Posted on March 15, 2021 in Buying Advice, Selling Advice

A house with a red door, a white fence, and trees in the background

Maintaining a large house can be difficult. It makes sense when your kids are growing up. However, once they go off to college and move out, living in a large house requires a lot of work. It is costly too.  Downsizing to a smaller home can save time, money, and energy. But, it also requires you to make some changes. If you are used to having a large place, then the shift may prove difficult for you. To make things easier, I recommend you carefully consider the following aspects before you downsize your home.

1.   How Many People Will Be Sharing Your Living Space?

The first thing you need to do when downsizing to a smaller home is figuring out how much space you will need. For instance, suppose your kids have moved out, and you are an empty nester now. However, is there a chance your children will come to stay with you once in a while? If so, does your new home have a spare guest room they can use? What about other friends and family? Take all these considerations into account and choose a new home that can provide you with the space you need to live comfortably.

2.   Do You Need Space for a Home Office?

If you want to downsize your home, be sure to take stock of your work situation. This is particularly important if you are working from home and need space for a home office. Setting up a desk in your bedroom may prove disruptive and leave you open to distractions. To avoid this, you can select a home with some space for a home office and make things easier for yourself.

3.   What About Your Neighbors?

Moving to a smaller place presents you with several options. You could move to a single-family home, an apartment, or a condo. If you are moving to an apartment, you can expect to live in much closer proximity to your neighbors. This can be disruptive in ways you aren’t used to.

Your neighbors could be too loud or up at odd times. Conversely, they could also be helpful, and you may enjoy their company. It can go both ways, and you need to be prepared. If you are not comfortable with the idea of living close to other individuals and families, then you can downsize to a single-family home instead.

4.   How Much Will It Cost?

If you plan to downsize your home, we suggest reviewing your financial goals while you’re at it. The main thing you need to consider here is the cost of buying a new home and the cost of maintaining your current one. You can also add some cash flow from your current home’s sale and see how this helps your bank account.

You may also choose to downsize to a smaller place if you want to direct the extra money to your child’s college fund or a new business venture you want to try. If downsizing your home helps you be more in touch with your financial goals, then it could work out well for you. If it does the opposite, you may need to think of other options to achieve your financial objectives.

5.   How Many Items Will You Be Keeping?

A bigger place automatically means more furniture, decorative pieces, fixtures, and other amenities. If you plan to downsize, you need to take inventory of all these items and determine what you want to do with them. You can’t exactly pack it all up and set it up in your new place.

I recommend decluttering your home here and only keeping what you’ll need when you move to a smaller place. You can hold a garage sale for most of the items you will no longer be using. You can also donate them to Goodwill and other charities. If you own items with sentimental value, you can give these to other family members.

 If you have more furniture than you need, you could keep it in storage. You may not realize what you’ll need until you move into your new place. Take your time to furnish it and see if there is anything you stored that you can use again. This can save you time and money.

6.   What Should You Do With Old Documents?

Besides getting rid of unwanted physical items, you also need to decide what to do with old documents. These can take up a significant amount of space. Building a digital archive can prove helpful here. You can still keep important documents such as the taxes you filed in the last 10 years. However, with other things such as old receipts, you can save up a lot of space by scanning them and keeping digital copies.

7.   Take Your Retirement Into Account

The final thing you need to consider when downsizing to a smaller home is whether it will be suitable for you when you retire. For instance, many homes are not built to accommodate your needs as you grow older. You may face mobility issues due to stairs and narrow corridors and doorways. These can prove a hindrance if someone has to use a wheelchair or develops osteoarthritis.

You will have to invest in home improvement to address these problems. Once again, think about the costs attached to this and do a cost-benefit analysis before you downsize your home.  

Wrapping It Up  

A living room with furniture, a TV, paintings, and other items

Downsizing your home is an important decision, and you need to think about every aspect before you go ahead with it. If you are overwhelmed by the cost of maintaining your current home and the benefits outweigh these expenses, then downsizing could help you regain control of your life.

However, be sure to consider other factors such as the amount of space you will need and whether it can help you in the long-term.

If you are a resident of Indianapolis and need help moving to a smaller home, get in touch with me. I am a real estate agent serving the Greater Indianapolis Area and can help you find the perfect place quickly and easily.

To get in touch, call 317-379-1758. You can also email me at [javascript protected email address]

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