When we talk about downsizing, retirees and seniors often come to mind. Couples whose kids have moved out find the expenses and maintenance of a large home as unnecessary, driving them to relocate into a smaller house with a more practical living situation.
In reality, the benefits of downsizing are not only limited to empty nesters. Single adults and large families can choose to downsize, especially if they want to simplify their lifestyle, free up their time, and more importantly, save more money.
People looking to downsize opt for smaller homes with a more practical living arrangement. Some may opt for a smaller living space but with a more spacious garden to accommodate their hobbies. Today, people can find a lot of impressive properties that match their lifestyle. Thriving communities such as Manor Lakes are known for being family-friendly residential communities with immediate access to a suite of established facilities.
Some homeowners decide to start living small once they realize the many benefits of downsizing. After all, a smaller home means cheaper bills and a smaller set of responsibilities. But whatever your reasons to downsize, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of your decision.
Advantages of downsizing
The most obvious benefit to downsizing a home is the financial aspect. This means saying goodbye to costly insurance, mortgage, utilities, and other housing expenses and saying hello to more leftover money. So if you’re getting a smaller house, you get to spend less on mortgage payments, which allows more financial breathing room for other obligations.
Lower utility bills also come with a smaller home. Smaller square footage means no wasted space, which lowers the energy expended from appliances. There’s no need to turn on the HVAC system 24/7 to get the desired temperature. Your HVAC unit now has lesser space to heat or cool, making its job easier and your electric bills lower. This way, you’re not only reducing energy but also making your home eco-friendly.
Apart from costs, the time and upkeep that come with the larger house will weigh you down. From the repairs, maintenance, and lawn care, all these unexpected ‘stuff’ can put pressure on your monthly expenses.
Smaller spaces and fewer rooms will significantly cut down the time spent on cleaning and maintenance. Smaller homes reduce the time and effort expended on household chores, which leaves more hours to do other useful and enjoyable tasks. There’s so much to think about if there are many things to fix and maintain with a larger home. Of course, you don’t want to use all the money paying repairmen to fix broken fixtures and appliances.
Trading a large home for a small house means trading the stuff and responsibilities for other practical needs. There’s a smaller workload, lesser responsibility, greater flexibility, and bigger cash flow all in one. You can allocate a bigger budget for your monthly expenses and make that dream vacation possible. In other words, downsizing is like upgrading your life by getting rid of the demands of a bigger home.
Disadvantages of downsizing
While downsizing can be a practical option for most people, it’s not always a better solution for everyone.
Living small means fewer belongings. Moving to a smaller home will likely result in a lot of selling, donating, or throwing out bulky furniture, appliances, and other space-consuming items. This involves sorting and emptying out the attic, basement, and garage. It can be difficult for some people who hold emotional attachments and special memories to stuff they can’t simply let go of.
Space restriction is another main issue for downsizing. If you’re used to living in spacious homes, expect downsizing to have a lot of space limitations. You likely end up feeling cramped since there’s lesser space to move. This may be difficult if you have family members studying or working at home because it’s almost impossible to get quiet, private time because there’s no place to escape to.
Having big family dinners and outdoor picnics are certainly out of the picture in a smaller home. Your guest might have to stay at other places to come visit. The house aesthetics is out of the question because you have to limit the decors to make space for other items.
The bottom line
Living small and downsizing your house is a personal decision that involves a lot of factors to consider. There’s a huge difference between downsizing your home because of lifestyle factors or doing it out of financial reasons.
If you want to give yourself more freedom and a bigger financial relief, downsizing might be the perfect option for you. But make sure the space constraints won’t affect how you live your life.