There comes a point when people no longer need the current size of their home. For one reason or another, they downsize. This means fewer rooms, less square footage, and less area to maintain. A majority of people that downsize their homes have had children move out of the house, or are aging and simply need a simpler life.
No matter what your reason is for downsizing, it can be an overwhelming situation. Where should you move to? What are you going to do with all your belongings? What are the benefits? There are so many questions that need to be answered.
Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
There are many benefits for homeowners to move into a smaller home, here are the top eight:
- Less time spent cleaning a large house
- Utility bills are less expensive due to the smaller area to heat and cool
- Less time doing yard work and maintenance
- Avoid the need for a reverse mortgage, if your current income is insufficient
- Fewer belongings to own and maintain
- Enjoying the simple things in life that come with fewer distractions
- You may have enough money left over from the sale of your large home to not only buy smaller, but you may not have a mortgage on your new home.
- More expendable income to use for daily purchases, travel, and savings.
Where Should You Move?
When you downsize, you most likely won’t be moving many more times in the future. If you do plan on staying in the same home for the foreseeable future, it may be smart to purchase a one-story property or a home with a bedroom on the first floor. While it may be easy to get up and downstairs now, it could become a hassle in future years.
Take into consideration:
- Town and State
- The size of the house. Do you want an extra room for the family to stay and visit?
- Condo or House? Do you want to pay an HOA? Or would you still take care of maintenance?
- Accessibility to amenities
- Proximity to family
- How well this new property will fit into the life you’ve imagined for yourself at this point of your life. Do you want to travel a lot, will you be living somewhere warm in the summer?
How to Organize Your Belongings
What should you keep, what should you sell or donate and what should you throw away? Follow these tips when going through all your belongings.
- Trim out the fat: Walk through your house and compile a list of the things that you know you don’t need. How do you know whether you need it? Ask yourself if you’ve used it in the past year. If you have lived without it, then it shouldn’t be coming with you to the new house.
- Go through all cabinets/shelves/drawers: Remove every item and only put back the things that you couldn’t live without.
- Measure your furniture: All your existing furniture most likely won’t fit into your new, smaller space. Measure all your furniture and plan out what will go where. Simply put, the stuff that won’t fit in your new home, needs to be left behind.
- Where does it all go? You can donate items you don’t want to various charities. You can sell pieces to your buyers or at a yard sale, and you can give the high quality, sentimental pieces to the family.
This selling and buying process, while daunting, has been known to be very cathartic. If you hire an experienced agent who has worked with downsizing clients before, you’ll be in great hands. Once you are in your new home, filled with everything you love and need, with less work to do on a daily basis, you’ll be thrilled you made the decision to downsize.