Looking to Lighten Up this summer? Thoughts about Downsizing

Is it time to lighten up?


This week, I interview Kristin Harris, Broker Associate for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty specializing in the Cherry Creek area about the ups and downs of downsizing into a smaller home.


Q:  Downsizing doesn’t always translate to down pricing.  What percentage of the bigger house sale price do people usually spend on the new smaller home?


A:  Indeed, downsizing doesn’t translate to down pricing.  In fact, I see that many home owners who downsize from a bigger home to a smaller home, move up in terms of location and fit and finish selection (there is a flight to quality). As a result, they end up moving into a smaller, but more expensive home.


Q:  Can professional staging help set the tone for getting rid of belongings prior to the move?  Or do people tend to just hang on to the extra furniture in storage?


A:  Yes, professional staging absolutely sets the tone for getting rid of belongings. Many times when I stage a home, clients get rid of furniture and then mention how much they love living with less.


Q: What are some services you have used to help older people who may be in poor health with their downsizing move?


A:  So far, my clients have had family members help when an individual is in poor health.  However, when someone is in poor health in the future, I’d bring in a professional.  For example, Rick Bloweman with  Colorado Senior Care Advisors. (720-839-2864)

Q: In the Cherry Creek area, what is considered a “small” home?


A:  A “small” town home in Cherry Creek North is about 3,200 sq. ft.  Condos range from 1,200 – 2,000 sq. ft.  However, I find that most people want a minimum of 1,800 sq. ft. when moving to a smaller home.

Q:  How can adult children be more helpful to aging parents as they downsize?


A:  The adult children should offer to get all their old Junk (keepsakes, medals, books, pictures, bikes and scrap books) out of their parents’ house. The parents have probably been storing it for 20 years.


Q:  What are the hot areas of town that people are downsizing to?


A:  Cherry Creek North is wildly popular for downsizing individuals; the low maintenance yards and walkability are highly attractive for people moving from Parker, Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills Village, Littleton, Centennial. Wash Park, Bonnie Brae and Downtown are other popular areas for downsizing.

Q:  What are some surprise costs to downsizing (i.e. HOA dues, more expensive area of town, moving costs, selling excess furniture)?


A:  I think the most surprising cost is preparing the house they’ve been in for 20 years for the market.  In many cases, homes have been well loved, but not updated, freshly painted or landscaped, and new carpet hasn’t been installed for years. These costs add up, but are necessary, even in a Seller’s market.


Kristin Harris


Kristin Harris of Dwell Cherry Creek is a LIV Sotheby’s Realtor who specializes in the Cherry Creek North area of Denver, CO. Kristin is happy to address any other real estate concerns you have!

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