Selling a Home: A Downsizing Story
Fri, November 22, 2013

By Hilary Nixon, RE/MAX Senior Public Relations Specialist

This week my parents, Norma and David, are making a move they’ve never made before: They’re downsizing. They both were born in 1945 (I’m sure they’ll be psyched I just told you that), and although they missed the exact window to be labeled baby boomers, they have, for the most part, identified with the Post-World War II generation. Boomers have had a broad influence on the American way of life since coming onto the scene between 1946 and 1964. According to some experts, my parents are on the very front end of a trend that will see a significant number of boomers transition into a smaller, simpler, more manageable lifestyle. In many cases, this can involve selling a home that's just too much to maintain.

I've been spending time at my parents' cabin-like home in the woods to continue chipping away at the packing process. They’ve been in this house longer than any other home they’ve ever lived in – a little over 16 years. As you might expect, there has been an accumulation of "things" during that time. Several long hours contained a chaotic mixture of wrapping, piling, stuffing, trashing, taping and labeling. And the time was peppered with comments like, “Wow, I forgot all about that crawl space,” or “Have you used this in the last 10 years,” and “For the love of God, I’ve lost the tape again!” Packing my parents’ house is a little like being served what you think is a reasonable portion that you eat and eat and eat only to look down at your plate and find that you’ve barely made a dent – and like you've actually just rearranged things a little.

After all that, I’d like to be able to tell you that my parents were able to finagle that miraculous situation where the house is sold just days after finding a new dream home, and that means the closing date and move-in date actually somewhat coincide. No such luck. Who does that even happen to besides our Senior Editor Deborah Kearns? Instead, their next stop is a two-bedroom townhome rental that’s supposed to accommodate a four-bedroom home's worth of stuff. Wish us luck!

For now, the packing process will repeat itself and, with hope (although I’m sure divine intervention will be required), we’ll be ready for the movers when they come. I’ll keep you posted.

What's your downsizing story?

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