Homeowners often aren’t thinking about downsizing to a smaller place until they are empty nesters. Others may wait until their age makes it difficult to keep up with home and yard maintenance.
While these are excellent reasons to move to a smaller home, they are not the only ones to consider. The right time to start thinking about downsizing is often different for everyone.
Increasing Housing Expenses
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommends homeowners use less than 30% of their earnings for mortgages and property upkeep. The housing agency goes on to qualify anyone with housing expenses equaling over 50% of their income as being severely burdened.
Job loss and an increase in spending can make meeting monthly mortgage obligations difficult. Even though you may not feel ready to downsize, it is something to consider. A home with less square footage typically comes with a lower mortgage. Your monthly utility bills may also decrease.
Before you decide downsizing from your current home is the answer, it’s a good idea to run through a cost analysis. Moving costs can add up. Your current property may also require some repairs before it goes on the market. Figuring out the cost of selling versus moving to a smaller place can help you make the right financial decision.
Home Maintenance is Becoming Overwhelming
Your age can play a role in your ability to keep up with home maintenance. Single homeowners may also feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to keep a larger property looking great.
Hiring professionals to keep the yard mowed and the windows clean is an option. You have more free time on the weekends, but these and other professional services can be expensive. If you are already on a tight budget, bringing in outside help may not be an option.
Downsizing to a property you can maintain is something you may want to consider. It can also help prevent a drop in your home’s value. Neglecting your maintenance chores can lower the property’s value.
You No Longer Have Ties to the Neighborhood
Having ties to the neighborhood can be vital for your emotional well-being. Most individuals thrive when they are close to friends and family.
Over time, your neighbors may have moved away. The same often applies to family members, especially grown children.
The cost of living is another reason to consider moving. Some neighborhoods are noticeably more expensive than others.
You may not have to downsize to live in a close-knit community. If you find a less-expensive neighborhood, you may want to keep the same square footage. It gives you space to host friends and family but be cautious of the upkeep. You don’t want to buy a new home you can only maintain for a few years.
You Have Multiple Unused Rooms
As your children grow up and move out, you may find yourself with unused rooms. You also may not be using all of the home’s amenities.
You can close off unused rooms and save a little on heating and cooling bills, but you are still paying property taxes on the space. The same applies to amenities like swimming pools and home entertainment rooms.
Even though you aren’t using the space, it can help attract potential buyers. Some amenities can even bring a higher asking price. Your real estate agent can help with the details.
Downsizing Might Be the Right Move
If you are thinking about downsizing, a licensed real estate agent can help you with everything from listing your home to finding a new one. When you are ready, contact me to learn more.