For the past two decades, the American home has increased in square footage by 5% each year. While it’s great to have a lot of space to move around and breathe, many times that space is used for storage more so than living in. And, we won’t even mention how much money is being wasted by heating and cooling the unused space.
According to real estate insights for 2022, it’s still a seller’s market and if you’ve been thinking about downsizing to an apartment, now’s the time to sell. Downsizing isn’t going to be easy, but we have a few tips that’ll help you transition into your new carefree life in an apartment.
1. Declutter and thin out your belongings
The issue with all of that extra square footage is that you can amass a lot more junk than you realize. So when you’re going to downsize, you need to take the time to declutter and sort through your belongings. Keep only the items that you know you’re going to use or need and get rid of the rest.
2. Sell what you don’t need
You’re going to need some extra money for a security deposit and rent, so why not sell the stuff you don’t need? You can use online marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook (to name a few) and turn a nice little profit. You can sell books, furniture, clothing, decor items, outdoor equipment and toys… Pretty much anything can be sold online!
3. Make an apartment “wish list”
Ask yourself what you want in an apartment. Do you want to live in a complex that has a lot of amenities like a pool, gym, or club house? Does your apartment have to have a washer and dryer in it or are you okay using a community laundromat? Do you need a spare room to convert into a home office or are you good with a one-bedroom?
There’s a lot that needs to be considered and we recommend creating a detailed list of the things that your future apartment must have and what things you’re willing to compromise on.
4. Begin searching for an apartment
After creating your wish list, now the fun can truly begin! Sites like Apartments.com offer extensive filters that you can use to find the apartment of your dreams. You can even target your search to a specific area to find apartment complexes that meet your search criteria in that given area.
Of course, it should go without saying that if you’re in a high-demand rental market in a big city, you might have better luck working with a local real estate agent. They’ll have a better idea of what’s available and are more likely to have success finding an apartment that meets your needs.
5. Don’t settle for the first place you see
Much like buying a car or house, you shouldn’t lease the first place you see. Take your time researching your options before signing a lease. When you do find the place you want to call home, be sure to review the lease carefully. Not only should you check to make sure the lease has the agreed terms for rent, security, and length, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the apartment complex’s policies regarding damages, maintenance, pets, subletting, and so forth.
There are many reasons why people decide to sell their homes and downsize to an apartment. Just like looking for a house, a lot of considerations have to be made when choosing the right apartment. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the options, take a step back and breathe. You don’t want to get locked into a year-long lease and regret it!