The Ups and Downs of Downsizing

As you grow in your career, buying a house, and continuing to increase the size of your living space is kind of a given.

I’d like to shake that up. I want to empower you with the knowledge that will help you choose the path that is right for you and lend my support along the way – even if that means taking the road less traveled and downsizing your home. 

Downsizing has gained popularity among young professionals recently. Many people are purchasing small starter house to refinish them and rent them out down the road, and others are picking up and moving into tiny homes to kick their house payment to the curb.   

This process can look different to every person, but in essence, downsizing is about minimizing your living expenses and financial housing responsibilities. This often means moving to a smaller house, renting, eliminating mortgage debt, mitigating maintenance, and upkeep, etc.   

There are many positive aspects of downsizing, but it also has its drawbacks. I’d like to illustrate both sides for you to help you see which option might be the best for you.  

The Pros 

Downsizing encompasses many aspects, chief among them is to evaluate your needs. When you first renovated your home in your 30s, you probably loved that you had a spacious master suite on the second floor with a balcony overlooking your backyard. The wood stairs with a sleek iron rail lent enough support and the levels gave the place a cottage charm.  

These qualities, lovely though they sound, may not actually be necessary. So many homes have a significant amount of wasted space that you ultimately have to pay for. While leaving a house you made a home may be difficult, downsizing gives you the opportunity to take into account your present needs and what will work best for you.  

Perks to downsizing: 

Smaller space.

A smaller space will be easier to maintain and live in as you age 

Less taxes.

If you decide to go the renting route, you will not have to pay property tax and home insurance which can really add up.  

Decreased maintenance.

Remember when your roof leaked and it cost you thousands of dollars? By downsizing, you won’t have as many hefty costs associated with massive home renovations because your space will be smaller and (generally speaking) less expensive. 

More location options.

Many people downsize and move to be closer to friends and family.  

Downsizing also gives you the opportunity to live in multiple places. With a mortgage, you are tied to a certain area.  

Increased amenities.

When people downsize to an apartment, condo, townhome, etc. that community may offer its residents with amenities like a pool, gym, clubhouse, and social opportunities. These spaces will allow you to meet new people and help develop a community.  

Quality time.

By alleviating the costs of a large home, you will be able to free up your time (and wallet) significantly.  

The Cons 

Your house is more than a combination of bricks, concrete, and windows. It is the place you celebrated your first wedding anniversary, have imagined raising your family, and made so many precious memories.  

Maybe downsizing isn’t for you, and that’s okay! Many people feel that way. Let’s look at some reasons why downsizing might not be the right move for you.  

You don’t have a house payment.

If you have already paid off your mortgage, staying in your house may make the most sense! 

You are near family and friends.

You might be in your ideal neighborhood with longtime friends and family just a short drive away. In this case, then staying might be in your best interest. If you want to spend more time with your loved ones and they are already close, why leave? 

Your house is part of your estate plan.

Perhaps your home has been in your family for generations and you want to maintain the tradition. As opposed to selling it, you can use your estate plan to outline your wishes for the property.  

You love your house.

It can be as simple as that. Your feelings about your home can be a legitimate reason to stay there. If it will make you happy and help you live your best life, then you should stay.  

Downsizing is certainly something to consider if you’re trying to save some money, or aren’t interested in spending ongoing money on a large space you don’t use. However, it might not be the best decision for you. Evaluating your future goals, and how your housing fits into the vision for your life, can help you to determine whether or not you want to downsize in the near future. 

Have questions? Downsizing is something I have personal experience with. My family and I moved into a smaller home when moving closer to family, and have been renovating it for the past several years. I’m more than happy to share the ups and downs of my own experience with you if downsizing is something you’re considering. Feel free to schedule a consultation with me here