Downsizing your home may mean making compromises


    Downsizing your home may mean making compromises, especially if you want to live in Portland.

    PORTLAND (WGME) -- As couples reach retirement age and their grown children move out of the house, many people are thinking about downsizing.

    If they want to do it in the Portland area, many couples will have to make compromises.

    "It is an adjustment," says Erin Oldham, a realtor with the Vitalius Real Estate Group.

    She says couples are often faced with two surprises when they're looking to downsize. The first is sticker shock, especially when it comes to new condos in Portland.

    "Prices are pretty high for a two bedroom, two bathroom condo with an elevator and garage parking, which is what most people want. So, you're looking at a minimum of $600,000 and going up to $1.2 million, $1.4 million,” says Oldham.

    She says sometimes a smaller place ends up being more expensive than what the downsizing couple just sold.

    “The 3,000 square foot houses in the West End or out in the suburbs maybe are worth $500,000 or $800,000. So, they're actually selling a larger place for a lower price and buying a smaller place for a higher price," says Oldham.

    Another shock is storage space.

    "They're envisioning, you know, all their wedding presents from 30 years ago and all the furniture they have over time, their kids' albums and pictures from their children, and they have to fit that all into a five by seven storage cage in a basement of a condo," says Oldham.

    Those factors end up forcing some families to re-evaluate their expectations.

    “Maybe they're realizing, OK, I'm not going to get the garage parking and I’m just going to pay for somebody to shovel my car. So, they're moving into a condo in the West End you can sort of get better deals," says Oldham.

    The other option – look outside the city altogether.

    "You can make a shift and just go off peninsula and get a two bedroom, two bath condo with a garage and basement storage for $250,000 or $350,000,” Oldham says. “If you're willing to just go outside of the city a bit and maybe take an Uber in, you know, when you want to go out to the nice restaurant, that can be a really good option."

    When it comes to storage, Oldham also recommends going through your house before you start looking for a new place, so you'll be able to handle the smaller space better in the future.

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