How to know when it’s Time to Downsize
Published on August 4, 2019

Maybe you’ve been inspired by Marie Kondo to begin downsizing your wardrobe and now you’re looking at making even bigger changes. If you’re starting to question what kind of home brings you joy, then you may need to consider it’s time to downsize to a smaller house.

Maintenance is becoming overwhelming

Maintenance is becoming overwhelming

If cost and the physical demands of maintaining your property has become intimidating then it is time to downsize and find something with less overwhelming maintenance. Of course every home requires some maintenance that lies outside of your physical or financial comfort zone, if you are regularly struggling to complete the chores required to maintain your property and your home doesn’t bring you joy, it’s time to find a solution. Homeownership should be considered a pleasure, not a source of physical exhaustion or mental anguish.

Empty, Unused Space

Empty, Unused Space

Are your guest rooms collecting dust? Do you have a three-car garage holding just one car, or an old bicycle? Does it make sense to keep unused areas clean and heated when they’re far more likely to collect junk than bring you joy? That space is no longer just sitting there, it’s actually weighing you down financially and mentally.

Unsustainable Monthly Expenses

Unsustainable Monthly Expenses

Simply just owning property comes with a lot of additional expenses and large homes can carry steep holding costs. Some homeowners see their tax burden rise dramatically as valuations increase, which can be extremely difficult to manage for those on fixed incomes. Generally speaking, a smaller home equals smaller monthly expenses. Mortgage payments tend to be lower, maintenance costs are less and utility expenses are almost always reduced. When you combine that with the fact that many people get a financial boost when they downsize and your month-to-month cost of living may drop dramatically in a smaller home.

You’re Often Away From Home

You’re Often Away From Home

How often do you find yourself away traveling for business or pleasure? Then what is the point in having a big home if you’re never in it? If you are rarely home than the mortgage interest, taxes and utility costs to maintain that property is almost money down the drain. If it feels like you’re not making the best use of your home, reconsider whether it makes more sense to downsize or relocate somewhere more convenient.

Needing to Cash out the land bank

Needing to Cash out the land bank

Even if your expenses are not a major issue downsizing is an opportunity to set yourself up for retirement or even to cross some things off the bucket list. If you have a home that has steadily risen in value over the years now may be the time to consider selling your home. No matter what you want to do with the extra money, take that money tied up in your home and make it work for you more directly.

Fears about Aging in Place

Fears about Aging in Place

Consider where you might be physically  in 20-30 years time. As you age you may have to make some tough realizations about how your body will hold up to the demands of your current home. There are smaller things to consider than just the general maintenance and upkeep of your property. What about whether or not the baths and showers have grab bars, how often do you need to climb the stairs, and are the doorways large enough to allow a wheelchair or walker across. Downsizing is the perfect opportunity to continue living in your own home rather than the alternative to move into an assisted living facility down the road.

Emotional Agony

Emotional Agony

There are sadly some people who live in a home where there are constant reminders of something that they’ve lost. Empty nesters, widows or widowers, divorcees, even people who’ve lost a job may find that it’s time to downsize and move on.

If your home is causing you more heartache than pleasure and it’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning, take a moment to consider what it would be like to live in someplace new. If that thought lifts some weight off your shoulders, then it’s time for you to downsize.

A major life change

A major life change

If you’re dealing with major life changes often it requires a change in setting or environment. When your family is growing, for example, it is common to upsize your home to accommodate additional children, pets or extended family. However, sometimes a major life change is a sign that it’s time to simplify and downsize.

For many people this major life change occurs at retirement. A change in life combined with fewer people in the home encourages downsizing. Other such events could include divorce, loss of a loved one, a change in employment or a desire to chase a long postponed dream. Whatever your reason, if your life is undergoing changes it’s time to consider whether your current home is the best match for your new situation.

Concern about environmental impact

Concern about environmental impact

Maybe your environmental impact is a significant priority for you, then downsizing may be in your future sooner than you think. After all, if you care about the Earth but you’re consuming fossil fuels in order to heat and maintain a large property that you don’t use, let’s just say that your compost pile probably isn’t balancing out your gigantic, half-empty home. Imagine reducing your carbon footprint significantly simply by downsizing your home, that’s a significant change for mother Earth and the size of your smaller home might be perfect for you.

Is it Time to Downsize your Home

Thinking about downsizing your house and wondering how to prepare? Talk with professional REALTOR® that specializes in downsizing.