Downsizing to What Works for You

by Elayne Jassey 09/01/2019

People downsize their living-space for all kinds of reasons. Making the decision to downsize shouldn't be a negative experience and shouldn't feel like your downgrading your home. Follow these tips to level up your lifestyle and home enjoyment while downsizing your accommodations.

Find a space that works for you.

You might be moving from a large home with a big kitchen or dining area to a more compact condo or cottage and feel like you're losing a lot of space. Think about how your current home is laid out and what parts you utilize the most. If you love your big kitchen, then search for a highly functional, if smaller, kitchen space. Pay attention to how you move through your kitchen now, is it fluid to go between different cooking, prep and cleaning areas? You might find that in reality, you run around your kitchen and loose efficiency. Look for a more compact, but well-appointed kitchen in your new home search and find an even better space for the cooking and entertaining you love. 

Modernize your home view.

Your current home may have significant square footage, but how is it laid out? Are there lots of walls and hallways separating your rooms? What height are your ceilings? Does your house have a plethora of windows? Many modern homes have great open layouts. Shared space—a kitchen that opens to your living room, for example—makes both areas feel more substantial. Consider a condo or loft that has extra high ceilings and employ vertical storage to give height and openness to your living space. Finally, windows, windows, windows. Look for a home with large windows, and lots of them. Opening your house up to the beautiful outdoors and letting in lots of natural light gives your home the most added feeling of enlarged space. 

Make your new rooms work double for you.

  • Invest in a home with open kitchen, living, and dining spaces so you can entertain and remain a part of the activity while creating a meal or prepping drinks.
  • Combine your office, guest and craft rooms into one multi-functional space. Use modern storage and office systems to keep your room organized and ready to use for any purpose. Find a great sofa bed for seating and guest use or go old-school with a built-in Murphy bed with added shelving on the exterior. 
  • Use combination appliances like a stacking washer and dryer or upgrade to front loading systems that you can put under the countertop or build a worktable over.
  • Look for outdoor space that maximizes your interior space. French doors or a big sliding door that opens your living or dining room up to your patio expands your useable entertaining space. Find a home with a balcony off the master bedroom and extend your feeling of outdoor space. 

Amenities. Amenities. Amenities. 

In your home search consider narrowing in on communities with amenities that improve your lifestyle. Community gyms, pools, clubhouses, dog parks, and even a golf course are great opportunities to add to your lifestyle and help you make new connections. Properties with large green areas, barbecue pits, and trees make you feel like the whole community is your backyard. Associations that take care of maintaining your yard or washing windows can reduce the time you spend on home upkeep and free you up to live your life.

No matter the reason for your downsize take the smart steps to make it work for you and help you upgrade your living. Before you start your home search consult with your real estate professional about the best way to find the right space for you.

About the Author
Author

Elayne Jassey

 

Your Neighborhood Expert!

Hi, I'm Elayne Jassey and in addition to my passion for real estate, I have a passion for my family, people, competitive games and Stamford! I have loved living in Stamford, Connecticut for the last 35 years. During that time I raised two daughters here and became quite involved in our local civic life. I was very active in Board of Education affairs during all the years my daughters spent in the Stamford public schools, and my early experience as a middle school teacher gave me a great appreciation for the strengths of the Stamford schools. I am currently a member of our Downtown Committee and I'm delighted to have participated in processes that have resulted in everything from encouraging the University of Connecticut to move into their new-in-town branch location, to bringing the excitement of the area's largest Thanksgiving Day Parade, complete with soaring balloons and marching bands, to town. 

I suspect the greatest joy in my professional life is that I meet and work with so many different and interesting people. I enjoy my customers and I am pleased that I build close relationships with them that I maintain for years. These relationships have resulted in a high degree of customer loyalty, and most importantly many close and rewarding friendships. In fact, I continue to work with people I listed, rented or sold properties to when I first entered the profession, and now I have begun selling to the next generation in their families! 

When not spending time with my family or savoring time with my granddaughter as she explores the world, I love to play games. Whether participating in a hard-fought game of Scrabble, playing cards or coming up with the answers in word games and puzzles, I am energized by good competition and problem-solving. In fact, I find creating a successful real estate transaction is a composite of all the things I most enjoy. It combines the problem-solving excitement of detective work with the joy of matchmaking. Each new customer presents a unique set of needs and goals, a special personality and a sense of individual style, all within clearly defined financial strictures. Understanding all these factors and fitting the pieces together successfully is the challenge that makes the selling of real estate so special to me. And it allows me to use my considerable energy, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial spirit to work hard at meeting my own personal goals. 

People often say that I am a very lucky person. I agree. I live in a community I love. I am surrounded by family and friends, and work in a profession that still engages me deeply. And I've noticed that the harder I work, the luckier I am!