Are You Thinking Of Downsizing?

-Have your children moved out and you just don’t need all that space?

-Do you spend most of your time in just a couple rooms of your home?

-Is the daily cleaning and maintenance of your home getting to be too much?

-Are the home related expenses beginning to overwhelm you?

-Is your home full of things that you rarely use and don’t want anymore?

Downsizing Your Home:

Benefits, Negatives, Tips For Your Convenience

And Some Mistakes You Should Avoid

Why Should I Downsize My Home?

Here are some of the top reasons why homeowners have told us that they are looking to downsize:

Kids Have Moved Out

Many people who are looking to downsize have recently, or not so recently, become empty nesters. The large homes that once housed a full family are no longer necessary. Having a home with more than two bedrooms with only one or two people living in it doesn’t make a ton of sense financially, physically and mentally.

Can No Longer Afford Current Sized Home

There are many reasons why someone can no longer afford their home, and we are not here to judge. Whatever your circumstance is, rest assured that you are not alone. In almost 75% of the country, the average American cannot afford a median priced home. So don’t feel like you need to keep up with the Jones’s, because they probably can’t afford the home they live.

Not being able to afford the payments on your home can add unneeded stress and worry to you life. If this sounds like you, then now might be the nest time for you to consider downsizing you house.

Relationship Ended

This is a harsh reality of being a human being unfortunately. Relationships end for a multitude of reasons, which we don’t need to go into detail here, and people need to move on.

If you find yourself living in a home that is no longer right for you due to your new situation, then maybe the time to downsize is upon you.

Tired Of The Upkeep A Larger Home Requires

Just keeping the landscape around a larger home well maintained can be a daunting task for some. When you consider cleaning the interior, and exterior of a home, you may get overwhelmed very quickly. This causes many people to look to downsize their home into something more manageable physically, and emotionally.

The Benefits Of Downsizing My Home?

While there can be many benefits to downsizing your home, these are some of the most noticeable ones that you can reap the rewards of almost as soon as you make the move.

Smaller Home Related Expenses

  • Smaller Mortgage
    • This might seem obvious, but in most places in the country, going from a 2000 to 1000 square foot home will lower the price of your home dramatically. This means that you can lower your mortgage payments significantly, or even do away with it altogether.
  • Reduced Property Tax
    • Property tax is generally calculated by your county based off the value of your home. Just as lowering the value reduced your mortgage payments, downsizing your home can lower your annual property taxes as well.
  • Reduced Utility Bills
    • Downsizing your house can have a major effect on your utility bills, especially when it comes to heating and cooling. You might think that downsizing your home by half would reduce your heating and cooling by half as well, but that is not necessarily the case.
      • Many larger homes not only have more square footage, but also higher ceilings. This means that you have more volumetric space in your home that needs to be heated or cooled. This is why downsizing can save you more than you might think.
  • Lower Your Homeowner’s Insurance
    • There are many factors that go into calculating your home owner’s insurance premiums, but one of the most important is the cost of your home to rebuild.
    • It may go without saying here, but by downsizing your home, and lowering it’s value, your insurance will go down because it becomes less costly to replace.
  • Reduced Cost Of Repairs
    • Have you ever had to replace the roof on your home? How about an A/C unit? Maybe you have had to replace your water heater? These are all things that require periodic replacement over the life of a home.
    • Well, when you have downsized your house, the costs of these things also go down. If you are having your roof replaced, the cost per square foot of replacement is generally the same, so having a smaller roof will cost you less. The same goes for an A/C unit or water heater. You won’t need that larger, more expensive unit in your downsized home.

Simplify Your Life

Moving into a smaller house means that you are going to be getting rid of some things that take up some of the unused space in your current home. When you take a step back and look at it though, more than likely, many of the things that are currently in your house don’t get used on a routine basis.

Cutting down on the things that take up so much space in your home will help you to simplify your life in a way that can do wonders for your overall health and well-being. It has been shown that clutter not only contributes to extra stress in your life, but can exacerbate procrastination.

Help You Save More

In addition to saving money on your mortgage, property taxes, utility bills and so on, downsizing your home can save you at stores as well. Since you have less space to store things, you may be less inclined to purchase items to fill your home with, leaving you with….

Extra Money For Retirement

Because of this extra savings, you will be able to put away more for retirement. If you are already in retirement this just means that you will have more spending money each month to enjoy the things that you love.

More Family Bonding

By having less space where everyone can disperse to, you will be more inclined to spend time with each other in the common spaces of your home. This leads to more quality time together and stronger relationships with the ones who mean the most to you.

Smaller Homes Are Easier To Sell

If you ever decide to sell your smaller home, it will be much easier to find a buyer. This is just due to the fact that smaller homes inherently mean more affordable, opening up the list of potential buyers for your home.

Free Up Your Time And Reduce Stress

Having a smaller home means that you will spend less time cleaning and maintaining your home, giving you more time to do the things that you want to be doing.

What does saving money, plus simplifying your life, plus getting time back to do the things that you want to be doing equal? Less stress. Sure, selling your larger home to move into a smaller one can be stressful. You are going to have to find a buyer for your current home, and then find a smaller one to move in to.

You are going to have to get rid of some things that aren’t going to fit into your new home, and then finally move in. But, when you think further down the road to your new life in your downsized home you can realize the stress reduced life that you long for.

The Downside To Downsizing Your Home

With all of the benefits to downsizing your home, you may not even think about some of the negatives. Here are our top 5 downsides (in no particular order) when it comes to downsizing your home.

1. You Will Have To Get Rid Of Stuff

There really is no getting around this one. If you are going to downsize, more than likely, you are going to have to get rid of some of your belongings. This may seem daunting at first, but we have put together a list of tips below to get you started downsizing as painlessly as possible.

2. Less Room For Entertaining

Downsizing your home means less space, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t entertain guests. You just have to be more conscious about who you have over and when.

And let’s be honest with ourselves here, most of us aren’t entertaining very often, so making the decision to downsize your house shouldn’t be highly affected by this.

If you happen to be one of those few that do entertain often, and that just isn’t something that you can part with, then downsizing might not be right for you.

3. Less Prestige

We live in a society where having the newest car, phone, or shiny item is coveted. Having a large home is not excluded from this list. (They all should be though)

Going from a mansion on the hill to a more reasonable home that is comfortable for you to live in won’t be the most glamorous decision you ever make, but when you begin to reap all of the benefits of a downsized home, that won’t matter that much to you.

4. Lifestyle Change

One could make an argument for this being a positive part to downsizing, but this article already has done that to this point.

Downsizing can bring about many different emotions, some of which may be viewed negatively. You may be sad that you are leaving a home that you have lived in for such a long time. It may be difficult leaving a community that you have grown fond of. You may become anxious if you are making the right decision for you and your family.

Harvard has put together a great article on ways to cope with these lifestyle changes that may help you through this transition.

5. Emotions

There are always emotions involved with buying and selling a home, but this one especially rings true to those who have been living in a home for a long period of time. Memories have been made in your home. You may have had children, watched them grow, and seen them move out. You must separate your emotions from this decision as best you can.

A home can be a part of your family almost as much as the humans that inhabit it. One great tip from homelight is to remember why you are downsizing in the first place. This can help lessen the emotional impact selling your home will have and get you looking forward to the next phase of your life.

How To Start Downsizing Your Home

Tips From Some Pros

If you have come this far and are facing the fact that downsizing your house is right for you then we would like to provide you with some tips for cutting down on the amount of things that you will need to move.

Avoid Awkward Items

There may be items in your home that you don’t want anymore, but a loved one has had their eye on. If there are such items, it is advised to make a list and keep track of who wants what. If the situation arises in which multiple people desire the same item, you can flip a coin, or draw names from a hat. This helps to take the burden of the decision off of you.

Start Downsizing Sooner Than Later

If you have plenty of time before your move, just take a little bit of time each day (half hour or so) to begin the process of deciding what to keep and what to discard.

You can enlist the help of a friend or loved one to sort through your items which will help make the task easier and more fun.

Here is an extensive list of the most common items in your home that you can potentially start getting rid of.

Be Ruthless

When you are going through your items and deciding what to keep and what to toss you have to be tough.

Marie Kondo’s method of simplifying and organizing has gained a lot of popularity recently. It instructs you to pick up each item and think about if it brings you joy. If you don’t feel that it does, then you toss it.

Another popular method that is slightly more analytical is to make a list of all the items in your home that you use on a very regular basis. If an item isn’t on the list, then it is removed.

Donate Those Unwanted/Unneeded Items

There are many local charities that you can donate almost anything in your home to, and some of the more popular ones around the country will even schedule a time to come pick it all up from your home, taking some of the difficulty of downsizing off of you.

On top of that, you can get a tax write off for donating, just adding to the benefits of downsizing your house!

Downsizing Your Home Easier

At this point you may be thinking that downsizing really is in your best interest, but aren’t sure what the best way to go about it would be. Well…we are here to help!

Sell First

By selling first you will know exactly how much money you will be walking away with from the sale of your home. This means that you can start the search for your downsized home knowing precisely how much you have to spend.

Also, those who decide to sell their homes before buying a new one tend to get a higher purchase price than those that go about it the other way. Nothing screams great deal like a listing that says “seller highly motivated, already purchased new home.”

Make Your Home Sale Contingent

You can make the closing date on the sale of your home contingent upon finding that downsized home to purchase. This can be a difficult thing to negotiate when dealing with the general marketplace, as some buyers’ agents will advise their clients to strike to the concurrent closing clause from the contract, but when you sell to a company like The Expert Home Buyers this process is easy. You get to choose the closing date for the sale of your home, and can specify that you want it to be concurrent with the purchase of your new home.

Rent Instead Of Buying

You don’t have to go from owning a home that you need to downsize from to owning another home. You do have the option to rent for while and really take your time to find that perfect downsized home. For many, this is really a great option.

You can more your, now fewer things, into the rental home, or even opt to move into a fully furnished rental and put your things into storage while shopping.

Now that you have a good idea of how to get the downsizing process started, and some good tips for making the move we would like to caution you to watch out for these…

Mistakes To Avoid!

Trying To Go Too Fast

This is a very common mistake people make when downsizing. You can go too fast when it comes to getting rid of things and then realize later that you got rid of a bunch of things that you actually wanted to keep.

You can also go too fast in the buying process, and end up in a home that is not one that you truly  want to live in, or the home itself is great, but the neighborhood is not so desirable. Don’t rush this process.

Fortunately, a cash home buyer like The Expert Home Buyers can purchase your home on the day of your choice. This gives you the peace of mind knowing that your home is sold, and for how much, allowing you to take the time you need to get rid of the things you need to and find that perfect, new, smaller home to move to.

Overestimating How Much Space Your Really Need

It may be hard to imagine that this would make a list of common mistakes that people make when downsizing, but it just is. We have grown accustomed to having a certain amount of space filled with a certain amount of things, and feel the need to continue.

It may be hard for you to see what your needs really are considering that you live in a home that is too large for you right now. Think about what it is that you truly use on a regular basis, and imagine it fitting into the smallest area possible. This will help you make a more realistic decision on where it is you should make the move to.

When deciding on downsizing you must take stock in the fact of what your needs really are, and the reasons you’re moving in the first place. The last thing that you want to do is make a decision to downsize your home, make the move, and then find out that you really should have moved into an even smaller place because your new home is still too large.

Not Getting A Storage Unit

There are some out there who have no problem purging themselves of items in their home that they no longer use. For the rest of us, the self storage facility was invented. When you are going through the items in your home that you think you no longer need, you are undoubtedly going to come across things you just aren’t sure about. These may even be pieces of furniture.

It is these items that are best kept in a storage container that you rent for a period of time after making the move to your smaller home. Live in the home for at least a few months and see if you really don’t need or want those items. Renting a storage unit for a couple of months is cheap compared to the loss you will feel after getting rid of that love seat you decided you just can’t live without.

Underestimating Selling Costs

Not everyone realizes that when you sell your home, that price that you agreed on with the buyer is not the number that will be deposited into your bank account. You are going to have real estate agent commissions to pay, escrow fees, title fees, transfer taxes, and a multitude of other expenses that will be shown on your HUD statement.

Generally, closing costs for the sale of a home add up to about ten percent of the purchase price. This means that if you were to sell your home for $250,000 you would only walk away with about $225,000.

Not Budgeting For HOA’s

Condos can be a very popular place for people to downsize to. They have many positive things that will attract people to them, such as pools, on site gyms, and they will take care of all of the exterior landscaping and maintenance.

What some don’t take into consideration is the fact that along with those amenities come dues and fees that you must pay to the condo association to maintain them.

When you are making the move, take a good long look at if you are actually going to utilize those features that you are going to be paying for. If not, it may not be your best idea to move into a condo, or home that has an HOA associated with it.

Waiting Too Long To Downsize Your Home

It is not surprising that this one makes the list of common mistakes people make when deciding to downsize. As we spoke of earlier, many have created long lasting memories in their homes, and making a move is a tough decision to make, but as we age it gets more and more difficult to make that move.

As we get older, the thought of having to get rid of our belongings, and make a move grows larger and larger with each passing day. You become less able to do lifting, sort through your belongings or even make tough decisions to get rid of things you no longer need.

Many people wait to downsize until after they have lost a loved one, the kids have long been moved out, or they have become ill and need a smaller place. Can you think of a worse time to be making a move than this?

If you have considered making a downsizing move, it is much better to do so today than it will be years from now.

Interested In Downsizing Your Home?

If you are ready to make the downsizing move, we are ready to make you a cash offer for your home. Fill out the form below and have an offer in no time!
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