7 Reasons to Keep Your Landline

  1. Sentimental Items

This may seem like a given.Of course you won’t leave any sentimental items behind.But sometimes it’s difficult to decide what holds deep sentimental value to you, especially when you are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of belongings you have to move and fit into your new, smaller home.Don’t let downsizing make you feel like you must get rid of the things that mean most to you.Choose the ones that mean the most and bring them along!

Are you looking to downsize? If so, professional Realtor Melissa Thompson can help you sell your current home and find a new home to better suit your needs. Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Photo Credit: debt.org


Now that you know The Perks of Living in an Active Adult Community, the question is, when is the best time to move into one?  The answer is…NOW!  If you are at least 55, there is no reason to wait. In fact, if you do put off your move, you may end up regretting it.  Consider these reasons for moving to and active retirement community sooner than later:

  • The older you get, the harder it will be to move. Despite how much you work to stay in good physical shape, you can’t fight aging.  If you think packing and moving would be exhausting now, then try to imagine what it might be like in your 60s or 70s. 
     

  • Timing is everything.  Just because you start the process of selling your home and finding the perfect 55+ community to move to, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away.  It might take a long time to organize your current home and get it ready to sell.  It also might take a significant amount of time to research 55+ communities to find the right one for you.  55+ Communities in Memphis Area
     
  • You might miss out if you wait.  There is going to be a "Silver Tsunami" of baby boomers that will be ready to downsize and move to these communities and if you wait, you might find that desirable 55+ communities are full.  In addition, there is a current shortage of homes for sale in traditional communities and demand for them is still high. So, now is the time to sell while the market is in your favor!
     
  • It simply makes sense to be prepared for “senior living”.  Unplanned medical issues might make living in your current multi-level home a big problem. Don’t wait for that to happen. Find an active retirement community featuring one level living now and you won’t have to worry about renovating your current home to accommodate your future needs.
     
  • Start building your social network now.  There is no place better than a 55+ community to make new friends.  But it won’t happen overnight.  Starting now will give you the opportunity to build a network of friends that will be there for years to come.
     
  • You will likely be more active!  Some people think of retirement communities as places you go to slow down.  But 55+ communities offer so many activities and amenities that slowing down will only happen if that is what you want.  It will be so easy for you to participate in fun activities that you will likely do more than you are doing now to stay busy!
     
  • Save money on home maintenance.  If you’re currently living in an older home, chances are you have been shelling out your hard-earned money for lots of maintenance and repairs.  Imagine moving to a new home that is more energy efficient, has new appliances and will require less upkeep. That leaves more time and money for all those fun activities that will keep you younger longer!

55+ communities offer so much that will make your life better and more fun. Why wait to enjoy the benefits? Start looking now and find the community and home that is right for you!

If you have recently become an “empty nester” and you or your partner are 55 or older, an active adult community might be just the place for you to start fresh. Melissa Thompson is an experienced, professional Realtor who can help you get the best price possible on the sale of your current home so that you can join in the fun of living in a 55+ community!  Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

Photo Credit: rd.com

Maximizing Small Spaces

by Melissa Thompson

The tiny house craze is alive and well, and while you may not be looking for a tiny home you might be looking to downsize and simplify.  There are many perks  to living in a smaller home.  First, it costs less money…which frees up funds for other things you enjoy like travel and hobbies.  And the peace of mind that comes with living within your means is priceless.  Also, with less space, there is less to clean.  And less cleaning means more time for fun and relaxation.  But sometimes it can be challenging to fit everything you need (and want) into a home with limited square footage.  Don’t despair!  Not only can you make it all fit, you can do it with style and create a comfortable, cozy home that suits all your needs. Here are some clever ideas for making the most of small spaces:

  • Make everything seem bigger by painting walls in light colors. 
  • Use small scale furniture rather than large, overstuffed pieces that will overwhelm the room.
  • Use mirrors to create the illusion of more space.  One mirror will make an impression, but two facing each other will make a bigger impact by amplifying the semblance of added area and light.
  • If you’re thinking of doing any renovations, consider adding a bay window. Not only will it maximize square footage, but it will provide the added bonus of flooding the house with natural light.
  • Keep things simple.  Clean lines make things feel streamlined and give the impression of openness.
  • Take advantage of high ceilings by going vertical with cabinetry.  Not only will it draw the eyes up and away from the limited counter space, but it will also provide maximum storage.
  • Continue thinking up and not out by utilizing tall bookshelves.
  • Use furniture pieces that serve more than one purpose.
  • Got stairs?  Don’t let the area underneath them go to waste.  There are great options for creating extra storage that will be functional and look great too.
  • If you’re going to hang curtains, hand them as high as you can to make the ceilings seem higher and extend the rods about 4 inches on either side to make windows seem wider and to allow more light in when they are open.

