For today's savvy homeowners, bigger isn't always better. The concept of living large has been replaced with need for quality over quantity. Whether your goal is to lower your mortgage payments, a desire to simplify, or there is a shift in priorities, there are a number of reasons why downsizing in Calgary is the trend to follow.
Read these best practices on the downsizing process and how ultimately, it can put more money in your pocket.
Downsizing Best Practices
At this point, you've made the decision to downsize. That's great! Now what.
Clean out closets, storage spaces and even the garage; your goal is to reduce the amount of stuff you own, focusing on quality first.
Whether you're downsizing from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom or a five-bedroom to a two-bedroom home, the process will be the same. Keep yourself organized by categorizing your items into four groups (which are all pretty self-explanatory):
- Sell *
* only make a sell category if you actually have the time and energy to donate to selling. Otherwise, put it into one of the other three.
Although you only need to know what stays and what goes, the reality is you can probably get rid of at least half of what you own.
Next, make a list that answers these questions:
1. Where will I be donating my items?
2. Where will I be selling my items?
3. Do I need to take my trash items to an eco-station, the dump or can they go out with my regular garbage?
Kijiji, Craigslist and second-hand stores are all excellent places to consider selling your items in as funds from your purge can actually help finance parts of your move. If you're short on time or have decided on donating, organizations like the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Alberta Community Clothing Collection, Inclusion Alberta and the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre are always is need of donations like clothing, furniture, or small appliances.
Lastly, compare your current home to what you want to downsize to; as this will give you a better idea of which items will not fit and simply have to go.
The Enticing Financial Benefits of Downsizing
It may feel like you have given up a lot, but there is much to be gained from downsizing. One of the most obvious: financial.
Many people experience immediate financial gains from downsizing including:
- Lower mortgage payments
- Lower energy bills
- Lower property insurance
- Less maintenance and fewer repair costs
- Lawn care such as watering, weeding, and mowing
There is a surprising amount of seemingly unconscious costs that go along with having a larger house, none of which can be avoided. You can't realistically stop yard maintenance to cut your expenses, or only furnish half your house. This is a reason why downsizing is such an appealing option. You are moving to a more convenient, low maintenance lifestyle while cutting costs simultaneously.
Think of the Time and Money You'll Save
To some degree, time and money can be substituted for one another. For example, you can either spend time mowing your lawn or hire someone to do it for you.
When most people downsize, they move to a home (condo, townhome, attached bungalow) where a lot of the home maintenance chores are no longer your responsibility. This means instead of spending your Saturday's on repairs, you can enjoy the weekend doing what you should be doing: anything you wanted.
People often focus on the material things they need give up and view downsizing through a lens of loss. Make sure you keep your reasons for downsizing in perspective. When you start seeing the financial gains and time saved, you'll be glad you did.