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Why downsizing makes sense (and how to do it right)

A happy senior couple moving boxes into or out of the back of their car.

There are instances when “less is more” makes more sense than “bigger is better,” especially in the aspect of real estate. Proof of this is seen in the growing trend of people opting for smaller homes after living in larger ones.

Downsizing real estate is usually a choice by those who feel that they can better manage their funds and upkeep by transferring from their current home to a smaller, more compact one. Early planning and preparation are the keys to successful downsizing.

Read on to know what makes the move to downsize your home a great idea.

Advantages of downsizing

Here are some of the benefits of downsizing your home, some of which can be quite unexpected:

  • Smaller mortgage fees. One of the main reasons homeowners choose to downsize is to save on living costs. Switching to a smaller home means paying less on your mortgage. This allows you to have more money for certain needs like an emergency fund, home maintenance costs, and other more personal financing requirements.
  • Reduced utility consumption. The bigger your home, the higher your utility bills due to the larger space requiring electricity, water, and other conveniences for comfortable living. But with a smaller home, you save on utilities and keep it energy-efficient.
  • More time. The biggest disadvantage of living in a big house is the extended amount of time spent on household chores. With a smaller home, you spend less time working and more time doing your hobbies or enjoying quality time with the family.
  • Giving value to what you have. Smaller homes are all about the “less is more” mantra. When you downsize, you have to do away with things that will only serve as clutter and keep what you really need. As a result, you imbibe a minimalist lifestyle. You spend less, use up less space, and carefully consider whether an item deserves to be added to your home or not.

Downsizing advice

Think downsizing is the way to go for you and your family? Here’s a guide to make that journey of yours a successful one:

  • Plan ahead. Make sure that downsizing won’t hurt any plans you have for the future. Are you planning to have a bigger family? Will you have guests over frequently? Do you plan to start a business that would require a home office? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may want to reconsider this move.
  • Be aware of the disadvantages. Downsizing is a big commitment and doing it too early might just bite you back in the long run. Thus, it helps to be aware of the potential disadvantages that moving to a smaller place brings. Remember that this isn’t just a change of house, but it’s also a change of lifestyle. If you feel that you’re not cut out for the minimalist lifestyle, then it’s better to keep the status quo.
  • Consider selling costs. Simply selling a home entails costs; more so, selling your existing home and buying a smaller one. You have to consider home repairs to drive its price up and selling furniture that won’t fit in the home. There’s also the standard list of expenses like moving costs, homeowners’ association fees, taxes, and several others. Hiring an experienced real estate agent will give you a better idea of exactly where to place your money. They can also give some downsizing tips and help you throughout the whole process.
  • Think about function. This applies to items you will be keeping (or buying) when you move to your new home. Keep only the essentials – those that will be useful to you over time. Practicality is the name of the game here so lean more towards multi-functional furniture and appliances that will take up less space in the house.
  • Keep what matters to you. So, we already mentioned keeping stuff that will be useful to you in your smaller abode. But there could be a trinket or two among your valuables that you may want to bring with you. Don’t feel guilty about this for as long as these items won’t end up as clutter. How to know if an item deserves moving along with you? Take photographs of your home. Look through the photos and see where your eyes naturally go. These are usually the items that matter most to you and are worth keeping.

Eager to begin your downsizing project? Find out when the right time to downsize is, find a buyer for your old home, and spot great prices for your next one by getting the best Connecticut Realtors with over 30 years of combined experience in the field. Call us – Kathy Danais and Lisa Gordon – at 860.214.1295 or 860.805.7722 so we can help you out. You can also send an email to kathydanais(at)gmail(dotted)com or lgordonrealtor(at)gmail(dotted)com.