If you are like an increasing number of home owners, you may well have recently thought about leaving your spacious house for a smaller residence. Reasons for wanting to do so are numerous and varied and range from an empty nest, to burdensome maintenance chores, to financial considerations, to a desire for a change in lifestyle.
Whatever your motivation, be forewarned that downsizing is a serious move and may not be as simple as it sounds—and it may not be the right move for you at this time. So, before you sell your existing home or purge your possessions, give serious thought to the following information:
- Less time and effort expended on maintenance tasks
- Lower mortgage payments, utility bills, and property taxes.
- Opportunity to shed years of accumulated “treasures.”
- Layout better meet physical abilities
- Possibility of a better location—closer to family, friends, and amenities
- Extra time and money to allow a change in lifestyle.
- Less space for guests—and storage.
- Reluctance to part with cherished belongings
- Strong emotional ties to your current home and neighborhood
- Unexpected costs of HOA fees and assessments, higher utility and tax rates in new location, moving expenses.
- Need to successfully sell your present home
- Less space for personal privacy
- Possible need for new furniture or car to fit the dimensions of your new residence
- Less room to entertain
Questions to ask—and answer honestly:
- Why do I want to downsize? What are my wants and needs at this stage of my life?
- Where do I most want to live? In what kind of residence?
- How important is size to me? Can I deal with less storage space, closer living quarters—and the resultant lack of private space? Will I miss living in a large, prestigious house?
- What can I part with—home itself, furnishings, possessions, friends, convenience of location?
- What will the move cost?
- How will my monthly/yearly bills be affected?
- How will such a move affect my desired lifestyle?
- How will downsizing affect my ability to entertain and be socially active?
- How much can I reasonably expect to net from the sale of my current home?
- Have I sought out advice from a Realtor, an accountant, friends who have downsized?
- Have I thoroughly researched HOA fees and restrictions, transportation costs, distances, medical facilities, the community, and desired amenities?
Information courtesy of Linda Nowicke, Tampa FL Realtor.