Real Estate Rundown May 17, 2024

Giving Up the Lawnmower

I was working with a home buyer who was wanting to “downsize” from her current property to a smaller, more manageable home. To her, the change also meant a downgrade from the lifestyle she was accustomed to. 

When I asked her why she felt this way, it was really about the change in her capability  rather than the change of property.  Due to challenged physical abilities, she could no longer personally care for the upkeep of her single family home, therefore, she felt doomed to move to a townhome. She was envisioning a cramped three room communal living space with a postage stamp sized lawn. I knew I had my work cut out for me as she embarked on her home finding journey.


A few important details about my client, she was a single woman, not much older than me, (which can’t be that old), full time job and as mentioned, now had a physical challenge that prompted her need to make a lifestyle change. 

A home purchase typically means a change in one’s life journey.  I’ve seen all stages from the first time home buyer, to the “we-need-more-room” buyer, the second home buyer, and in this case, the “need-less” buyer. Whatever stage a buyer is at, it is an important journey that takes time, thought and money.


Fortunately, my client was pleasantly surprised with her options.  In today’s real estate market, inventory is low so finding options can be a challenge, however all it takes is one to be “the one.”


She found that in her local community there were many newly built townhomes that offered a convenient sized living room, quality kitchen cabinetry with granite countertops, main floor laundry and master bath, all features that she enjoyed in her larger, single family home.


When she was able to mentally visualize her personal belongings in each room, the property continually began to fit her needs.  Even the unfinished basement was not a negative.  This space allowed her the option to store furniture that she may not yet be ready to part with, not necessarily livable space, but usable space.


Her one hesitation was the garage.  Two cars and not much space for storage. This townhouse development was part of a HomeOwners Association and part of the fees paid were the lawn care and snow removal.  There was not a need for the space to store shovels and a mower.


As I saw this as a perk, she viewed this differently.  I discovered, it was not about the loss of the chore, she was feeling the loss of control.  She explained to me that this move felt like she was losing independence. Mowing the lawn was not a highlight of her life, but having a lawn to mow gave her stability. I understood. Knowing when to hand over the reins and enjoy the ride can be difficult.


This story has a happy ending.  One year later, she happily gives a wave of thanks to the lawn care service as she heads for the Pickle Ball court. She held a substantial rummage sale prior to her move and no longer owns a weed eater and other small tools. She has compensated for the loss of flower beds to a colorful array of potted plants on the back patio and a few tomato plants.

Her life is now manageable.  She recognized her needs and was able to transition to a lifestyle that created a healthy and happy home.