Downsizing your home is a great option for empty nesters. However, unused space is just one of the reasons people opt for a smaller space. Retirement, home maintenance and financial stability also contribute to the decision to downsize. Whatever your reasons for downsizing, consider these important factors before you decide to make the move.
The Benefits of Downsizing
- Smaller Mortgage: If you dream of a smaller mortgage, downsizing is the way to go. With enough savings and investments you might not have mortgage payments at all.
- Modest Spaces: Less square footage means less cleaning and less maintenance. Spend your time and money on fun activities, instead of maintaining your home.
- Lower Bills: With less space to heat or cool, your utility bills should be lower as well. A compact home introduces monetary benefits, including saving money on your monthly utility bills.
The Disadvantages of Downsizing
- Hidden Costs: Remodeling, homeowners’ association fees and property taxes can sneak up on you.
- Fewer Amenities: Downsizers typically want less space, but don’t want to give up amenities. It’s important to weigh the conveniences you gain against what you might be giving up.
- Less Space: While a compact space means less cleaning, you might give up a guest room or home office.
Downsizing your home is a major decision. Before you determine if it’s right for you, consider making a list of all the things you want to do as a family in the future. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want a place for family to stay when they come to visit?
- Are you emotionally ready to leave your home?
- Do you need a smaller home because of a financial reason or another circumstance?
If you’re contemplating a big change – like a cross-country move or relocating to a condo in the city – experts recommend renting first. A year in your new lifestyle can help you feel confident the new location and square footage are right for you. If you do decide to downsize, make sure your new home fits both your wallet and your lifestyle.