Downsizing and simplifying will make you realize that less really is more, but it doesn’t mean you must sacrifice style and comfort!

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Popular-Flooring-Trends

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Becoming-a-Minimalist-Steps-for-Beginners

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Home-Maintenance-Projects-You-Should-Start-Now

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What Does Downsizing Mean for You?

by Melissa Thompson

People downsize to smaller homes for many reasons:

  • Your children have grown up and moved out leaving you with an empty nest.
  • You have retired or you are planning to retire soon.
  • You are tired of the upkeep it takes to maintain a large house.
  • You would rather spend your free time traveling or on your hobbies rather than cleaning your house.
  • Increased taxes and upkeep have made your current home too expensive.
  • You’ve lost a spouse or partner and you’re living alone.
  • You’ve always wanted to live at the beach, in the mountains, on a lake, etc. and want a smaller dream house in one of those locales.
  • You’ve built up a lot of equity in your current home and want to start using it for other things.

    Whatever the reason, downsizing is a good move that will likely bring you more joy.  Here are the reasons why:
     
  • Your house will be easier to maintain and you will spend less time cleaning.
  • You will spend less money on everything from your mortgage, taxes and insurance to your heating, cooling, and electricity. 
  • Having less debt will eliminate the financial stress that comes with a huge mortgage payment.
  • A home that doesn’t drain your resources and energy will give you peace of mind.  And that is priceless.
  • A smaller home has a positive impact on the environment because it requires less resources to build and maintain.
  • You will have more free time for living the life you want.
  • It will force you to cut back on your belongings and keep you from buying more.
  • If decorating is not your thing, a smaller house will make it less overwhelming for you.
  • When the time comes to sell, a smaller, more affordable home will appeal to a larger percentage of the population.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you should move into one of the tiny houses that are trendy right now.  It might be just going from four bedrooms/three baths to three bedrooms/two baths.  A professional Realtor can assist you in finding a smaller home that will suit all your needs and provide you with a happier, more peaceful lifestyle.

 

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Why-Americans-Consider-Moving-to-Another-State

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/Four-Reasons-to-Buy-a-Home-Now

http://www.yourkeytomemphis.com/Blog/5-Important-Things-to-Fix-Before-Putting-Your-House-on-the-Market

The Tiny House Movement!

by Melissa Thompson

Have you been following the tiny house trend? I have been too; it’s hard not to. It is more popular than ever and just incredible to see what these people can create or how they turn something so small into something spectacular and appearing spacious. I for one, am amazed at what can be done and the amount of creativity going into these homes.

If we’re being quite frank about it, downsizing to a smaller home can be hard for many but to transition into a tiny house is simply fascinating. I have been captivated by this topic on more than one occasion.

Seeing the finished products and floor plans is what has me enthralled. Whomever originally started this trend was thinking well before their time and most likely didn’t know what an impact this would have on the homeowners who chose to live this way but to the rest of us as well.

Did you know the average tiny home is anywhere from 100 to 400 square feet? Yes, you read that correctly.

The Tiny Life movement has taken off and is most active in the United States, however many other developed countries are jumping on the bandwagon as well.

The reason many people choose to follow this living trend is to have smaller, more efficient space, and be environmentally friendlier, which creates simpler living. Along with the financial freedom of having a small home, it certainly is a prime example of being able to make do and live with less or to purge our things more often.

The Small House Society is a group dedicated to knowledge of small houses and promoting smaller house alternatives. If you are you thinking about buying or selling Real Estate give me a call 901-729-9526 or send me an email!

photo credit: pinterest.com

Is it Time to Downsize your Home?

by Melissa Thompson
 

Is it Time to Downsize your Home? | Keeping Current Matters

A recent study by Edelman Berland revealed that of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future 33% plan to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why that would make sense to many Americans.

In a recent blog post, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, discussed the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in a recent article. They suggest you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profit from the sale of their current home and splitting it to put down payments on a smaller home in their current location and a vacation/retirement home where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values. This makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A recent study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actually, 69% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build a life you have always dreamt about.

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can help guide you through the process.

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