Our lives are dynamic, and things change all the time, so it’s difficult to estimate what we’ll need in the future. As a result, what was once the ideal house for you and your family may appear excessively big or impersonal.
In many cases, households are reduced when kids go to college or get married and move out independently. This leaves that ‘empty nest’ feeling, and for some folks, it may mean it’s time to downsize their home.
If you’re confused about whether or not it’s time to downsize your house, below are some factors to consider.
Monthly Housing Costs
If your monthly housing costs have surpassed 30% of your income, you probably need to consider all your options to relieve some of that debt. As a general rule of thumb, housing costs should account for roughly 25 to 30 percent of your monthly budget.
This includes your monthly mortgage payment, utilities, maintenance expenditures, homeowners insurance, and property taxes. If you have a pool service, lawn care provider, or live in a community with HOA fees, these will also go under this category.
In reality, any household spending more than 30 percent of its income is considered financially stressed. Stressing about money may negatively influence your mental, emotional, and physical health, so having some extra cash on hand can help you prepare for unexpected bills or health problems.
Downsizing your house is an excellent strategy to save money on your monthly housing costs because a smaller home often equals cheaper monthly housing costs. Make sure you determine how much house you can afford on a fixed salary before starting the property buying and selling process.
It may seem like only yesterday when three bathrooms weren’t enough or that your grandchildren’s toys had taken over the entire house. You undoubtedly wished for a larger place at the time to keep the chaos under control.
It isn’t always true that bigger is better. If you can’t remember the last time you stepped inside your guest bedroom other than to dust, it’s probably time to reevaluate having all this space and start thinking about going smaller.
These extra rooms can be a waste if they aren’t being used because they will continue to cost money, not just in property taxes and future upkeep (leaky roofs, peeling paint, etc. ), but also in the amount of energy, gas, and oil consumed to heat and cool them.
Upkeep and Maintenance
If keeping your house in good shape is getting increasingly challenging, it may be time to start thinking about downsizing. This can be an emotional decision, so make sure you think about all the different aspects of selling the family home.
Your house is full of priceless memories that you cherish, from the living room where your daughter first learned to play the piano to the wall where you documented your grandchildren’s heights. In addition, your house serves as a reminder of the love and fun you’ve had with friends and family, leading many people to stay in their homes for longer than is healthy or financially prudent.
In some cases, limited mobility can make routine upkeep around the house, such as yard work and regular cleaning, impossible. There will always be domestic duties to be done, regardless of your age. However, as you become older, tasks like cleaning gutters, vacuuming a two-story home, mowing the lawn, and pruning the bushes become more complex.
One of the numerous advantages of downsizing your house is that you may pick a property where these responsibilities are no longer a concern. If you’ve gotten to the point where these activities appear unattainable, it’s time to scale back.
It’s also preferable to make this choice sooner rather than later. When domestic duties pile up and influence the quality of your home, you may witness a drop in the property value when it’s time to sell.
Your Current Neighborhood
If your current neighborhood is no longer appropriate for your way of life, it may be time to downsize. If you’ve lived in your present house for a long time, you most likely chose a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle at the time.
For example, perhaps you prefer a suburban community to get away from the traffic and noise of big cities. On the other hand, maybe you relocated to a townhouse in the heart of the city to make your commute to work easier.
These areas may have been an excellent choice for you in the past, but they may no longer meet your requirements. You may discover that downsizing to a different neighborhood is required to accommodate your current lifestyle.
In addition, downsizing your house to a smaller one may free up time for leisure activities, allow you to obtain more relaxation, and spend more time with family and friends.
Your Personal Growth
When a young family buys a house, they rarely consider what it will look like after 20 or 30 years. However, as you become older, you may have to face some complex decisions about how your body can cope with the demands of your present residence.
We’re not talking about upkeep and maintenance (though they are vital). We’re speaking of installing handrails in the bathrooms and showers, how often you have to climb the stairs, and if the entrances are spacious enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker.
The aging in place movement encourages seniors and disabled community members to remain in their homes as long as possible. It is ideal for people who prefer to downsize to a more accessible house than enter an assisted living facility.
The current housing market is seeing prices that have rarely been witnessed before for older homes. They are selling for a lot of money since the demand outweighs the supply.
When buying a property, market considerations are usually used to determine the home’s prospective appreciation. If your home has gained value, which most houses in Sacramento have, now may be the ideal moment to cash in on that value.
There is a large volume of buyers due to the limited inventory of properties on the market and the low interest loan rates currently available. In today’s market, downsizing may be the best approach to maximize the value of your property.
Simplify Your Life
Many people who settled in huge homes during the late 90s and early 2000s boom, ended up wishing they had purchased or built a smaller home. In fact, according to a 2017 poll, 60 percent of Americans who live in houses of 2,000 square feet or more want to downsize.
Some of this is undoubtedly related to the aforementioned financial factors, but some may also be due to a more contemplative approach. Moreover, some individuals prefer to downsize to remove unnecessary difficulties and focus on what matters most.
Plus, if you buy a house that is less expensive than the one you sold, the extra income could help you appreciate your new home even more!
Downsizing may be tough for those who are resistant to change or emotionally attached to their current home, but there are various advantages and opportunities. Moreover, downsizing can be really exciting, from the possibility to save money on bills and make household tasks more manageable to the fresh décor and potential of a new location.