Downsizing Your Home: What You Should Know
Downsizing your home can improve your life in many ways.
Imagine a smaller space to maintain. Imagine evening walks along the beach. Imagine more money in your account and greater financial security.
Perhaps you’re finally ready to stop avoiding the move. It’s time to downsize.
Where do you even start with downsizing? In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of downsizing, when you should start considering a smaller home, the benefits, and how you can get started.
But first, just what is it?
What is Home Downsizing?
Home downsizing is the concept of moving to a smaller home. Not only are smaller homes more cost-effective, there’s also less space to maintain.
While you can take the steps to downsize any time in life, people regularly choose downsizing for quality-of-life reasons.
However, the problem many home-owners face with downsizing is not knowing if it’s the right move for them. Let’s solve that.
Key Benefits of Downsizing
Change Your Lifestyle When Downsizing
Despite age, many people choose to downsize for a change in lifestyle.
That’s to say, you could sell your family home and downsize to a condo closer to things you want to do.
Imagine a beachside apartment with ocean views. Or a downtown townhome close to nightlife and activities. Or even a retirement community with a golf course and loads to do every day.
But when you choose to downsize to a better location for more adventure, you can also improve accessibility and reduce maintenance.
Enjoy a Better Quality of Life
According to a homes.com survey, 78 percent of millennials downsize to save money. That’s compared to 59 percent of baby boomers and 65 percent of generation X citing financial reasons for their shift to downsize their homes.
Not only do you save money on upkeep and utilities, if you’re moving from a large house you’ll also gain a sizable sum from the sale to help you retire or live the life you’ve wanted. Plus, when you downsize, there’s a chance your mortgage will be lower.
But you could also associate a change in lifestyle with a better quality of life.
And you could attribute a better quality of life to lower stress, financial stability, and a home that’s easier to maintain.
Why Do People Downsize?
When’s the Right Time to Downsize?
There’s no real perfect time to downsize. However, when you consider your personal situation, there’s a few indicators it’s the right time for you.
Downsizing at 55 could mean your children have grown up and left home. This is often referred to as an ‘empty nest’.
Others downsize for financial reasons. Downsizing could help you get out of debt or prepare you for retirement.
You could even downsize a lot earlier in life and move for a lifestyle change.
Now there’s the actual sale and house hunting to consider. Zillow recommends you sell in good market conditions during peak season. It’s also suggested that you sell before you buy, but it depends on the current market. If homes are increasingly hard to find, for example.
Downsizing After Retirement
Downsizing at 65 or even 70 could mean you’ve already retired. At this age, it’s best to downsize with regards to your future.
People often settle in a property better suited to their needs as they age. A bungalow for example. Or somewhere closer to family.
Of course, it can get more difficult to downsize as you age.
One couple, who downsized from a four-bedroom house to a retirement community, say “don’t wait” and “you’ll get through this.”
While it’s common for seniors to put off downsizing due to the sheer amount of belongings they need to sort, there is help available.
How to Prepare for Downsizing Your Home
Trash, Thrift, or Treasure? Organization and Sorting Tips
Once you’re ready to get started, start organizing early. You must be ruthless about downsizing your belongings if you’re planning on moving into a smaller home.
It can be overwhelming to get started. However, you can get help from downsizing specialists who help seniors and families downsize every month. This is the easiest way to downsize your belongings, and the cost of such services are worth it. A search for ‘downsizing specialists’ or ‘decluttering help’ can find you local companies.
Alternatively, you may want to get started by yourself. We recommend a few books to help decluttering and organizing your home. Or start with three categories for your belongings. One to donate, one for keeps, and another to giveaway or trash.
How Self-Storage Can Help You Downsize
Storage can help you throughout downsizing and into the future.
Let’s say you do sell before you buy. Storage is helpful to hold your belongings between moves. And as you downsize, you could treat self-storage as an extension of home.
More and more people living in condensed urban areas are increasingly seeking out self-storage to hold seasonal gear and larger items.
Storage is equally a great option to keep family heirlooms and keepsakes without taking up rare space in your new smaller home.
Conversely, storage can help in other ways throughout the moving process. Like staging a home to sell. Staging can increase the speed of sale by 33 to 50 percent.
Now you’re better prepared to downsize, you can confidently get help and live a better quality of life into the future.
But if you’re still undecided on whether the move is right for you, read about the pros and cons of moving house.
With a little perseverance and help you can move simply and live the life you’ve always wanted.