Downsizing can seem like a step backward for most homeowners. After living in one place for so long, around which you have built so many memories, the very idea of moving is daunting. However, life takes many turns and, at some point, you may find yourself spending a great deal of time and money cleaning and maintaining a large four-bedroom home that only you and your spouse live in, when the two of you would rather be spending retirement vacationing to the islands, the countryside, the big city – anywhere but the local grocery store. In truth, the financial and life benefits of moving to a smaller home make the venture a step forward, not backward. Let’s review reasons for downsizing your home and examine some key considerations in undergoing this transition.
Reasons for Downsizing
Most homeowners downsize to lead a simpler lifestyle. Originally, their large home accommodated a growing family, and the greater part of married life was spent raising the kids. But now the children are grown, moved out, and starting families of their own; the multi-bedroom home has become a big empty nest, with vacant rooms to clean and available spaces that are heated and cooled to no one’s benefit. In some cases, the home is at least 20+ years old and showing signs of age – leaky plumbing, settling cracks, electrical wiring faults, etc. Suddenly, the home has become a vacuum, sucking up homeowner dollars for repairs and renovations, maybe even maid fees because cleaning the spare rooms became too much a hassle. All previous discussion of vacationing once the kids were gone has been postponed because home maintenance takes priority.
If you are ready to enjoy a more worry-free lifestyle, it is time you downsize your living space. Moving to a smaller home relieves you of the responsibility to clean large, unused spaces; instead, you can channel your valuable time and energy into more important things like visiting the grandkids, catching up with old friends, and having a night out with your spouse. You save a lot of money and effort with a new residence that has no need of repair, and a low-maintenance home is easy to go from when you want to take a trip out of town. A smaller abode yields cheaper insurance and tax fees, as well as lower utility bills when the HVAC has less space to heat or cool. Moreover, a downsized home is easily more affordable to purchase, and then turn around and sell on the market, should you ever choose to move again, unlike a large-scale home that initially costs more and attracts the attention of a smaller percentage of buyers.
Should you choose to downsize, moving also affords you the chance to take up residence closer to your children and their growing families, or you can live somewhere new, somewhere that gives you access to various dining, shopping, and recreational opportunities. Lennar Active Adult communities are great for 55+ homeowners who want to live with like-minded individuals and enjoy whatever a new day brings, be it a cultural experience at the museum, a round of bocce ball with friends, an artful creation in a hands-on craft shop, or simply dining out with a special someone to try a novel cuisine. Active Adult communities offer resort-style amenities such as sport courts, swimming pools, and clubhouses, complete with athletic centers, lounges, game rooms, and special interest classes; even the very atmosphere of these communities is equivalent to a vacation getaway, with green, fully-landscaped neighborhoods featuring beautiful trails, parks, and water elements. Every Active Adult new home is charming, with a masterfully laid out floorplan that amply accommodates you, your spouse, and guests, but not so grandly sized as to be overwhelming to care for; moreover, you will have peace of mind leaving your home in these often-gated neighborhoods when you go away for the weekend. To learn more about Lennar’s Active Adult communities, click here.
Things to Consider Before Downsizing
If you believe you are ready to downsize, there are a few things you must consider. First, location, location, location. Where do you want to take up residence? Do you want to live in the country or close to the beach? Maybe you are a very active person who would enjoy the interchanging day- and nightlife of a lively city like New York or Las Vegas. Perhaps you want to get back to nature, unwind and relax in scenic woodland, mountain, or desert surroundings. Whatever your preference, always consider where you would like to live and why to ensure your lifestyle is well accommodated.
Next, you must reflect upon the size of your next home. We are talking about downsizing, but does size really matter to you? You are looking for a home with fewer rooms to clean, but maybe you want a spare room for guests or family who come to visit; if not a guest room, a den to turn into your private office, studio, or gym. Also, how much stuff do you own? Chances are a lot of your possessions, particularly big-bulk items, will have to be given away, donated, or sold before you move into a smaller home. Can you willingly part with your things for the sake of a new, uncluttered abode?
Finally, you must weigh the costs that come with moving. You have to put your old home on the market, maybe hire a real estate agent to locate buyers, and have reserved capital in the bank if the profit from your old home does not cover the price of your new home; also, prior to market placement, you must fix and renovate your old home’s living spaces for tours and open houses. Downsizing your home can require downsizing your furniture too. Can you sell your huge lounge chairs or comfy couch and elongated dining room table to buy replacement, space-saving furnishings? And then, towards the end of this enterprise, you must factor in the expenses of hiring movers or renting one or more moving trucks to transport your belongings to your new residence. Everything in this home venture can cost you more than you originally intended to spend, but once you live in your new, downsized home, you may see a return on your investment with smaller property taxes, utility bills, and other home expenses.
Downsizing your home opens the door to opportunity. When you spend less time, energy, and effort disposing yourself to the care and maintenance of a large abode, you afford yourself more opportunities to be with those dear to you, to do the things you love to enjoy, and to relax and recover. You save money you would spend on home repairs and invest it in travels to places you and your spouse always talked about seeing together. You have less stress overall when your not-too-big, not-too-small, just-right home suits your adventurous, carefree, fun-loving lifestyle.