Does your empty nest echo like this? If so, it may be time to consider downsizing the family home.
But let’s take a step back first.
Downsizing your home is a big decision. You first need to ask yourself if a reduction of rooms and overall space is right for you at this point in your life. There are several reasons why it could be a smart choice, and some of them you might not even expect. On the flip side, depending on your situation, there could be some downsides to a downsize. We’ll discuss both so you can weigh your options and decide if now is the right time for small home living.
Increasing cash flow
While this won’t apply to every case, but it is possible that the sale price of your equity-filled home will be more than the purchase price of your new, smaller one. This will give you a lump sum pretty much immediately upon selling your home. Additionally, if you have a lower mortgage payment when moving to a smaller home, that could mean having more cash available each month for other needs. You might even want to consider using this money for furniture upgrades, home improvement projects, or hold onto it for retirement.
Saving on energy bills
The ability to lower your energy bills is one of the biggest reasons to downsize your home. If you’re only using one of your bedrooms, but have three others, you’re still going to be heating and cooling all four whenever you turn the thermostat up or down. But it’s more than just your thermostat. With a smaller space, it’s likely you’ll use less electricity for lights, appliances, and electronics.
Even if you’re not using every room in your house, you’ll still have to continually vacuum the floors and dust the surfaces. Small home living can help you minimize your housework duties, and give you more time to do the things you want. Plus, a downsize forces you to declutter and part ways with things you haven’t used in ages – which will help you keep a tidy home.
Aside from the immediately tangible benefits above, a downsize can simply open up a new, exciting chapter in your life. Maybe you’re near retirement and ready for a change or perhaps your children have all moved out. Regardless, moving to a new home in a new community can feel like a major lifestyle upgrade.
Parting with or storing items
One of the negatives that comes with downsizing is not having as much space for your belongings. You may be faced with the task of parting with certain items – or having to pay to put them in storage.
Having less room for guests
We’d all love to be the perfect overnight hosts to our guests, but there simply might not be enough room for them when you downsize your home. Depending on how significant your downsize is, hosting a big holiday dinner or having out-of-town friends over for the weekend might be out of the question in a smaller home.
Saying goodbye to your family home
Even if you’re in the position to financially benefit from selling your home, it may be hard to part ways with the house you’ve spent that last few decades making memories in. You’ll have to say goodbye to the place you built a relationship and a family in – and this may be the toughest part of the decision you’ll have to make.
But if you decide it’s time to lose the echo and downsize to a more practical home, get yourself familiar with the mortgage process again with our homebuying cheat sheet.