There are many reasons for downsizing to a smaller home. Perhaps you are an empty nester, and are tired of navigating stairs or maintaining large yard. Others may be moving to a more expensive area, like Northern Virginia, and may find that smaller homes fit the budget more easily. Unfortunately, some may also face financial hardship, and need a smaller housing payment. Whatever your reasons for downsizing, there are some things you need to consider as you are looking at smaller homes. You may find that downsizing has some upsides that you never considered.
Consider furniture sizes
This is one facet of downsizing that many people overlook. Less square footage means you’ll likely need less furniture to fill it. But also, the size of your furniture may be a factor. That huge leather sectional that works great in your family room may overwhelm a smaller living room. You may need to either sell your existing furniture and purchase new items that take up less space. If you can’t afford to purchase new furniture, then you’ll want to carefully select which furniture you move to the new place, and donate or sell the excess oversized furniture.
New construction may “feel” bigger
Layout can make a huge difference in how spacious a home feels. Older homes, say a 1970’s ranch home, may feel small and closed in without extensive remodeling to update floor plans. Older homes often also lack storage. But don’t despair! Newly constructed homes are often built to maximize space, making use of oepn floor plans, higher ceilings, and innovative storage options that will could help you stay organized and make your space feel bigger.
You may save money
Downsizing doesn’t only decrease the amount of your housing monthly payment. With smaller square footage, it may cost less to heat and cool your home. A smaller yard may mean it costs less for mowing service or your water bills may decrease in the summer if you have fewer gardens to water. You may also save on property taxes and insurance. You can put your savings toward a rainy day fund or invest it for the future.
Save time with less upkeep
The concept of time is not as easy to quantify, but your time is valuable! Every Saturday spent cleaning or mowing yard takes time away from things you might enjoy more or spending time with your family. A smaller home requires less cleaning, less maintenance, and less yard work. You may even be able to eliminate the yard work altogether with a condo or townhome where the condo association takes care of landscaping.
Share the entertaining
If you are downsizing, you may have less space for large parties and family gatherings. You may not have an extra guest room to spare, or there may just not be enough space for a large dining room table. However, you may enjoy opting for smaller, more intimate gatherings, or pass the torch to your adult children to host the big holiday events.
Allow yourself to mourn
Downsizing is a big change. No doubt. While your bank account may appreciate the money you are saving, you may still feel like it’s a loss. Loss of space, loss of privacy, etc. You may miss your old home. It’s ok to feel this way. Give yourself time to adjust. Once you have settled in and have your routine down, you may start to experience all the reasons why this was the right change for you.
Enjoy the togetherness
Some families may not even realize what they are losing by living in a large home. When everyone has their own little burrow, equipped with their own TVs, gaming systems, and the like, it’s possible family members may never even see each other except at meals. A smaller home may afford you more opportunity to do things together as a family, as you learn to cooperate and get along in a smaller space. You may even discover a new-found sense of family togetherness or enjoy the outdoors more.
If you are thinking about buying or selling your home this year, we can help! Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia, we are always here to help with all your real estate needs! If you are unsure of your home’s value or if you are thinking about buying or selling, contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or Jason@JasonAndBonnie.com.