Deciding to Downsize

Sometimes downsizing your home is the right option, but there are many pros and cons to consider before deciding to move into a smaller house. It can be difficult to decide to downsize, especially if you’ve lived in your home for many years and you’re comfortable with where you live. There are many factors to consider, including your budget, health, and happiness.

Remember, the most important thing to keep in mind is your comfort and happiness.

 

Below, we’ve created a list of things for you to consider before deciding to downsize your home:

 

Housing Costs

In retirement, housing costs are often the most expensive thing to plan for in your fixed budget. Generally speaking, moving to a smaller place will save you money. If you’re able to sell your larger home at a reasonable price, buying a small house or condo is often an easy purchase that can be made with the profits from selling your larger home. Additionally, many monthly housing costs (such as utilities, water, and sewer) can be significantly cheaper in a smaller apartment or townhouse.

Depending on your budget, you might have significantly less financial stress after you’ve downsized. Plus, freeing up some money can provide you with funds for hobbies or travel. You don’t want to be -house poor- in retirement, where all your money is funneled into maintaining your property.

Empty Space

If you’re approaching retirement, it probably means that you’ve become an empty-nester in recent years. As kids grow up and move out, they often leave behind empty rooms. Extra bedrooms in a home can be a waste of valuable space, and wasted space often equated to wasted money. If you feel like there’s a significant amount of space not being used in your house, or not being used effectively, downsizing might be an excellent option for you.

Long-Term Upkeep

Usually, smaller homes are associated with fewer maintenance costs. However, long-term maintenance costs are primarily dependent on the condition your home is currently in.

If you bought your home brand-new ten years ago, and you’ve taken excellent care of it, you might not have been concerned about future maintenance costs. But if you live in an older house, there might be many home improvement projects coming your way. For those of us concerned with forthcoming maintenance costs in an older home, selling your house now might save you time, money, and hassle in your retirement.

The Housing Market

The decision to sell and downsize can be reliant upon the current housing market. If you live in an area where homes are selling at a high price, and they’re selling quickly, this might be a great opportunity to take advantage of the market and downsize by moving to a less expensive city or neighborhood.

On the other hand, if the market is doing poorly, it might be a better idea to wait several years. Remember, part of the reason you bought a home was so that you can benefit from the equity you invest over the years. When it comes time to downsize, use that equity to your advantage!

Desire to Move

Most people don’t want to leave their house because they love where they live. If you spend years in a home, you develop some fond memories in that location, and you often find comfort in the sights and sounds of your neighborhood. If you love where you live, and you can afford it, you don’t have to move. However, living in a large home can be difficult for senior citizens; if you decide not to downsize, you can consider performing some renovations in your home that might make living more comfortable for a senior citizen.

If you like the idea of living somewhere new, there is no better time than retirement to embrace change and make a big move! Downsizing can be a great excuse to make a significant change and live somewhere new.

Less Space, Less Stuff

If you?re going to move into a smaller place, you’re going to need to get rid of some stuff. Some of us want to get rid of lots of stuff, and that’s why downsizing feels so appealing. For many of us though, that might entail giving up objects we’ve had for many years and giving up things that might have sentimental value.

Before downsizing, you have to assess your wants vs. needs, and you have to make a personal decision concerning the importance of your physical possessions. That being said, don?t let physical objects prevent you from being the deterrent from making a move that would otherwise improve your quality of life.

Happiness

Ultimately, downsizing into a new home has to be the right decision for your happiness. Downsizing can make day-to-day living easier and can save you a ton of money. However, if you love your current home, making a decision based on money might not be the best thing for your long-term happiness.

Decide for yourself the type of life you want to live, and the kind of retirement you want to have. For many, downsizing is a great option. For others, it’s not the best decision for long-term happiness.

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