Downsize in the New Normal

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Most people are facing financial difficulties during the pandemic. Unemployment rates reached unprecedented levels and are still elevated. Many businesses closed shop. Many others are struggling.

Whether you are among those who are currently unemployed or are a small business owner straining to keep afloat, it is time to assess your resources. Even if you currently have a job, this is a good thing to do in this crisis. You can make the most of what you have now to reposition yourself in the pandemic.

Sell Now

Your house is your biggest asset if you have built enough equity in it. Find out how much you can make from selling it in your area’s housing market.

It can be surprising, but there is now a high demand for homes because mortgage rates are low. There is much competition among buyers. This drives people to decide quickly to purchase.

The forecast is that this trend will continue but can slow down a bit as the Covid-19 situation stabilizes. It is thus better to sell sooner rather than later. To get the best value for your house, you must put it in tip-top condition inside and outside.

This starts from the driveway. Repair asphalt cracks if there are any. Do the same for any walkways. Make sure your lawn and any plants you have are healthy and trimmed. Repair anything that needs fixing, from the roof and gutter to the kitchen and bathrooms. Give the outside and inside of the house a fresh coat of paint if it already looks shabby. This alone will work wonders. Check online for colors that are now fashionable for homes.

Rid the house of all clutter. Sell, give away, or throw away things that you do not intend to keep when you move. Do a thorough cleanup throughout the house.

To show the house to potential buyers, you must set up a proper home staging. Since you are still living there, use your best curtains and bedding. Hang a new shower curtain if you do not have shower doors. Put fresh flowers in vases throughout the house.

Arrange with your real estate agent so that you are not home when prospective buyers visit. Disinfect the house completely afterward. Hire a professional to create a virtual tour of the house. Some buyers prefer this to site visits during the pandemic. The best option, if you can afford it, is to rent a place you can move to temporarily.

Buy a Smaller House

You can set aside a part of your earnings from your house’s sale by buying a smaller one to move into. The decrease in mortgage rates works in your favor. With your windfall, you can compete with other buyers in the market frenzy. You will be in a position to offer above the listed price and close a sale sooner.

It is best to put a 20% down payment or more on your new house. This means you will have less debt and a lower monthly payment. You will also avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). It will be even better if you can pay in full for your new house and be debt-free. Many people who joined the tiny house movement did so to free themselves from paying a mortgage.

Do not force yourself into a cramped living space, though. Choose a size that you are comfortable with, based on your actual needs.

Use Your Earnings

Because you sold a larger house and bought a smaller one, you earn a good profit. Use this well. If you still have a job, you can invest the money as your safety net. If you have a small business fighting to stay open in the pandemic, you can use the money to keep it going.

If you are jobless, you can use the money as capital to start a business. Be careful not to lose the money, though. Choose a business that has low risks, and that makes the most of your skills. You can start small as a freelancer with no need for expensive equipment or materials to work with.

Minimize to Maximize

It is ironic but shifting to a minimalist lifestyle will maximize the use of your current resources. You can gain much by selling your house and buying a smaller, less expensive one.

A minimalist lifestyle also means you will be spending less in general. You can save more from whatever you earn. This will be a big help in coping with the pandemic.

Many people have realized the advantages of downsizing. That is why it has become popular. It will not be a trend that comes and goes. It will be part of the new normal.

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