For many, the home buying story is one of growth; a growing family and the need for a larger home with room for them to grow into. However, for an increasing number of people the exact opposite is true.
The trick is downsizing, not downgrading.
No matter what phase of life you’re in, there are clear benefits to downsizing and choosing a home that fits your actual needs, today. Whether your goal is to travel more, put some extra money in your pocket or spend weekends with family and friends instead of cutting grass or shoveling snow; downsizing provides you with a lot of benefits.
So the question you may be asking is, when is it the right time to simplify without compromising on quality? To help answer this question, we’ve compiled a short list to help you determine if ‘smaller’ is ‘better’ for you. Is it time to downsize?
1. Retirement is on the Horizon
Ask anyone in this phase of their life and they’ll say retirement is a careful process. A lot of planning goes into the decisions you make to set yourself up for the best years of your life. Once retirement begins, you may start to wonder whether or not your current home still fits your needs. Downsizing to a more suitable home means less taxes, saving more on utilities, and a reduction in mortgage and insurance payments. What does this translate into? More money for you to experience life the way you’ve always wanted to.
2. Your Lawnmower Looks Better in the Garage
If you look out your window at your lawn and sigh, “I wish it would just cut itself”, it’s time you moved somewhere it did! The physical work of caring for a large property can be time-consuming and demanding. When you downsize you can enjoy the garden, grass and scenery without heaving out the lawnmower every week, leaving you more time to enjoy the outdoors.
3. Bedrooms are Being Used for Storage
Unused rooms are simply a waste. They collect dust and become a dumping ground the things you ‘put away’, then can never find again. Downsizing allows you to focus on what really matters and create a lived-in home environment.
4. Little Birds Have Flown the Nest
When your family home is no longer decorated with crayon on the walls, echoes of laughter from the yard, or homework strewn about the kitchen table, it’s time. You often purchase your family home solely with kids in mind, but now your children are adults and have flown the coop. This gives you the opportunity to refocus your needs and think about what suits you best in the life you live today. The next move is all about you. Doesn’t that feel good?
5. You Want to Cash In on Your Investment
Over time, a home's value is likely to appreciate which earns you equity. If you’re lived in your house for some time, usually no matter what the market is doing, your home investment may allow you to walk away with a smile on your face and dollars in your pocket to be spent on experiences, not mortgage payments.
6. You're Filled with Wanderlust
If you find yourself mesmerized by cruise commercials, dreaming of faraway places or spending hours on travel sites, chances are you’ve been bitten by the travel bug.
Traveling is easier when you downsize to a cared-for, maintenance free property. Seasoned snowbirds often downsize to townhomes or condos. They use the money they’ve saved on traveling the world the way they’ve always wanted to without the worry of who’s caring for their investment.
Financing your dreams, no matter what they are, can be expensive. If your oversized home and its oversized mortgage are eating up your fun money, downsizing may be the right choice for you.
By downsizing, you boost your retirement or travel fund, get rid of unused space, and free yourself of excessive maintenance of your home. Your life could be more comfortable and more fulfilling with a home that requires less management and fewer responsibilities.
It’s time that your home worked for you, not the other way around.