Downsizing Your Home? Use These Tips to Plan Your Move

kitchen and dining roomMaybe the thought of moving to a smaller, low-maintenance home has only briefly crossed your mind, or maybe you’re seriously considering downsizing. But before you trade your too-large house in for, say, a cozy condo downtown, there are a few things to consider.

Downsizing requires quite a bit of planning: You may need to figure out what to keep and what to discard, choose between the love seat and the sofa for your new living room, and determine which furniture pieces can serve multiple functions.

Here are a few downsizing tips to help you prepare to sell your current home.

Start Reducing Your Possessions Now

The sooner you are able to get rid of furniture, household items, and knickknacks you no longer use or need, the better off you’ll be. When you do decide to sell your home, you will thank yourself for spending a few hours a week decluttering now rather than waiting to do everything all at once.

If You Can, Sell Instead of Discard

Many homeowners choose to downsize to spend less money on a mortgage and more money on fun experiences. If you are able to start decluttering weeks in advance, you will have the time to sell unwanted possessions and save the money for future vacations. Consider hosting a yard sale, posting items for sale online, or having high-end items appraised.

Have a Plan

notepad with wadded paperTo avoid getting overwhelmed by all the work involved in downsizing, form a plan to keep your stress at bay. Consider these planning tips:

  • Make a checklist of possessions you cannot live without in your new home.
  • Create a checklist of wants and needs for your new home.
  • Determine which items you can pack now and which items you need to keep handy.
  • Start packing your nonessential belongings.

Get Started by Working with a Real Estate Expert

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make, whether or not they’re downsizing, is not hiring a real estate professional to make the most of their investment. An agent’s experience and knowledge will help you sell your home for the most money possible, allowing you to use the proceeds to purchase a smaller home.

Are you thinking about downsizing? Start the process by requesting a market analysis for your property. Contact us to learn more.

Giving Back to Houston with Give Back Homes!

charity in houstonI am excited and proud to announce that as of October 13, 2016, my brokerage, Intero Real Estate Services, will be partnering with the charitable organization Give Back Homes to bring even greater giving power to the Houston community!

What is Give Back Homes?

We are a community of Realtors and real estate professionals who give back to our communities, and other communities across the world, by helping to build homes for families locally, nationally, and internationally. Our projects include build sites across the United States and Latin America.houston charity home building projects

What Do We Do?

In short, we help people by creating homes. We organize fundraising projects and increase awareness of local causes. We work with established charities such as Homes for Humanity to organize local home building projects. And we volunteer our own time to participate in local Build Days and international Build Trips to build homes for families in need.

Where is Give Back Homes Currently Working?

There are multiple home builds and fundraising projects currently underway. There are sites in Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Oakland, New York City, Haiti, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and many more. We have a hurricane relief fundraiser to address Haiti’s devastation after Hurricane Matthew. There’s even a current project underway in Houston.we give needy families homes

What Does the Houston Project Look Like?

We have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build in Harrel Park. In September alone we donated $1,650 towards the project, and we have exceeded our $5,000 donation goal with a total donation of $5,320 to date. The project broke ground on October 29th, and Habitat for Humanity, who recently built their 1,000th home in 2015, can complete a home build in about 5 months!

Find Out How You Can Help with the Houston Build Projects

It’s not hard to give back to your community, and if we all work together, we can make the Houston community even better. Whether you want to join us for a Build Day, a giving party, or even a fitness class, or simply learn more about what it means to be a part of the Houston community, then please feel free to contact me with any of your questions! As a bilingual real estate agent deeply invested in my community, I am here to help you!

Giving Back to the Community through Giveback Homes

“You took the time out of your lives to go somewhere you’ve never been before, to do something you’ve never done before. We thank you for that.”

14889715_457023374421665_3325617430764267772_oWho knew that Giveback Homes would forever change me? Who knew that this amazing guy that was talking to all the volunteers could move me to the point of crying with his hype and his words. Who knew that those Habitat for Humanity homes do not come for free to anyone! You read it right, not FREE. 300 hrs of work on your house plus a monthly mortgage payment will get you into a home once qualified. Do you know what that means? Imagine adding those hours to some that already works two jobs. Now, I do; and I’m be extremely grateful to Intero Real Estate Services for finding Giveback Homes and deciding to partner with them.

14884431_457035747753761_2882806631418908965_o (1)14917217_457035681087101_4017542257444892996_oThrough my client’s real estate transactions, I have been able to donate a portion form every closing and in just 3 months I have given $1750 towards the construction of this, our first build day.

Only 6 hr of construction, which felt more like a zillion to me, but it gave me perspective. I learned how much hard work goes into building a home (now I appreciate home builders even more), I learned how privileged I have been all my life and I that made me feel that I had to give back even more than what I am giving now. My goal for 2017 is to contribute $5000 toward the construction of another home. If you or anyone you know would like to make a contribution to Giveback Homes please contact me. There is no better feeling than #Givingbacktothecommunity #forsocialgood #Givebackhomes #karlaarjonasellshomes

14882250_457026231088046_7008828344393033062_oGiveback Homes is a community of real estate professionals who are committed to creating social change by helping build homes for deserving families around the globe. We work together to organize fundraising events, mobilize teams of volunteer homebuilders, and we inspire others to take action for social good; rest assured that 100% of your contributions goes directly to a family in need, making their dreams of home ownership a reality.

The Essentials for Entertaining Big in a Small Home

homeowner setting dining tableWith the holiday season approaching, many homeowners are starting to plan get-togethers with friends or family. While entertaining can be more of a challenge in a smaller home, it’s not impossible to host a memorable dinner party with your loved ones if you’re working with limited space.

Here are a few tips for throwing a large dinner party in a small area.

Before Guests Arrive, Clean and Clear Your Home

You don’t have to put as much effort into cleaning and decluttering as if you were selling a home; the basics will do.

Put away any unnecessary furniture, home décor, and kitchen appliances before the dinner party. Clean and dust the rooms that guests will visit: bathrooms, the kitchen, and the dining area. If you have pets, don’t forget to vacuum upholstery and stash toys or the litter box out of sight.

Get Creative with Guest Seating

You likely don’t keep a dozen matching chairs in storage just for dinner parties. Show off your creativity by relocating chairs, stools, benches, or ottomans currently in your home around the dinner table.

appetizers on raised food standsMaximize Your Table Space

Invest in a tiered platter for dinner parties. Raising the serving plates gives the appearance of more space on your counters and tables and keeps your serving stations from looking cramped.

To further free up space on your dining room table, keep the centerpiece decorations to a minimum. Instead, hang decorations from your walls or ceiling to maximize your space.

Trying to Make the Most of Your Space?

If you’re downsizing but still want to entertain friends and family in your new home, there are many ways to make the most of your space while still enjoying memorable occasions with your loved ones. As real estate experts, we can share downsizing tips and help you find a home that’s just the right size. Contact us to learn more.