Ready, Set, DOWNSIZE (and discard)!

A recent article by our Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS statedthat over the next several years, many Americans, especially baby boomers, will find themselves deciding to stay in their homes, transition to a smaller place of residence or relocate to another city.

“Some people are disposers and some people are savers,” said Massachusetts Realtor® Peggy Patenaude of Prudential, Howe & Doherty. “If your client finds themselves in the latter category, they may need a few tips for how to choose what to save and what to discard.”

Patenaude, a top leader in real estate sales in Boston, is considered the “go to” person when considering downsizing and has considerable experience guiding homeowners through the process of putting their home on the market to sell. She has won over 58 awards since she began her career in 2002, including top sales agent in Massachusetts for her nationwide company.

She offers a few ideas to get started:

Out with the old. If any of your belongings are old or shabby (think rugs, towels, window treatments, bedding, even lampshades), get rid of them and don’t consider replacing them until you are in your new space and can assess its storage capacity. This is especially important for redundant items. How many separate sets of bed linens do you need for the guest room?

Damage control. If anything in your house is broken beyond the point that you will ever fix it, throw it out right now and don’t look back!

Dump it on your driveway. Renting a dumpster that you can place right in your own yard or driveway is a great incentive to toss even large items that you no longer need. Watch it fill up – it’s liberating to see your junk disappear. You’ll likely surprise yourself with how easy it is to ditch basement, attic, and closet clutter. And don’t forget to go through drawers and cupboards!

Contact a cause. Everyone from Big Brothers Big Sisters to the Epilepsy Foundation is looking for gently used household items. It can feel really good to know that your former belongings will be given a second life with someone who truly needs them.

Trash or treasure? Anyone who has ever watched Antiques Road Show knows that sometimes valuable collectibles can lurk in the most unexpected places – like your attic. If you have any unneeded memorabilia that you suspect might be worth something, have it appraised and see if you stand to earn a little money. Or sell unused items in consignment shops or on eBay or Craigslist (just make sure you understand how to do so safely).

Consider your new lifestyle. Are you going to need your washer and dryer if there are laundry services at your new home? If lawn care is included in your new property, you certainly won’t need a lawnmower any longer. Sell these items or give them away!

What to keep. Naturally, anything that has sentimental value is off the table as far as disposal. But if you have anything big and bulky (oversized photos, trophies, or ornaments that you don’t plan to display), think about whether they might have an alternative home – in a friend’s attic, or even in the living room of a family member who might find that meaningful item equally special and worthy of display.

Many of these tips are good for any of us, whether we are ready to “downsize” or not.  If you are thinking of selling your home, any real estate professional and all of the many TV real estate programs all recommend that you “de-clutter” the home.  Use some of the above ideas to accomplish these tasks.

As many begin thinking about fall housecleaning, many of these tips are great to keep in mind.  Ready, set…………DOWNSIZE (or discard)!

So How is the (local) Real Estate Market?

We addressed this subject in May and this will just be an update to that subject. In our local markets, school districts seems to be the best way to reflect the local markets.  These figures reflect only residential sales (not commercial or land sales).

Reviewing the Milton School District market, that encompasses municipalities of East and West Chillisquaque, Turbot and White Deer Townships and Milton Borough.  The year-to-date numbers are:

2011 (YTD) – Milton School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 54     82 $5,482,523 $107,000 90.28
Active 51 $8,347,600 $121,900 182      

 

2012 (YTD) – Milton School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 72     102 $10,138,984 $123,950 92.66
Active 57 $11,567,757 $147,500 224      

In summary, the number of listings currently on the market is up slightly over last year at this time.  The Days on the Market has increased significantly over last year and the average list price has increased, indicating that the higher priced homes are staying on the market much longer.

 

 

 

Reviewing the market statistics for the Warrior Run School District, which encompasses the municipalities of Anthony, Limestone, Delaware, Lewis and Gregg Townships, as well as Watsontown and Turbotville boroughs.  The year-to-date numbers are as follows:

2011 (YTD) – Warrior Run School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 27     100 $3,361,200 $123,000 93.70
Active 18 $4,414,600 $172,400 179      

 

2012 (YTD) – Warrior Run School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 34     99 $5,714,236 $137,000 88.44
Active 23 $4,482,600 $172,500 243      

Summarizing the above data:  there is no significant change in the listing data for this market since last year.  On the sales side, there is an increase in sales of approximately 26% and the volume has increased.  Sellers have had to reduce their prices more this year over last year to get their homes sold, which is reflected in the List to Sales price percentage.

 

 

 

Reviewing the market statistics for the Lewisburg School District, which encompasses the municipalities of East Buffalo, Union and Kelly Townships as well as Lewisburg borough.  The year-to-date numbers are as follows:

2011 (YTD) – Lewisburg School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 89     153 $20,851,203 $180,000 89.35
Active 73 $17,959,925 $225,000 159      

 

2012 (YTD) – Lewisburg School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 96     139 $20,923,600 $191,250 89.98
Active 105 $29,566,873 $225,000 178      

Indications are that there is a significant increase in the number of total properties on the market over last  year (over 45%) and the dollar volume has increased significantly as well, but the median price range of those listings has not changed;  there are just more homes on the market.  Surprisingly, there is a slight increase in the number of homes that have sold and the Days on Market to sell those homes has actually decreased slightly.