There are many reasons you’ll consider downsizing your home and it often ties in with kids heading off to college, leaving and getting married or just moving away from the area and want to get a smaller home this time around. There is not really an art to accomplishing a downsizing move but there are several benefits and buyers can keep these in the back of their minds as they start to think about a home downsize.
Now the reason for your downsize is clear you’ll want to look at your existing home and decide what you want to do without in the next one. Is it just square footage, can you reduce the bedrooms you want, or overall rooms. If you have empty rooms and they have been that way for a while, there’s no point buying those rooms again! The lot size can be important, if you have acreage and have had enough of large yard maintenance, consider a smaller lot or even move to a home that has no yard; maybe one where maintenance is included in an HOA fee.
Other home features you could lose might be more luxury in nature, like swimming pools, in home theaters, indoor gyms, large garages with more spaces than you really need. You’ll have to clear the “stuff” you use those spare ones for.
Decide on what you are going to downsize before you start a new home search. There must be a meeting of the minds for all parties to the new home approval or you’ll end up either not moving or buying something that really did not meet much of the idea of downsizing. You’ll also want to decide on the type of home you’ll be looking to buy. Do you still want a single family home or is it time for a townhome or condo.
Downsize The Maintenance
Looking after homes of any size takes effort and money. Downsizing your home should mean less maintenance. That’s both time and money. Cleaning gutters, painting your exterior, replacing a roof, tuckpointing your bricks, taking care of your landscaping are all scaled based on the size of your property. Doing even some of this yourself is hours spent on care and less hours available for family time and leisure.
Downsizing your home means less maintenance. It will save you time and money. And don’t forget cleaning! Even if you have a cleaner, there’s still the daily run around and spot cleaning.
Downsizing Your Home Expenses
If you have a financed home now and will do the same, your monthly payment should go down. Consider shortening your mortgage term too. Make sure you run all the scenarios with a good loan officer and don’t be pushed off track.
A smaller home should reduce your real estate tax bill. When you have less square footage your electric and gas bills should come down. This should be more noticeable if there are now less people occupying the space.
Be careful if you are changing your water and sewage supply type. Here in Barrington many of us are on well water and septic sewer systems. Our well water is free although we may need to maintain the well once in awhile.
When buying a home on well water, consider the age of any well.
Septic systems do have to be maintained and emptied. If you are replacing for city water and sewer find out the monthly cost, factor this in to see if you will be saving.
Saved money could help pay for more travel!
Rules For Buying Your New Home
You’ve made the decision to downsize, love the cost and effort savings and it’s time to go house hunting. What should you consider when choosing the new, smaller home.
- Location, Location, Location.
- Yes one day you’ll be selling this one too. Aim for premium if you can.
- Stick to your pre-determined home size, style and budget.
- There’s no reason to change the plan, it’s been laid out because it’s what you decided was best.
- Hire a REALTOR® that has your best interests at heart. If you end up with someone who starts getting pushy for you to choose and make offers, change!
- Don’t sign anything. Confident and good agents don’t need to tie you down!
If you have an existing home to sell before you can consider downsizing your home, start there. Financially you’ll need to know and choose between selling first or carrying two homes at the same time. Knowing the market index is a good start to making this decision. In some parts of the country it’s a sellers market, in other it make even be a buyers market. Few sellers in any type of market will entertain a contract from you subject to you selling.
When Downsizing Your Home is a Smart Move
Whatever your reasons are, if you’ve talked or thought about it more than once or twice, you already know it’s what you want to do. Don’t forget the cost of selling and buying because it’s not cheap and should be factored into all your financial decisions. A move for a short term fix is likely not a smart move, you may be better off waiting for a while and moving when it becomes more pressing.
As long as your move is for a longer term, even though it costs to do so, you’ll reap the benefits of lower running costs, lower effort needed and hopefully free up enough funds to enjoy life a little more, visit family or go on a bucket list trip abroad!
If you’re thinking of downsizing, give Corinne at Barrington Realty Company a call or text her at (847) 363-3686. You can also email us or use the form below. Corinne is happy to come and discuss your plans and give you her thoughts and ideas.Please select a valid form