If you’re approaching retirement, the nest is empty, or you’re simply tired of walking around a big house looking for your missing keys, the decision to downsize might be tempting. But how do you know if it’s the right time?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether a homeowner should downsize, but these 4 factors could be hinting that the time is right…right now.
Your home can’t accommodate your desire to age in place
Nowadays, many homeowners want to age in place, but if your home isn’t designed to meet your growing needs, now is a great time to seek out a new place that can accommodate you better as you age. Wishlist items like a first floor bedroom, not too many stairs or one level living, smaller lawns, storage that’s easily accessible, a flat driveway, larger bathrooms with curbless showers, etc, are all attractive qualities in a house designed to allow homeowners to gracefully age in place.
Your monthly housing expenses make up a large portion of your budget
The National Housing Authority recommends homeowners allocate no more than 30% of their take home income on housing. As you age, you may find yourself cutting back at work or if you’ve retired, and have altered your budget as a result, the cost of your mortgage and maintaining your home could easily take up a large portion of your monthly income. Living in a smaller space can reduce your monthly mortgage payment, as well as the cost to maintain your home.
You have multiple rooms and storage spaces you hardly ever use
Do you feel like you’re paying to heat, cool, clean, and maintain many square feet that you use once or twice a year? Does the thought of paying property taxes on that never-used guest room make you crazy?
Freeing yourself from unused space can save time and money, which is why it’s one of the most common reasons people decide to downsize.
Yard work and home maintenance have lost their allure
Gone are the days of raking as a family and letting the kids jump into the leaf piles. If your kids now have their own leaf piles at their own homes, you might be at the point in your life as a homeowner where you find yard work and home maintenance just plain irritating.
If the idea of having someone else take care of your yard and home maintenance sounds wonderful, there’s nothing wrong with this—it could be a sure sign that downsizing is right for you.
You’re missing out on family time
If the family home is keeping you rooted to a location your children have moved away from, downsizing could be an opportunity to save money and move closer to family, so you could attend more get-togethers, recitals, school plays, and all the day-to-day events that turn into cherished memories.