Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Priscilla Schumacher, director of sales and marketing for Glenview-based Edward R. James Companies, for her top ways to help clients downsize space – not lifestyle.
Buyers who want to downsize may be looking for a smaller home, but they don’t want to compromise their way of life. Here are four key considerations for agents to help their clients find the perfect home that reduces space, but not lifestyle.
4. Stay Local to Minimize Disruption – Although downsizers want to move to a new home, they still wish to remain connected to the important people in their lives. Moving a long distance from their current dwelling sometimes results in major drawbacks, like finding a new doctor, or seeing friends and family less often. By looking for a smaller home within proximity to their current location, downsizers can maintain these relationships.
3. Find Maintenance-Free Communities to Maximize Flexibility – The freedom that comes with spending less time maintaining a smaller home shouldn’t stop at the front door. Exterior maintenance, like snow removal and lawn care, are also responsibilities downsizers wish to reduce. Maintenance-free communities alleviate these burdens, and benefit active downsizers who travel for work or pleasure, and don’t want to worry about the home while they’re away.
2. Consider Flexible Floor Plans – While downsizing on living space, many buyers still need room to host visiting family and friends. Homes with first-floor masters allow buyers to enjoy single-floor living, while still having the space to accommodate guests upstairs.
1. Target Areas That Make it Easy to Get Around – With the added free time that downsizing brings, many buyers want to stay active in and outside of the home. Purchasing a home that is located within walking distance to retail and recreation provides freedom and a sense of connection to their community. Convenient access to public transportation allows downsizers to travel outside of the community, and makes it easy for friends and family to visit.
Priscilla Schumacher is director of sales and marketing for Glenview-based Edward R. James Companies, a premier homebuilder and developer with a more than 60-year history. Schumacher is a licensed real estate broker, with a 10-year record of successful sales and marketing experience in the Illinois marketplace. She oversees the firm’s new-construction communities, including Brighton Mews, a 29-unit townhome community in downtown Park Ridge, Ill., as well as Westgate at The Glen, a 171-unit community in Glenview.