Down-sizing refers to when a homeowner decides to move into a more manageable home. Empty nesters, or those who have raised children that have grown up & moved out, are the most common demographic. As the homeowners’ lives change, their needs for extra bedrooms or bigger yards change. Down-Sizing is an option that most homeowners end up pursuing at some point with all the financial & lifestyle benefits.
Are You Ready to Down-Size Your Home?
Read on to get the who, what, when, where, & why’s of Down-Sizing!
Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
Down-Sizing can have a lot of benefits for homeowners' financial and lifestyle situations. Homeowners who plan to retire soon can use downsizing as an opportunity to fund their retirement. A lower mortgage payment allows more to be invested in retirement, or you may have even built enough equity to buy a smaller home in cash. Going into retirement mortgage-free can really put you at ease for the future.
According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018, of sellers who experienced a life event in the past 12 months, 51 percent said retiring was the most influential factor in their decision to move.
Down-Sizing can also provide peace of mind as the homeowner nears retirement. Having the ability to move closer to family, focus on future needs, & having less maintenance are all lifestyle benefits of down-sizing. Consider moving closer to activities you enjoy & medical facilities to make the most of your move!
Are You Ready to Down-Size Your Home?
So, when is a good time to Down-Size to a smaller home? There are 6 questions to ask yourself or loved ones to provide some insight on your best options.
1. Are you spending too much on housing?
Housing costs should generally be less than 30% of your take-home pay. This includes your mortgage payment, property taxes & homeowners’ insurance.
2. Do you have spare rooms you don’t use?
Unused rooms cost time & money from maintenance, utilities, & “unused” property costs. Shedding the extra square feet with a smaller home can reduce these extra costs.
3. Are your utility bills through the roof?
Utility bills can skyrocket quickly with heating & cooling those larger homes. This is even more true in regions of extreme heat or cold weather; the smaller home can free up money for better windows!
4. Do you have any lifestyle activities?
In retirement, we often pick up new hobbies & activities to enjoy. From tennis clubs to bingo, moving closer to these activities can be beneficial as our mobility changes.
5. Are there medical conditions to consider?
Unfortunately, at times we experience health complications in our lives. Relocating to a home near medical facilities can be a very important reason to down-size.
6. Is maintaining your home becoming too much?
Dedicated maintenance can be a lot of work to keep your home in good condition & a beautiful place to live. As our mobility changes, these household chores can become increasingly difficult & expensive. Different housing options that provide maintenance can free up you & your loved ones for travel, volunteer work, & family time.
The first step of down-sizing to a new home is the oh, so exciting decluttering & purging of your belongings. Moving to a smaller home gives you less space to live comfortably so keeping the necessities & purging the rest will help you enjoy life with less hassle.
Here are 6 Tips for Down-Sizing your possessions:
1. Start purging early:
Odds are, you have a lot more stuff than you may realize so taking inventory of all the things tucked away is a good place to start. Starting early ensures you won’t have to bring extra stuff to your new home. Make sure you reach out to your grown children so they can pick up their belongings!
2. Stay organized:
Lists & labels are a sure-fire way to keep you organized & can be even more helpful if you are using a moving company. Set up 3 piles during the decluttering – keep, donate, or sell – and be decisive with no “maybe” piles!
We’ve heard it before, “If you haven’t used it in a year then you should get rid of it.” If the item holds sentimental value & there isn’t enough room at your new home, consider passing these items down to family members.
4. Measure your new home:
Your Agent should be able to get you the floorplans for the new home or at least measure the main rooms. The size of each room will determine which furniture can be used or if you would need to purchase new furniture.
5. Start with furniture:
Since furniture takes the most space & is the most expensive to move, making sure your furniture fits in the new home is important. Take a close look at the layout of the new home & only bring the furniture that makes sense for the space.
6. Consider your lifestyle:
As we age, mobility issues can be a major factor in down-sizing decisions. Having fewer possessions in your new home can drastically improve your ability to live your day-to-day life.
The Down-Sizing Process
Down-sizing is something most people will experience in life as they grow older. From our medical needs to lifestyle changes, the benefits of moving into a smaller home are something to consider. After you’ve decluttered & purged unnecessary possessions, the final step is to sell your home for a smaller one that is more in tune with your needs. We recommend talking with your Agent & Financial Advisor about your options as every situation is different. Depending on your situation, there may be avenues you should take to avoid financial issues (i.e. contingencies on purchasing the new home). Down-Sizing can have substantial lifestyle & financial benefits if the option is right for you.
If those 6 questions above resonated with you,
drop a comment below or give us a call to discuss your down-sizing options!
Down-Sizing Your Home Sources:
Zillow.com: How to Downsize Your Home
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