Are you considering the pros and cons of downsizing your home as an empty-nester? Now that your kids have moved on, you may not need that big family home and yard anymore. Still, you may want to keep it. If you’re on the fence about making a move, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing. That way, what’s right for you will become clearer and it will be easier for you to make your decision. Here are the pros and cons, below.
CONTENTS – In this article, we will help you decide whether you should downsize your home by laying out the pros and cons in the following ways:
- What is Downsizing?
- When Should You Downsize?
- Disadvantages of Downsizing
- Benefits of Downsizing Your House
- Unexpected Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
- Is Downsizing a Good Idea?
- Final Thoughts on the Pros and Cons of Downsizing Your Home
What Is Downsizing?
In general terms, downsizing means making a permanent reduction in size intended to have cost savings, efficiencies, and other benefits. Downsizing applies to businesses that reduce staff or jobs, and to homeowners who sell their house and move to a smaller living spaces.
When Should You Downsize?
So, now that your kids have moved out of your house, do you think it is time to find somewhere a little smaller?
The home that you are in now is your family home, and while it holds a lot of memories, it might now be slightly too big for you. Maybe when you bought it, you were looking for a big backyard where your kids could play, and a town where the school system was great.
If this is the case, then you might be ready to look into downsizing. Perhaps a house that is a little smaller and more suitable to your needs will be a better fit. Or, a 1-bedroom apartment might be just right. (Click here for some great living options in Austin, TX.)
So when is the right time to downsize? Downsizing at 55 is common, but you can do it at any time. It’s usually when your children have moved out and you no longer have the same needs for space or location.
But downsizing your home is hard.
In this article, we’re going to look at some things you should think about when making this decision, so keep reading down below to find out more.
Disadvantages of Downsizing
You’ll Be Leaving Memories Behind
We’ve already mentioned that it’s a hard decision to downsize your home. For one reason, it’s packed with memories and emotional ties. You’ve lived in this space with the people you love most, through good times and bad, and it has been your security.
Perhaps you’ve remodeled your home space and created a beautiful yard to suit your family’s needs. Or maybe the opposite is true: you had a vision for this space but haven’t had the time or means to bring it to completion.
Either way, you’ve celebrated births, birthdays, anniversaries and achievements under this roof, and surely mourned some losses and sad times, too.
When you downsize, you will mourn the loss of your family home, and there is no denying that the life you once had is gone…your children have grown and moved on with their lives.
The bottom line is, it’s going to be hard to leave all that behind.
Moving is a Big Undertaking
Downsizing your home is no small feat. Nor is it cheap.
You’re going to have to sort through all your belongings, pack those things you want to keep, move them, clean and fix up your home, and go through the selling process.
This is especially trying if you or your significant other is a pack-rat, collector, or just have trouble letting go of things.
You may also have to find a home for things your children have left behind. Even though they may have moved out, usually you’ll find lots of memorabilia, clothes, and other belongings your children will need to sort through or take ownership for. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.
It’s Scary to Move
Change can be scary. Not in the Stephen King movie kind of way, but in terms of facing the unknown.
You’re leaving behind a comfortable place you’re very familiar with to…what? A swanky townhouse or condo? A cute apartment? An island retreat? A home abroad?
As exciting as these options may be, the unknown of the future can cause some anxiety.
Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
If you’re still reading and the disadvantages of downsizing haven’t already changed your mind, let’s talk about the good reasons to downsize.
A New Space Just For You
One thing to consider about downsizing is whether you want a space that is just for you and your partner. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay in your current home where all your memories are, but a lot of people ready to move on once the kids leave.
Sometimes walking the halls of a family home when your kids have flown the nest is heartbreaking, but this won’t be the case if you move – and that can be a big advantage when it comes to your mindset.
Of course, you’re never going to forget the memories that you have made with your children and entire family simply because you have moved somewhere new, the same way that your children aren’t.
But if you move, you will be embracing a new space that is just for you, marking the start of this phase of life. Your new home will be a place where you will build new memories together. This will create a fresh, positive outlook on the future and a good vibe.
Less To Clean!
Another advantage when you move to a smaller living space is that there is less to clean if you downsize. This is one of the best reasons to downsize home.
Cleaning a family home when there is a family inside of it is one thing. But cleaning a big property when there is just the two of you using the space is a whole other matter.
That’s not what you need in your life, especially as you are getting older.
Nor is it how you can be spending your time, now that your footloose. You should be out enjoying yourself, not cleaning a gigantic house that nobody is really using at the moment, anyway.
And hiring help to clean a large home can get costly. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on something more fun?
Honestly, we think that anything that involves less cleaning and more fun is a huge win.
Getting Rid of Items You No Longer Need
Finally, downsizing will force you to get rid of some items that you don’t need or no longer want.
It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want your family home to change, but if you’re moving somewhere new, you’ll can streamline your belongings. In fact, once you do it, you may be surprised how much all this “stuff” is weighing you down!
You might look at hiring a service like SMARTBOX Solutions, Inc. to transport the items that you plan to keeping from point A to point B. And the less you have, the less this is going to cost you.
If you’re not going to have room for all the stuff that your kids left behind, offer it to them first. If they don’t want it, decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away.
Try the KonMari approach and keep only the things you love. Of course, never get rid of something if you’re going to regret it. Once you become clear on the things that are important to keep, you can designate a place of honor for them in your new home.
The Unexpected Benefits of Downsizing Your Home
These pros and cons of downsizing your home may seem somewhat obvious, but there are some unexpected benefits of downsizing your home, too.
- You will save money on your mortgage, heating, energy, and cleaning costs
- Escrow costs, like tax and insurance, will also be lower
- Your budget will have more room for activities you enjoy, like travel
- With a better cash flow, you will feel less stressed
- It’s easier to make a small home feel cozy
- You can focus on a fresh start to your relationship as empty-nesters
- Indulging in a few key pieces of furniture or art will have a big impact on your decor
- Living simply with fewer things is easier to keep organized
- It feels great being surrounded by things you truly love
- A smaller home is easier to maintain and keep up
- You may walk away with a nice nest egg, depending on the sale price of your home and the cost of your new living arrangements
Is Downsizing a Good Idea?
The bottom line is that downsizing can be a great idea. Just be sure you’ve carefully considered all the pros and cons of downsizing your home.
Final Thoughts on the Pros and Cons of Downsizing Your Home
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing, you are better equipped to make this life-changing decision for yourself. Your kids are all grown up and moved out, and a smaller place to live might suit you better than where you are currently living. But only you can decide for sure.
And if you’ve ever thought of moving abroad, continue reading about how to pack up and start your life over in a new country.
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