While many people choose to relocate to smaller residences when they retire, downsizing isn’t just for empty nesters and retirees. It may look like a step backward; however, moving to a reduced home makes good sense for a lot of people. Some homeowners prefer extra square footage, but bigger is not always better! Downsizing can help you save money, conserve time, and live your life to the fullest.
Before you decide to downsize, take an inventory of your belongings. A smaller home may not accommodate everything you own, and you may need to make some hard choices. Only keep what you use on a daily basis and consider selling or donating the rest. Look through the garage, closets, basement, and attic; you may be surprised what you find gathering dust. Sell things online or host a rummage sale. Even if you only make a few hundred dollars, put the proceeds into a savings account, toward the down payment, or use it for moving expenses.
Save On Just About Everything
When you choose a home with fewer square feet, you’ll probably need a smaller mortgage. You’ll also likely pay less on closing costs, the down payment, and yearly property taxes. And the savings don’t stop there. In general, a smaller property has lower utility bills. Fewer rooms mean less space to heat, cool, and light – saving money on electric and gas bills.
Additionally, a smaller number of rooms means less square footage to furnish. Downsizing is an excellent way to save money on decorating. The cost of paint and window treatments, lamps, furniture, etc., will be significantly lower. Depending on where you shop, you can save thousands of dollars and finish projects sooner.
Then there’s home maintenance. At some point, a new roof, flooring, appliances, or landscaping will be necessary. Reduce the cost, time, and labor of upkeep by considering a smaller home with a “cozier” yard. The time it takes to clean a more modest house is less, too.
Enjoy Life More
Downsizing can help if you’re feeling overburdened by a large mortgage payment and other bills. Reducing your mortgage and utilities, even by a few hundred dollars a month, means you can pay off debt more quickly. Also, spending less of your time and income on your home means more money for travel, hobbies, restaurants, or other adventures.
Consider splitting your monthly savings in two – half to be used for paying bills and the other half for having fun and enjoying life!
Saving For the Future
Depending on what you spend on housing each month, you probably don’t have much left to put into an emergency account or retirement fund. If all of your money is going toward paying your mortgage, trying to save can seem overwhelming. Having an account with three to six month’s worth of savings to help you survive during an emergency or job loss is essential. By downsizing, you have an opportunity to attain that.
Retirement arrives faster than you expect, so if you don’t have enough savings, it’s time to plan. Reaching your financial goals may mean shrinking your expenses. Downsizing can provide an avenue to make financial investments and build a nest egg for retirement.
Trying to “keep up with the Joneses’” can keep you in debt and financially strapped. On the other hand, if you stay level-headed and go against the crowd, you could improve your bottom line. Living in a smaller home will reduce your stress by lowering your bills and lessening upkeep. And it gives you the freedom to use your time and money as you want.
Downsizing doesn’t mean you have to live in cramped quarters. Determine what you need and find a property that will work for you. Whether you’re hoping to decrease financial issues, slow down, retire sooner rather than later, or simplify your life, downsizing may be the right path for you.