Downsize is a term used when a home owner sells their bigger house to move into a smaller place. Part of their relocation involves getting rid of most of their belongings in exchange for a simpler, less cluttered lifestyle. People move out of their bigger estates for many reasons.
Buying a home is one of the biggest, most exciting, and most expensive investments you will ever make. When shopping for a home, many potential buyers look for big, beautiful homes with all the features and rooms to meet their current and future plans. The bulk of real estate buyers do not think about the possibility of eventually downsizing their property. Reducing your home’s size is not always an easy or voluntary decision. Sudden life changes can force homeowners to look for smaller lodgings.
When reducing your living space, there are many things to consider. One of the biggest challenges of moving to a smaller location is deciding what to do with the excess furniture. Before shopping for a smaller abode, it is important to go through your current home’s furnishings and heirlooms and decide what you want to keep and what you are willing to part with.
Unexpected expenses can also impact your decision to move to a smaller space. Furniture that was bought specifically for the bigger rooms might not fit in a new place. Changes in the real estate market can also impact how much money you get for your house and the cost of a smaller space. These additional costs can quickly deplete your savings if you are not prepared for them beforehand.
While there are many considerations to address when thinking about reducing your house mass, there are also many benefits. Monthly expenses are cheaper, the place is easier to clean, amenities are usually closer, and less space suits your evolving life’s needs.
So, when is it time to downsize your home? If you are thinking of moving to a less spacious place, these are the most common reasons why owners choose to move to a smaller unit.
Empty Nest Syndrome
One of the most common reasons for reducing property size is because the children have grown up and moved out. Space that was once needed for a bigger, busier family is now sits empty. After the kids are gone, some aging parents find their place is too big and barren to manage. Relocating to a smaller place eases the feelings of emptiness.
Keep the Kids Out
It is not uncommon in some circumstances for adult children to move back in with their parents. Life changes, schooling or job loss can force grown kids to return to mom and dad’s place. But not every parental figure welcomes their adult children back with open arms. Having another person living in the family household reduces privacy and increases the workload and expenses. To prevent their kids from returning home some parents will relocate to a tinier abode so the kids cannot move back in with them.
In today’s continually changing market, financial security is not guaranteed. Most working adults today do not have enough savings to cover their bills if something were to happen to their primary income. If you are living “house rich, pocket poor”, there is very little room to save money for those unexpected expenses. As inflation increases, it can get even more difficult to keep up with the monthly bills. Scaling down your lifestyle by moving to a less expensive, smaller place will free some of your money so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your financial obligations, it might be time to consider downsizing your property.
Change in Health
This isn’t something that people like to think about, but the truth is that illness or injury can happen anytime. If someone in the family has had a significant change to their physical or mental wellbeing, it can affect their ability to move about in their home. Wellness concerns can make it difficult to utilize the rooms on different floors or navigate through different spaces.
A change in your healthy status can also impair your ability to properly maintain the general cleaning and care of your house and yard. If your daily activities have been altered significantly by trauma or a medical condition, it might be time to consider downsizing to a more accessible place.
Owning a house is a great financial asset, but it is also a lot of work. The bigger the property, the more maintenance required to keep the property in good, shape. Most of the time, it is also costlier to fix bigger homes than smaller suites. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed with the volume of work and rising costs needed to maintain your property, it might be time to consider reducing your living space to a smaller, more manageable place.
Upkeep and Chores
Bigger estates take a lot more time to do the routine chores. Cleaning the interior, mowing the lawn, shovelling the drive and walkway, and tending to the garden requires much of your time, leaving you less freedom to enjoy recreational activities. Hiring someone to help you with the upkeep also costs a lot more when you have a bigger place compared to a more moderate sized area. Tinier, less cluttered living areas are a lot easier to keep tidy. If you do not want to spend a lot of your free time on chores, it might be time to consider sizing down your property for a smaller unit.
More Free Time
Sizing down your living space frees your time and money, so you can start doing more fun things that you want to do. After spending your younger years evolving your schedule around work, family, and household responsibilities, now it is time to enjoy your freedom. Reducing your house size will give you more options to try a new hobby, travel, join groups, and socialize with others.
Safety and Security
Some people want to move to smaller places for security reasons. Protecting a larger place can add extra stress to the owner, especially if you are alone or away a lot. Although there are many home security providers and systems available, they are costlier to install in a large place. Most condominiums and apartments have security systems set up to keep invaders out and provide extra protection.
Closer to Amenities
Often homeowners who downsize move to locations are closer to commercial properties. Rather than driving everywhere, they prefer an area that has most of the amenities they need within close proximity. It is easier and much more convenient to have stores, restaurants, bus routes, schools, medical facilities and recreational establishments within walking distance. For those who do not want the extra burden of driving everywhere to get what they need reducing your material lifestyle for a more convenient one makes sense.
When homeowners are first looking at buying real estate, bigger, spacious houses are the more desirable options because they have the much-anticipated room to accommodate a growing family and fit the material wants. But change is part of life and as you evolve, things that were once important can become less ideal. A large home that was the perfect size once, might be too big in later years. Furniture that you needed when the kids were younger, is no longer used once they move out.
Sudden events can also quickly impact your need for a bigger place. Whatever your reasons for getting rid of the excess, making the decision to downsize from a large house to a smaller one is a very personal, and sometimes difficult decision. Some homeowners have the time to plan for it while others face sudden, life altering situations that can force a move.
While it is a huge adjustment, downsizing your home can be very beneficial. Knowing when and why you are reducing the size of your living area can help you better prepare for it financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally.