6 Signs It's Time to Downsize
Do you feel that what was sometimes an ideal home for you and your family doesn't seem to fit your needs anymore? Does it seem bigger or emptier now? Perhaps you can no longer keep up with all those chores or utilities that are becoming more expensive? Bigger is not always better when it comes to your living space, so maybe it's time for you to downsize to a smaller home.
If you are not sure whether you should move to a smaller place or not, check out these 6 signs that might lead you to make a decision that is right for you.
What does downsizing actually mean?
Downsizing is buying a smaller home than the one you have now. People decide to downsize for various reasons. Sometimes, their current home no longer fits their lifestyle because of financial reasons, maintenance, and many more.
By moving into a small property, you will have less space to keep clean, saving you a lot of time and energy.
But, don't be fooled - downsizing doesn't have to mean downgrading. By downsizing your home, you can lower your environmental footprint and save a lot of money. Plus, smaller properties are easier to manage, and you can get a home in a more favorable location.
You have a lot of unused space
Take a look around your place - does it seem empty? Do you have spare rooms you no longer have use for? Think about it - it doesn't make sense to pay for a mortgage for space you are no longer using.
If your kids are all grown up, started their families, and have their own homes, you simply don't need that much room. A smaller place where every square foot is used feels much cozier than a big empty house.
Extra space means extra expenses and more square feet to clean. Plus, don't forget potential maintenance costs. Therefore, if there are rooms in your home that are only collecting dust, you should definitely consider changing your home to something smaller.
High monthly expenses
There is a golden rule that you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. If the number is bigger in your case, it might be a good reason to downsize to a smaller home.
Just by owning a large property, your monthly expenses will increase. Bigger homes usually mean higher mortgage rates and more expensive utilities. When the value of your home increases, taxes rise as well, which can be a quite hit for your pocket. This is especially important if you have a fixed income and no option to earn extra money.
When you move to a smaller place, you might need some time to get used to this change. However, after you've experienced all the benefits and seen how much money you've saved, you'll know you made the right choice.
Retirement and other lifestyle changes
Going through a significant life change is usually a reason for people to change their living situation. For example, if you are expanding your family, you will probably think about buying a bigger place.
Having this in mind, it's no wonder that one of the most common reasons people decide to downsize is retirement. If you rely only on your retirement savings, finding a smaller home would have many financial benefits.
By the time you retire, your kids had probably moved out a while ago, so you probably have a lot of empty space in your home. Moving to a new place after you retire might sound too complicated and overwhelming. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to make downsizing a breeze.
Other life changes that could make you think about downsizing are getting divorced, changing employment, losing a loved one, or similar. Therefore, if you are experiencing big changes in your life, you should think about if your current home fulfills your new needs.
Maintenance is taking too much of your time
The bigger the home, the more time it takes for you to keep it neat and clean. Maintenance costs can sometimes be too expensive. If you are doing it yourself, it can also take up a lot of your time. This can be especially overwhelming if you have a lot of unused space that you still need to clean and pay bills and mortgage for.
If you've reached the stage where you can no longer handle taking care of your property, whether financially or physically, you should seriously think about your options. Deciding to downsize to a smaller home might be a perfect choice.
It is a great time to sell
Do you live in an up-and-coming neighborhood? Has your home appreciated in value? Are a lot of your neighbors selling their homes? If your answers are yes, the housing market might be favoring sellers, and you could potentially earn more money.
So the housing market is on your side, and the value of your home is much higher than it was when you bought it - you've hit the jackpot. On top of that, if you decide to buy a smaller property, you will be left with a lot of extra cash you can invest in whatever you want.
Keep in mind that, before you invite potential buyers to an open house, you should make sure you prepare your home for sale. This can really influence the impression you leave on buyers and help you negotiate the best price possible.
Spending a lot of time away from home
Nowadays, we have more flexibility and options than ever, so you may be one of those many lucky people who can work from anywhere. Perhaps your job requires you to travel a lot. You also might be the type of person that likes to be outdoors and come home only to spend the night.
If any of this is the case and you are barely at home, take it as a sign you should consider downsizing. It makes no sense to spend a lot of money on a place you don't spend much time in. As mentioned, a bigger home equals higher expenses. This way, you are practically throwing your money down the drain.
If you downsize to a smaller home, you will be spending less on housing, and you can use that money to travel even more or invest in something else that interests you.
So should you downsize to a smaller home?
Downsizing has a lot of advantages. Smaller properties are usually cheaper, which will leave you with equity left over. Plus, as mortgage and utilities are less expensive, too you will be saving every month. You will also be helping the environment as you will be consuming less fossil fuel to heat your home. And many more!
If you recognize yourself in these signs that it's time to downsize to a smaller home, it might be an ideal option for you. Hopefully, we were able to help you make the right decision.