Making the decision to downsize your home can be hard. But there are many reasons to downsize your home, especially as you age and enter retirement. In fact, some people see downsizing as a step forward, not backward.
Are you wondering if it might be time for you to downsize? Here are four signs you’re ready to downsize, along with a checklist that shows you how to downsize your home.
4 Reasons to Downsize Your Home
1. The Maintenance Is too Much
Maintaining a big house can be a lot of work. Between lawn care, standard maintenance and cleaning, the upkeep can leave you exhausted. And as you age, it may become more difficult to do certain household tasks.
It’s also costly to maintain a large home, especially if you decide to pay someone to handle maintenance or other services. Plus, you may become physically unable to cut the lawn or shovel a long driveway. Paying others to take care of your property will increase your cost of living. By downsizing your home, you’ll have more time for yourself and will be able to save more money.
2. You’ve Retired or You’re Retiring Soon
Retirement is one of the most common reasons to downsize your home. When downsizing your home for retirement, you cut basic expenses and create more retirement income by moving into a smaller, cheaper property that will likely reduce your property taxes, home insurance and mortgage payments.
Even if you plan to have your mortgage paid off by the time you retire, downsizing your house could be a smart move. Having too much capital tied up in a home you don’t need means less retirement savings. By selling your current home, you free up a substantial source of retirement capital.
3. You Have a lot of Unused Space
If you’ve already raised your children, you might be paying for space you’re not using. After all, it’s likely you and your spouse don’t need four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, you could still be paying a hefty sum in property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities and maintenance, all of which are higher for a larger home.
4. You’re Filled With Wanderlust
Downsizing your home for retirement is one way to free up your funds for travel. It’s not uncommon for snowbirds to downsize into townhomes or condos that allow them to travel more because they don’t have to worry about maintenance. If your oversized mortgage and maintenance costs are eating up your travel money, it might be time to consider downsizing.
How to Downsize Your Home
You’ve decided to downsize your home, and now it’s time to get started. This downsizing checklist can help guide you through the process.
Start Decluttering Early
A few months before downsizing your home, start thinning out your belongings. Donate items you won’t be taking with you or have a yard sale. If you have adult children who no longer live with you, make sure they take their own belongings and keepsakes that have collected in your home over the years. Once you’ve decluttered, you’re ready to pack.
Stage Your House Before You Sell
If your house is old and your interiors look dated, consider some low-cost upgrades, like fresh paint, new bedding and fluffy towels. Be sure to clear out the clutter, too. Paring down your belongings before you sell your house will make the transition into your new home much easier.
Bust Out the Tape Measure
If you’re downsizing your home, you know space in your new home will be limited. Measure your furniture to ensure it will properly fit in your new space. This also gives you a better idea of what you can take with you and what you might need to part with.
Determine Your Lifestyle Needs
Think about your reasons for downsizing your home and the lifestyle you want to embrace as you move forward. If you’re going to travel a lot, consider a condo or townhome where you’ll have minimal maintenance.
Create a Moving Checklist
Keeping track of the details related to your move can be overwhelming. Make downsizing a breeze by using a moving checklist.
Get a SuperCheck®
Downsizing your home is a big, life-changing event, and it’s important to keep your insurance top of mind when you move. Your local Farm Bureau agent can help ensure you’re protected and getting the discounts you deserve, while a SuperCheck can help discover any gaps in your coverage.