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Downsizing vs. Rightsizing


Posted: November 08, 2018 by Robert Ainey

Spooky House in Lambertville

'Rightsizing' means that you move from the 4-5 bedrooms, large lawn, and extraneous space that is filled with unused stuff to a home that fits your emerging new lifestyle.

What's in a name? Juliet answers, "A rose by any other name smells as sweet." But in real estate the matter is more concrete but does include the critical roles of emotion, pride, and status. From when you were starting a career and family, you felt that bigger was better, and with every promotion or family addition your home grew also.

Job status and pressure on space became your “bigger is better” mantra. So now what to do as retirement looms and your children have lives of their own? Will you be downsizing with its negative connotations or rightsizing for a positive future?

Instead of cleaning and decorating wasted space, mowing the grass, and rearranging sealed boxes, you can now spend time on reading, sports, handicrafts, socializing, taking long drives, creating, and travel – all the things you didn't have time for before.

Downsizing in Bucks County

There are many factors to consider, and they all depend on your financial circumstances, interests, and desired lifestyle. Key ones to keep in mind are:

  • Where do I want to live?
  • How much can I spend?
  • Do I need space for visiting guests?
  • What interests me?
  • Which new activities do I want to pursue?
  • How comfortable will I be in the community?
  • Who will look after my home when away?
  • What else?

The answers to these questions will focus your search and are essential for a real estate professional to find you the best place for rightsizing in Bucks County.

Bucks County Real Estate Options

You are in luck for there are many different forms that your new home in Bucks County can take. Examples provided here are for the New Hope, Solebury and Buckingham areas.

Private (with concierge service)

This is a smaller place in the woods or by the side of a lake or stream. Or it may be in one of the quaint and historic villages that dot Upper Bucks County. Regardless, it's yours to do with as you please and accommodate whom you want living with you. For those who want additional services due to extensive travel or long stays in at a vacation home, there are concierge services, such as Brad Michael's "Home and Estate Services" that will open the home before your arrival, ensure fitness for the seasons, manage contractual, and provide other amenities for a carefree life.

Bucks County 55 Communities

New Hope Bucks County TownhomeThese homes can be modest to substantial residences. The main attraction is a social network of neighbors with whom you can establish new friendships and enjoy common interests. The structures are adapted for residents with potential mobility issues - either one level ranch style or with the master suite on the ground floor. The owners are responsible for the grounds within the plot lines.

They are managed by a Homeowners' Association (HOA) that charges a monthly fee and has clear rules and regulations, esp. regarding the minimum age for residents and long-term guests or family members. But the HOA(1) is also responsible for maintaining the common areas and providing other services, e.g. snow removal of driveways and entrances.

Search Bucks County 55 Properties for Sale

Bucks County Townhomes

Townhomes in Bucks CountyLike other community living except that the homes are conjoined with minimal ground to maintain. They are multi-story, usually with bedrooms on the upper floor(s). Some of the more upscale properties of this type have inbuilt elevators for easy access between the stories.

Again, an HOA(1)maintains standards of the exterior of the homes but not the composition of the residents. They are responsible for all the common areas and other services.

Search Bucks County Townhomes for Sale

Bucks County Condominiums

This is the simplest of the fee simple forms of ownership. You are responsible for the space from the inner side of the outside wall to the interior of your unit though that extends to service points, e.g. a heat pump.

All exterior maintenance (roofs, gutters, entrance ways, etc.) and common areas are the responsibility of the Condominium Association (COA) for payment of a monthly fee(1).

Search Bucks County Condominiums for Sale 

Bucks County Rentals

Forget boring boxes in a purpose-built apartment building. Many owners in Bucks County have beautiful rentals in converted barns, farmhouses and manor houses. Many come with extensive grounds, gardens, and other amenities the tenants can enjoy. These impose the least obligations on the residents for the owner must maintain both the structure, common area(s), and interior services – plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, electricity supply, kitchen appliances and furnishings (if supplied), etc.

However, they are leaseholds without any ownership rights, so your length of residency is subject to the lease term, which can be extended if the owner agrees, or other matters arising such as a sale/foreclosure.

(1) Both HOA's and COA's will also assess an initial capital fee upon purchase to maintain a fund for improvements to the structures and major upgrades to the common areas.

Rather than view your move as an abandonment of the ‘family home’, rightsizing should be a positive step towards a new lifestyle with less stress and work. There are many options in Bucks County, and real estate professionals to help you along the way.

Once the move is complete, you will breathe a sigh of relief and begin the next chapter of your life with renewed energy and focus.

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