As the kids spread their wings and leave the nest, many homeowners begin to reconsider their housing options. For many, the question of selling the large family home and moving into a smaller one is at the top of the list.
In some cases, this type of downsizing is merely a matter of convenience, and for others the cost of maintaining the larger home can place real strain on a household budget that may have shrunk due to retirement, college costs, or other reasons.
If you are watching your kids leave the nest and wondering why you are still heating and cooling all that excess space, it may be time to seriously consider downsizing. Wondering how to downsize your home? These tips will help you make the move to a new home with grace and style.
When is Downsizing a Valuable Option?
Downsizing is a valuable option when a homeowner has come to a point in their life when they no longer need very much space. This often happens after children move out. Downsizing into a smaller home can save homeowners money by reducing their utility bills. Smaller homes are also easier and less expensive to maintain. For homeowners who pay to have their home professionally cleaned, smaller homes are less costly to clean.
Finally, many homeowners find that downsizing is a valuable option because large houses tend to sell for a lot of money, whereas smaller houses often cost less money. A homeowner who sells their larger house and uses the money to buy a smaller house may have money leftover when the transactions are finished.
Start the Downsizing Process Early
Starting the process of downsizing early is key to a smooth transition. One reason that downsizing your home can become so stressful is the need to decide to keep, give away, or sell many of the furnishings and possessions that have been in your home for many years. To lessen the sting of parting with these items, consider dividing them up among children, siblings, friends, or other loved ones who you know will give your heirloom pieces a great home. If you have additional household items and furniture that will not be needed in your new home, consider either donating them to a local charity or putting them up for sale locally through online classified ads.
In addition to furnishings and household items, you may also want to include some of your current appliances in the sale of the home and replace them with new ones after you move into your new one. This will allow you to purchase sizes and models that may fit better in your new, smaller space and eliminate the trouble and expense of moving the older models. This is a particularly important to save money on shipping costs if you are planning to move hundreds or thousands of miles away from where you live now.
Determine Whether Relocating Will Be Part of the Plan
The next question to consider is whether you will stay in the area where you currently live or relocate to another city or area. Downsizing can be a great opportunity to experience a new climate or move closer to those that you would like to spend more time with. Embracing the potential for new adventures and opportunities is a great way to remove much of the stress of downsizing and help you to see the process in a positive light.
What Kind of Housing/Community Will You Prefer?
Another way to help relieve the stress of downsizing is to decide whether you will want to purchase another home in a traditional neighbourhood or would prefer to move into a condo or some other type of community, such as a planned retirement community or themed development.
To get a feel for the housing options that are available in the area where you have decided to live, ask your real estate professional to arrange for you to view several homes that are currently available as well as some condos and units in local planned retirement communities. This will help you make a definite decision about the type of home you prefer and help you to more easily move forward through the process of downsizing.
With enough planning, a downsizing home situation can be an exciting experience.