If you’re getting older and are still occupying the house you bought when your kids were young, you’ve probably considered downsizing. Many homeowners in your position have. Trouble is, they often fail to follow through.
That’s a shame because downsizing can save you a lot of money, along with several other benefits.
Considering downsizing and don’t know where to start? Do you still need convincing? Keep reading to find out more about how to downsize and why you should do it.
Before we talk about how to downsize, though, we should talk about why to downsize.
After all, if you’ve spent much of your adult life striving for the American ideal of a house with a lawn and plenty of space for the kids and pets, you’re probably skeptical of downsizing as a concept.
There are plenty of good reasons why downsizing is a great idea for you, especially if you have adult kids who no longer live with you. Here are three reasons why you should consider downsizing.
Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases most people will ever make. And that price tag doesn’t stop when you buy the house–you carry it with you for years as you slowly work through your mortgage payment.
If you’re not paying rent, a mortgage is one of your largest monthly expenses, comprising about 28% of your monthly income.
It’s simple algebra: if you’re spending less on your mortgage every month, you’ll have more money left over each month for other things, like going to the beach or date night.
Here’s another simple piece of algebra: if you have more space, you’re going to fill it with stuff.
Think of it this way–the average American home has tripled in size over the past 50 years, and yet 1 in 10 Americans still rent offsite storage.
We have too much stuff. Way too much stuff.
If you have less space, you’ll readjust your lifestyle to fit the available space, spending less money to accommodate. This will be easier than you might think, especially if you have kids who no longer live with you.
Psychologists have been saying it for years: more clutter makes more stress.
There are a couple reasons for this. Clutter bombards us with visual stimuli, which draws our attention away from where it should be, reducing focus and making it more difficult to relax.
It also creates anxiety because we worry about having the time to get to the bottom of the pile and what it will take to get to the bottom of the pile, as well as guilt about not being more organized.
Less clutter plus lower consumption plus more money in the bank equals less stress in your day-to-day life. That’s an equation worth pursuing.
So, are you sold on downsizing?
If so, let’s get to the fun part: how to downsize.
Downsizing is a process, and before you get worried, you don’t need to sell all your possessions and buy a condo overnight.
First, you need to determine if you’re ready to downsize, and do a realistic assessment of the reasons why you’re interested in downsizing?
Are you selling the family home because your kids moved away and your five bedroom house is now too large? Has your spouse passed away and you want to live closer to your grandkids? Are you downsizing for the purely practical reason that you don’t want to pay upkeep on a house?
All of these are valid reasons to downsize, assuming that you’re in the right financial place to go for it.
First, you need to ask yourself two questions:
For example, you need to look at the real estate market where you’d like to move. What state is the market currently in? Is it hot, cold, or neutral? This will change how easy or hard it is to buy a home (and how affordable homes are in the area).
You should do the same inspection on your current house as well. Even if you’re ready to sell, it won’t do you much good to try to sell if the market is in bad shape.
If, after all of this, you’re ready to start downsizing, it’s time to take a look at your stuff.
The idea is to try to eliminate as much excess clutter as possible. Holiday decorations you haven’t touched in ten years, old toys your kids have outgrown, furniture that’s gathering dust in the basement.
If there’s anything that your kids or family members want to keep, pass off these possessions to them. Anything else worth salvaging can be donated to Goodwill or a local charity or consignment shop.
The same thing applies to clothes. If you forgot it was there, you probably aren’t going to miss it that much.
From there, you can start preparing your house to sell. Click here for a complete selling checklist.
Now that you know how to downsize, what are you waiting for?
Give your wallet (and your stress) the relief they deserve.
Ready to get started? So are we. Get in touch with us today.
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