Many homeowners are in the empty nest stage. Kids have moved out of the family home and the space is more than you need or want to maintain. You’re thinking of downsizing, hoping to avoid expensive updates and renovations, or want to move in closer proximity to family. Any of this sound familiar?
Moving out of a house is overwhelming, but when you add on the thought of possibly parting with some of your personal larger furniture and possessions and unravelling a house full of lifetime memories...unnerving would be the nicest way to describe the task!
It’s a scary transition to think about, but you don’t want to have a big regret in 5 years that you were complacent about making a real estate decision. When is the right time to downsize? It should really be termed “smartsize”. There are so many decisions to make and so many factors and unique situations to consider. Where do you see yourself right now and in the near future? Maybe you don’t want your money tied up in a big house or maybe you would like to free up some funds to pursue other dreams like travel. Regardless it’s time to be smart and make a plan for the next chapter.
How to Put the “Smart” in Downsizing
Before jumping into downsizing, consider all the angles to determine if it’s the right time for you and be smart about it. If you’re thinking about down-sizing or “smart-sizing”, you’re already envisioning managing a much smaller space than you’re used to which means less time spent cleaning, organizing, and repairing, and more time enjoying family, leisure, and possibly retirement.
What size is really right for you? In the future, will you need space for kids possibly moving back in after college or for an aging parent? Will you need a room for a hobby or a sideline business? You want to weigh all the options to make the right decision on the ideal property that fits your stage of life. They don’t call us the “sandwich generation” for nothing!
We have all collected a lot of “stuff” over the years. Where do we begin with tackling the clutter? Just packing up everything in boxes isn’t decluttering and will cost you more in moving expenses than you need to spend, especially if your new home can’t fit it all! What possessions are you willing to part with? To make purging less overwhelming, try attacking one room at a time or maybe seek the help of an objective relative or friend. After you make some decisions about your “stuff”, you will be surprised at how liberating it is to focus less on possessions and more on life experiences.
Financially, downsizing comes with reduced spending on your mortgage, utilities, property taxes, and maintenance, but don’t underestimate other potential expenses. Make sure you think about your home value and home prices in your purchase destination, moving costs, cost of living, possible condo fees, renovation or maintenance costs. The savings from downsizing can be considerable, but be sure you are making a move that does not come with more costs than you planned on.
A plan for downsizing is crucial so you can ease your fears and set yourself up for the next chapter of your life with less stress and the financial freedom to enjoy your retirement!