William and Deanne Zella in the kitchen of their new home.
This month’s story is dear to me. Meet my parents! William and Deanne Zella (above), who decided years ago it was time to give away the stately nine bedroom family home nestled on top of a hill with amazing Winter Views, and settle down the near beach and shopping center in a colorful 900 square foot home. Bill is a working psychologist and Deanne is a happily retired teacher.
The new, smaller home.
WHY DID THEY DOWNSIZE?
They simply wanted to pay off some debt and keep the house in Florida, too. And they have health reasons. It’s much easier on the knees and back with less house and grounds maintenance. They went from 3 stories with old steep stairs to one easy to get around level. It’s way easier to keep clean they say looking around their sparkling home. And now most days they don’t even need a car, they brag! This happy little home is so manageable and affordable.
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES?
They both agree that it was Finding the property. It had to meet their specifications. They wanted a one story, a fenced yard for the dog ( a downsized dog, too! They went from an Airedale terrier to a Chihuahua.) They desired a home within a short walking distance to the beach and the stores. They wanted something sunny and happy.
Bathroom features a space-saving pocket door.
They found this home…and needed to gut it to make this work. My mother re-designed the entire interior to fit their standards. My son enjoyed sharing the demolition task! My sister loved sharing her interior design ideas that it even sparked a new business: Anthony Dawson Design! We five kids all chipped in with suggestions and advice! All the while, my mother remained the wise manager (not her first time with home renovations).
Dining for eight with a high top for four more.
HOW DID THEY OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES?
Perseverance! Bill and Deanne were fortunate to not have to hurry. They were able to stay in their old big home that one of my sisters ended up buying from them. So they were able to be patient and find and use the best contractors.
WHAT KIND OF PROFESSSIONALS WERE USED?
They both laughed and said, “Everyone of them!” Kind and patient Real Estate agents who listened to them, Electricians, Plumbers, sheet rock folks, general contractors…I think the only profession they really didn’t need was a landscaper.
Spacious, comfortable living space (even larger after tree is removed!).
ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?
My father said, “Wicked Pissah Happy!” and laughed! He said that was ultimate way to say one was happy back in his youth and living in this newly remodeled sunny home, he feels young again! My mother looked around and just smiled that “of course I am” smile.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE?
“Don’t be afraid!” Dad says. “Wade through it and you’ll come out on the other side with a small manageable home that suits all your needs and makes you happy” Mom says, then adds,” and gives you time to relax!” Then a very enthusiastic second comes from my father, “Just buy a Nike hat and Just Do It!” We all laughed….
About the Author
Randy Veraguas is the Sales Director at Atria Marina Place, a senior living community in North Quincy. She is also the Creative Producer of the TV Pilot, Dare to Downsize, www.daretodownsize. weebly.com. You can reach Randy at 781-635-5414.
Reprinted from the January 2018 issue of the South Shore Senior News.