In today’s real estate market, we often work with people who are looking to downsize. The question is, should you downsize your home?
The traditional downsizers are doing so because their children no longer live in their home and they do not need the size or configuration of the home they live in. There is a growing trend towards smaller homes, therefore downsizing is not just for the traditional “empty nesters”.
There are also those who downsize for no reason aside from a simple desire to do so. I fall into the latter category. In 2012, my wife and I purchased a large home that we felt was suitable for our growing family; at the time, we had two children and one on the way. After living in that home for 5 years, we decided to move into a smaller home. While we enjoyed our previous home, we are glad that we made the move for a multitude of reasons.
However, there are trade-offs to moving into a smaller home, and the last thing you want is buyer’s remorse. If considering if you should downsize your home, seriously ask yourself these questions first:
- Am I able to get rid of any personal items that won’t fit in a smaller space? Think about furniture, clothing, kitchen appliances, lawn care items, etc.
*Renting a storage unit is not a good option. They are expensive and are quite often used for longer time periods than a homeowner intends. However, if you feel strongly about pursuing a storage facility, here are some options.
- Do I like to entertain or host holidays? If so, will a smaller home be enough space for me to continue hosting?
- Is downsizing a sound financial decision for me?
*Moving to a smaller space does not always mean a less expensive cost of living.
- Can I age into my current home? Think about stairs, snow removal, home maintenance, mobility assistance compatibility, etc.
- Is there a specific housing type I know that I want to move into? Think condo, townhome, single-family, etc.
- Do I have a clear idea of where I want to move to?
- Am I comfortable moving away from my current neighborhood and neighbors?
By contemplating such questions, you can discern if you should start planning a move to a smaller living space. Gathering data is essential in this phase. I recommend meeting with your real estate agent to answer important questions such as:
- How much is my current home worth?
- Can I find a suitable home to move into and how much will it cost?
- Should I buy my new home first and then sell, or vice versa?
One of the most common factors prohibiting people from downsizing is the inability to find the right place to move to, causing many to stay in their current location.
The reason that finding the right place is so challenging is twofold. First, there is a tremendous demand for smaller, affordable homes because first-time home buyers, investors, and downsizers are all pursuing the same type of housing. Secondly, new construction has yet to focus on smaller, affordable housing. Fortunately, it appears builders are starting to focus more on this segment, which should slowly increase supply in the future. Until then, it will remain a challenging and competitive market for buyers seeking this particular housing type.
If you are asking yourself if you should downsize your home, I hope to have provided you some direction for gathering the data, guidance, and a plan for making a decision. Simply jumping in a car to visit open houses with the hope of finding your next home is ill-advised. I recommend you consult with your Fazendin agent to gauge the value of your current home, what selling it entails, and what is available on the market that meets your specific needs. We have found success with this comprehensive approach, and we are prepared to coach you through the process if and when the time comes.
Roger A Fazendin
Owner / Broker