How To Navigate Real Estate In Your Second Half: Vacation Homes, Living At The Beach & Downsizing with Michelle Brown and Nancy DelSanto

Meet Michelle Brown, a real estate professional who encourages her clients to live their dreams.

She's following her own advice and in this podcast she shares the important steps she took in her journey.

What started out as vacationing in Hawaii morphed into a second home there. She came to realize it's her happy place. 

I worked with Michelle when we were looking to move from our suburban home to the beach.
Her knowledge and organization were indispensable so I asked her to share her insights with us.


Michelle says she works with many empty nesters who like the idea of moving closer to the beach in a more pedestrian-friendly location. They want to downsize and simplify their lives.  A great real estate agent can help you with all the steps and resources.

Michelle believes in being patient and looking thoughtfully at different communities to get a sense of the personality and lifestyle of each area. Traffic and tourism are important factors that should be considered, especially at the beach.

Her advice is to sit in a quiet place and reflect on your life and all the good memories and the fun places you’ve visited. Make a list of what’s important to you. Then jump in the car and visit the places again. Spend time to get to know an area. Knowing what you don’t want is easy so you can back into things that way. 

After visiting Hawaii for 30 years, Michelle followed her mother’s advice to put her toes  in the sand. She realized she needed a better work ~ life balance in her life and that her love of Hawaii was tugging at her heart. 

Instead of always staying at a vacation villa, Michelle and her fiance decided to purchase a condo in Maui.  They could leave things when they traveled back to California, visit more often, and with the help of a property manager, the condo could be rented out.  It’s a great way to generate positive cash flow and take more vacation time. 

Michelle says it's important to make memories.  Everyone wants to visit a beautiful place and you can share your home with family and friends.  That's exactly what they did.

They had so much fun on their trips staying in their own condo. It helped them to figure out this was something they wanted to do in an even bigger way. Eventually, with the help of a local realtor, they decided to buy a larger property on the island.

Michelle says a great agent can fill in all the gaps in your knowledge of a marketplace and a move. The downside of Zillow and other online real estate companies is that you don’t get the inside scoop of what homes aren’t on the market and why one block can mean a substantial price difference. You really need to work with someone who knows the market inside and out.

You never get 100% of what you want in a home and you can fix small things if the home meets your lifestyle needs and is in the best location for you. People want to simplify their lives and find they don't need as many things with a simpler lifestyle. 

We never stop decorating our homes so we shouldn’t think we’re going to buy something that’s exactly the way we want it to be. Isn’t that the fun of ownership?

 Contacts:​ or​​​​​​ 949-212-2576

"Sit in a quiet place and reflect on your life, all the good memories and the fun places you’ve visited. Make a list of what’s important to you." ~Michelle Brown on Design Your Second Half, the podcast
Wishing you a lifestyle you love,

 ~ Nancy
To be inspired by past podcast posts, click here.