St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging

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I'm ready to downsize. I don't like this house my stuff won't fit.

Recently I was taking a home buyer around to look at properties. She and her family are moving from another state where the homes have large basements. Her current home is nearly 4000 square feet (plus a basement) and she's looking at homes between 2000 - 3000 sqft. She knew she wanted to downsize, but had a really hard time with the room sizes. 

When we would find a home that would fit all of her needs, inevidably I heard, "I don't think my living room (or bedroom) furniture will fit in here." Respectfully I tried to remind her that she was losing half her living space. She was moving to Florida for a more simple life, part of that would mean letting go of "stuff". 

When you are ready to downsize, be prepared to let go of your stuff. 

I downsized when I moved to Florida too. My two oldest {adult} kids stayed in SC and we didn't need a 5 bedroom home anymore. we went from just over 3700 sqft down to about 2900 sqft. I'm ready to downsize again when my youngest graduates high school this year. While she'll probably still live with us, we can move to an area that isn't dependant on school district and when we do, I would like to get down to about 2100 sqft. 

live in a smaller home

What everyone, including myself when the time came, seems to forget is that downsizing means that the entire scale of the house shifts. Rooms throughout the home get smaller. Downsizing probably means getting rid of a lot of pieces, and maybe having to buy new furniture altogether. 

Unless you are building a custom home, then expect that you won't just lose the formal living room, but your family room will probably be smaller too. You may not need the sitting area in your master bedroom anymore, but when the bedroom gets smaller, the closet may get smaller as well. 

In general buying a home because of how your furniture will fit is always a tricky way of looking at things. If your furniture is part of your lifestyle then that makes sense, but usually it's easier to decide to buy new furniture for your new home than picking a home based on where the sofa will go. When you decide to downsize the situation only gets more difficult. 

If you are ready to shift your life, to give up the big house for a simpler life, it may just be time to give up the big furniture too. 

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 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).

 

Comment balloon 18 commentsMelissa Marro • February 18 2014 07:36AM

Comments

This is so true Melissa, many buyers begin shopping for a home based on how their furniture will fit in it. (whether downsizing or not) Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder that they "can change furniture easier than walls" to get them to look at the home with a different perspective. 

Posted by Donny Carter, Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert (Carter & Roque Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Having the right attitude about downsizing can help sellers edit their furnishings when staging their homes, too.  It can help make the decision to lose the over-sized sectional, for example.

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 4 years ago

Melissa- I love this!  When we're moving, even if we're not scaling down, it's not wise to sacrifice the house we want because we're hung up on the furniture we have.   It is so much easier to buy new furniture.  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

I think downsizing and moving to a new home is an excellent time to purge all the old furniture and start fresh with all new furniture, that will fit the new home.  

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 4 years ago

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

Down sizing is the hardest thing when showing property.  Such a tough call, trying to decide what to let go of.  BUT, it needs to happen.

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 4 years ago

I had the same frustration with some buyers recently. The had GOG SIZED furniture and would not even think of buying different furniture. When you are spending 300k for a home why oes 5k in furniture matter?

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker ABR, GRI (Windermere/lane county) over 4 years ago

Melissa - great advice here.   And, less stuff will make the space look larger and vice versa if you have too much.  Often, it may be better and less expensive to leave your stuff behind and not pay for moving it. - Debbie

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 4 years ago

Melissa, this is something good to think about when working with downsizing clients. I had one of those this past week. Good stuff.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 4 years ago

Downsizing is more than just a smaller house...a reality that some may find hard to adjust to!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago

How did I miss this post. I caught it on Kathy's list of "Ah-ha" moments and this post certainly qualifies! Downsizing is always interesting...many say they want to accomplish this but aren't ready to let go of all their stuff!! The two go hand in hand

 

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) over 4 years ago

Sometimes buyers do things out of order. Mental preparation and actually getting paring back on belongings should precede the house-hunting!

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 4 years ago

Good tip for buyers looking to downsize... buy the house that fits the lifestyle you wish to live not your furniture... 

Posted by Richard and Beth Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) over 4 years ago

Letting go of "stuff" is hard for many - it's as if we're defined by our possessions instead of the other way around.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 4 years ago

You make some very good points. Downsizing is a lot more than moving all of your stuff to a smaller home. 

Posted by Cathy Wolters, Your Brevard County Property Management Expert (Wolters Realty & Property Management Company) over 4 years ago

Very good idea for a post. Smaller means smaller for the furniture, too.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 4 years ago

Melissa, we are working with a couple now. They say they want to downsize but they don't want to give up big bedrooms and big closets. I don't think they really understand the meaning of downsizing

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 4 years ago

I downsized last year and had a great time getting rid of "stuff" that was cluttering my life.  I can breathe much better now in a smaller, simplified home. I hope your clients see the benefits of a smaller home.

Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Royal LePage Atlantic) over 4 years ago

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