When it comes to downsizing a home, we often think of empty-nesters or retirees. But there are a other reasons to downsize at different stages of life and in various circumstances. It could be a move to save money–whether by necessity or choice. Many are attracted to the idea of downsizing just to simplify their life–reduced time and concern with maintenance, fewer material needs, etc. Or there are the typical life changes that bring about downsizing — children moving out, moving closer to children, practical needs for a one-level or low-maintenance home.
Let’s explore some advantages and disadvantages to downsizing, as well as additional considerations, what kind of home to look for, and how to get started.
Potential Advantages to Downsizing Your Home
- simplify your life and decrease stress
- free up time spent on maintenance
- many smaller homes are in walkable areas and close to many amenities, like shopping and restaurants.
- Finanacial benefits: Pay down debt, boost retirement fund, pay off mortgage, lower utility bills, accumulate fewer belongings
Potential Disadvantages of Downsizing a Home
- less room for guests
- fewer room for belongings
- some people struggle with a sense of loss of prestige or status
- lifestyle changes and adjustments
- unexpected increased expenses – higher cost of living in chosen area, new furnishings needed for smaller-scale home and rooms
- closer living quarters might mean less “alone space”
Is the size of your home important to you? Has it contributed to a sense of status, or accomplishment as you have a acquired more and more over the years. You may struggle with letting go of that, OR you may find it freeing (or a bit of both). What might you miss? Houseguests, entertaining? Room to spread out for various activities–you may find that there is now only one room that has to accomodate what you used to do in separate areas–crafts, quiet time, tv-viewing, etc.
Will the financial benefits outweigh some of the new costs–furniture replacement, HOA fees, property taxes, etc. Will you be able to find the kind of home you want in the area where you want to live? Will you have regrets after downsizing?
Buying/Selling/Type of House
Are you just looking for a smaller house, or do you need one with increased accommodations for mobility or other needs? Do you want an outdoor area that is shared/maintenance-free? Should you buy your new home or sell your existing home first? You’ll want to speak with a financial adviser about these particular questions.
Contact us for more information about downsizing or to start the process
How to start preparing?
It’s never too early to thinking about prepping your home for sale. Even if you don’t sell, it’s a great feeling to declutter and spruce things up a bit.
Tips for getting your home ready
Tips for downsizing your belongings/decluttering: