Thinking About Downsizing?
When it comes to owning a home, bigger is not necessarily better, it is dependent on your current life situation. Whether you are looking to retire, are an empty nester or a young couple or family, you may find your current large home no longer fits your lifestyle. Downsizing can be a great way to have more freedom, reduce commute times, cut down on expenses and give you more time to do what you love.
Reasons People Downsize
There are many reasons people choose to downsize:
Retiring soon: The house you have lived in for years is just too big. Moving into a smaller home can make living more comfortable.
“Empty Nester”: You probably don’t need the large family home now that the kids have moved out. It might be time to enjoy something more manageable.
Travel: Your future focus may be on travel and adventure. Less time at home and more time seeing the world requires a more lock-and-go home.
Reduce a tedious commute: Living closer to work offers less time commuting.
Change in financial situation: A change in finances or career may require that you adjust your lifestyle, downsizing will reduce financial stress.
Financial Benefits of Downsizing
Of course there are many financial benefits to downsizing:
A smaller mortgage: If you decided to downsize, you’re obviously going to have a smaller mortgage loan. Once you pay off the home you have more freedom to spend money on what you would like to spend it on.
Cheaper taxes: With a smaller property, you’re most likely to spend less on your property taxes.
Cheaper Utilities: A smaller home won’t cost as much for heating, cooling and electricity.
Less maintenance: You will spend less time maintaining, cleaning and repairing your home.
There’s nothing wrong with downsizing to a smaller and more affordable home. For many, it can be a good financial decision that will enable you to save more money in the long run.
10 tips designed to make downsizing a snap!
1. Write a list of all the items you love and can't live without; it will help you bid adieu to things that didn't make the list. It's hard to not want to take everything with you, but by keeping what's on your wish list, you won't be upset about the things you can't keep.
2. Start thinning out your belongings at least three months before the move. Take some time each day, or one morning each week, to go through that jammed coat closet or overflowing filing cabinet. Paper is the real killer, so tackle it one box at a time. The same goes for photos, which require a lot of attention.
3. Get a feel for the size of your new rooms by comparing them to rooms of similar dimensions in your present home. For instance, your living-room-to-be might be roughly the same size as your current bedroom. You may think you can squeeze in two sofas, but this kind of reality check could help you realize that only one will fit comfortably.
4. Heavily edit areas with items that don't have as much sentimental value. Take the kitchen, for example; most people don't need 10 mixing bowls and won't get teary-eyed over losing a second spatula. If you're downsizing from a house to a condo, target the garage. Snow shovels, the lawn mower, ladders - you won't need any of them.
5. Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead.
6. Label three bins To Keep, To Sell and Charity (bins should be manageable when full). For the average downsize, keep only one-third to one-half of your belongings.
7. Get an objective opinion. If you can't decide whether to keep or kiss that dusty '70s-era sewing machine goodbye, it's helpful to have someone who'll say, ‘Oh, please, you never use that!'" It might just be the kick you need.
8. When selling your goods, try an auction for high-end items. Then look for reputable antique and secondhand dealers. Often, they can buy all of your wares or put you in touch with booksellers and other specialty dealers. If you can't sell an item, donate it to a shelter.
9. Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move. This is another useful reality check. To start, draw plans if you don't have any, and sketch in a furniture layout. Then look at the plans realistically; if you've crammed in side tables, armoires and chairs, you need to edit more. Don't wait until after you move to contend with furniture you'll just end up tripping over.
10. Once you get to the packing stage, use a colour-coded system to organize all of your boxes. Choose a colour for each room and mark the boxes destined for that room with a coordinating colour sticker. You can also do the same thing numerically; for example, if room No. 1 is the kitchen, then all boxes marked No. 1 will go there. A simple and efficient organizing idea to make the move that much easier!