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Thinking About Downsizing? Talk to Liz Levey-Pruyn

Seacoast Realtor and Downsizing Expert Helps Rightsize Your Next Home Search

Empty nesters? Retirement nearing? Living in just three rooms—the rest collecting dust? Time to downsize? After snow blowing the driveway and shoveling out a space for Fido, the last nor’easter has you ready to shed this “mortal coil.” Dreams of effortless living—someone handling the shoveling and trimming the bushes, dance in your head.

“What I see more often is people realizing they downsized too much and too quickly,” cautions Liz Levey-Pruyn, downsizing expert and realtor with the Seacoast Dwellings Team at Aland Realty. Having helped countless clients downsize, Liz focuses on rightsizing. “I am not talking people out of downsizing, but I want them to fully understand the decisions they must make.”

There are three “bags” to unpack for the downsizing journey. “What are your goals, priorities, and future needs? 

If reducing finances is a goal, downsizing space may not downsize expenses. A small home, especially an older one, still needs maintenance, and a condo comes with assessments and monthly fees.

The downtown Portsmouth lifestyle has an allure, but do you want to walk everywhere, even on a cold, rainy night, or will a coffee shop and market nearby suffice? For those with fenced-in yards in quiet suburbs, Liz points out potential noise from busy streets and late-night activities and that postage stamp-sized yard with neighbors nearby.

While condo life is appealing, be realistic about communal living. Besides sharing walls, there are building rules and limited storage and parking to consider. Are you prepared to give up a car? And does Fido meet the pet regulations?

Future needs like aging in place and room for kids and grandchildren to stay is another key question. Do you need a first-floor primary suite and guest space now, or are you okay with renovating later?
Last, Liz explains, “It almost always comes down to the furniture. Are you prepared to give up the dining set you bought when you were married?” List the essentials, especially oversized pieces that require space, Liz advises. Then, work room by room. Start easy with the guest room or closet. As for the kids’ boxes, Liz is emphatic, “They don’t want their stuff—no trophies, no high school photos, no furniture.”

After unpacking these bags and emptying the attic, you will feel the “mortal coil” shed and be ready to rightsize.

“It almost always comes down to the furniture. Are you prepared to give up the dining set you bought when you were married?”