The Right Time to Rightsize

Here’s the scenario: My fantastic client bought a one-story house in Calabasas when he was in his mid-sixties. Now he’s 88 years young and living in the home alone. He doesn’t need the yard. He has no use for the pool and his grandkids are all grown, so they aren’t coming over for swimming lessons anymore. What he wants now is a quiet, retirement community where there’s no driving involved to get to dinner, and he can have fun on his terms. So, he found a perfect new spot and planned his next move.

That is what I call “rightsizing,” and it works best when you plan ahead. Sometimes, you can’t control life but often, you can decide that in three years time you’d like to be somewhere with fewer steps and more planned activities. Giving yourself a few years time to strategize the move is far better than rightsizing in a panic or scrambling because suddenly, a life event happens and you’re forced to go somewhere new. 

As a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Senior Specialist, I spend a lot of time with clients during our pre-sale (and complimentary!) consultations, going through the details of long-term planning and what rightsizing might mean for them. We figure out when to have an estate sale, their approximate timeline for selling the home, if we should swap out the grass in the yard for artificial turn and all the renovations they could complete that would vastly improve the price of the home once it’s time to sell. 

Another advantage of planning ahead for rightsizing is that if you’re making these improvements to increase the value of your home, you can enjoy them while you’re still living there. I can’t tell you how many sellers finish a remodel just before the sale and then say, “Why didn’t we do this 10 years ago?” 

If your finances allow and the situation is right, making those renovations earlier allows you to love the house you live in now and sell for a higher price later. 

But planning ahead for a rightsizing isn’t just about spending time in your brand-new, larger-than-life kitchen. It’s also about not feeling rushed when thinning out and clearing out your home as you prepare for an eventual sale. With careful planning, you can spend six months sifting through all your collected valuables. You can even call the kids and let them know you found their old high school yearbooks, so they can pick them up before you throw them out! 

Like your son’s unfortunate ‘80s bowl cut that seemed oh-so-cool at the age of seventeen, it all comes down to timing. For many, rightsizing is an inevitable part of their homeownership journey. But with an established timeline – that I can help you create during a free property consultation – it’s less of a mandatory decision and more of a choice. This makes things easier for you and for your family, and allows you to enjoy your home for many years to come. 

My Senior Specialist designation means I have years of experience in helping clients rightsize. My team assists with everything from getting the home ready to sell, to finding that next place to live, whether it’s a retirement community, an ADU on your children’s property or a leased condo that can be reserved months in advance – the choices are yours and that makes the process endlessly exciting! 

Rightsizing is one of my favorite homeownership journeys to help navigate people through; it’s not just about putting the house on the market, it’s also about setting them up for future success in a place where they feel extremely comfortable and truly at home. 

People ask me all the time: “When is the right time to rightsize?” And my answer is simple: If you have to think about it, then the time is right.