When the children get older, move off to college, find jobs of their own – you are in the right place to retire. With retiring comes downsizing. You soon realize you don’t need all of the space you once did when you had a house full of children.

Below are five smart moves to be aware of for downsizing:

  1. Stage Your House Before a Sale

Depending on when you last moved, your interiors may be looking outdated; low-cost upgrades can help. Add newer bedding and fluffy towels, for instance, and clear out the last decade or so’s accumulated clutter, For higher priced homes, a professional stager can add more contemporary furnishings.

  1. Look at Townhouses and Condos

Townhomes and condos can always be a better deal when downsizing. They also require less upkeep, which may be tempting after years of maintenance. The only thing to look at is the HOA fees, because some of them may be higher than usual in condos or townhome communities.

  1. Rightsize Your Mortgage

With money being in your pocket, downsizers are able to afford a higher down payment which puts you ahead in the buying bids as well as cutting your ongoing costs. With 30-year loans still below 4%, financial advisors say it’s fine to have some housing debt even in retirement.

  1. Be Willing to Take on Cosmetic Repairs

Typically when downsizing, most people want a smaller space but more amenities. Homebuyers will be able to find amazing opportunities on homes that need little repairs. By making just small cosmetic repairs on a great deal, almost all homebuyers will come out on top.

  1. Test-Drive a New Locale Before Buying

If you’re contemplating a big change—a move to the Sunbelt or a condo back in the city—don’t buy quite yet. “I recommend selling first and renting something for a while to make sure it’s really the square footage you need,” says Clarke.

For more information on all things real estate, visit www.atlantarealestateforum.com.

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