Downsize Without Compromise
Time never stops, which means unexpected or natural life events such as divorce, debt, retirement, or becoming an empty nester can occur, and as of recent, downsizing is trending due to it’s practicalities, benefits, and adaptable characteristics to ever changing life dynamics. Downsizing does not have to mean sacrifice!
Why downsize your home?
There are several financial benefits that come with downsizing. This includes boosting your retirement fund, reducing your mortgage payments, paying less real estate taxes, utility, insurance, and maintenance costs. Feeling competent in your abilities to live a comfortable, debt-free lifestyle is an important factor that goes into choosing your next home.
Referring to the popular Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, it is important to not only throw things out for the sole purpose of getting rid of something, but to practice the art of decluttering by getting rid of things that do not “spark joy” in our lives. Downsizing challenges us to exercise our abilities to enter another exciting chapter in our lives by letting go of our past and shifting our mindset. Methods of reducing clutter include: giving belongings away to relatives or friends, selling items for quick cash, donating, and recycling. Although, downsizing saves us from our own personal clutter, it is also an economical way of living as it saves the place we all call home- planet earth.
As a busy individual or a person who does not want to constantly break a sweat keeping up with home maintenance, downsizing can aid in creating a simple and stress-free environment. It can also help with the decision making process of the interior of your home; instead of purchasing more things that only adds to the clutter, a downsizer can buy a few statement pieces to add a meaningful design to a room.
Convenience – Catching a Break
According to SA Property Insider, “Security remains one of the main factors for people choosing to downscale. Larger properties need fencing, beams, alarms and cameras to maintain a sense of security, which is costly to install and maintain. Instead, buyers are more interested in smaller homes within a security estate or a condominium complex that offers all the security as part of the buying price. Lock-up and go homes have and will continue to gain in popularity.” Downsizing from a 3500sqft house with routine yard work and pool cleaning, to a 1500sqft townhouse with shared amenities and employees to take care of any upkeep can cut down your cleaning time and add more “you time”.
How to Downsize
Where do you start with downsizing? It’s not as easy as getting rid of household items and finding a smaller home. Here are the do’s and don’ts to downsizing:
Do explore and plan your housing options and preferences a few years in advance.
Do give away with no second thoughts and stop accumulating more things- there are great resources and opportunities to sell and giveaway household items such as the Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, holding a garage sale, or donating to the thrift store.
Do consider your geographic options and how it will affect your lifestyle.
Do understand all the financial factors (processes, benefits, etc.) that go into buying/selling your home.
Don’t discount age when looking for a home.
Don’t overestimate or miscalculate your financial budget- be aware of hidden costs.
Don’t forget to work with an industry professional, such as a licensed realtor, when going through all legality and decision-making processes.