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Steven Snapp
240-604-5146
steve@homeswithsnapp.com
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Steven Snapp
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240-604-5146
steve@
homeswithsnapp.com
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Category Title > Downsizing

Tips to get you started

Need some help with downsizing?

When did the house finally get too big? Now there are rooms you never enter. You see a home with a master suite on the same level as the kitchen and say to yourself, “Wouldn’t that be nice.” You go to dinner in one of the great urban centers sprouting up everywhere and imagine strolling home instead of fighting traffic in your car. And nothing could make you happier than retiring your snow shovel.

I can help you tackle the process.

For clients—and frankly, for my own family—I’ve spent a lot of time touring condos, inspecting one-level homes (preferably with exterior maintenance included), and evaluating townhouses with elevators. I’ve catalogued the pros and cons, and if you are thinking about a transition to a home where you can gracefully age in place, I can help. I’ve looked at the floor plans, the costs, the conveniences…and the trade-offs. Call me at 240.604.5146 to talk about your plans to downsize, whether you are just starting the thought process or already have a plan in mind.

How much square footage is enough?

Downsizing sounds right…until you see how small someplace smaller actually is. Attitude adjustment is in order. How often do guests really stay in your guest rooms? Is your basement storage storing things you need to continue to save? The best way to start the search for a smaller home is by looking at a range of options. How does a home with 30% or 50% less elbowroom feel to you? How many of your favorite possessions could fit? Editing will certainly be required. Sometimes, the best tactic is to go back home after a tour and walk through your current home to consider what you could live without.

What are your financial objectives in downsizing?

Do you expect to save money? Are you willing to pay more? How much is it worth to be rid of exterior maintenance and excess utility expenses? Downsizing does have its own costs. Condos have monthly charges that can run well over $1,000. On the other hand, that can get you a doorman, maybe a swimming pool and gym, underground parking and other amenities. It’s important to consider all of those costs in addition to the purchase price of a new residence. To understand how that balances with your current way of living, we’ll also want to look at what it costs to stay where you are. For instance, there is value to never having to worry about replacing a roof again.

What kind of location will work for you?

“Walkability” is the hot trend in downsizing today. In Chevy Chase or downtown Bethesda or one of the more suburban town centers like Crown Farm, a new home can put you within an easy stroll of shopping, supermarkets, restaurants and entertainment. One essential part of the hunt for a downsized home is to walk the neighborhood. Do you like the accessibility? Or after years in a larger home do you feel too hemmed in?

Should you buy first? Or list first?

There's no bigger question, and there is no single answer. We’ll look at your home as well as comparable sales and listings in your neighborhood to get an informed idea of a realistic asking price. We can also tour some possible new homes before you list so you can start to focus in on what your real-world price range is likely to be. It can take some time for your thinking to evolve...and that is just fine. We'll take it patiently to be sure you're doing the right thing.