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Tips Will Help You Live Small Without Incurring Big Woes

August 31, 1996|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN

Some advice from Guy Livingston, a real estate agent in Newport Beach, on downsizing:

* Go slowly. Don't rush into a home purchase.

* First impressions are not always the correct ones. The wisest approach you can take if you're sizing down is to rent or lease in the new location for at least six months.

* Renting out the large house allows you the time to give the move a chance and to finalize your plans--or to move back if you're unhappy. On the other hand, when you rent out your home, you're taking a chance. If you get the wrong tenant, it's misery. Maybe your grown children are looking for a place to rent?

* Consider how active you want to be . . . and where. On the golf course or in the garden?

* Talk to friends about decisions they have made.

* Almost anybody could be happy sizing down if they are able to get the proper location. Almost anybody could be unhappy if they don't get the right location. With the proper location, you can feel as though you're in a home, without having to do all the maintenance.

* If the move's a good one, after a period of time you may forget that you once owned a huge houseful of belongings.

* If economics is driving the move, make the best of it. Figure out which element will keep you most content: view, privacy, yard, quiet. It's an individual choice.

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