How To Know When It Is Time To Downsize
How to know when it is time to downsize is a question many of my clients wonder. “I cannot keep up the yardwork.” “I have too many rooms to clean.” I hear these comments a lot from my older clients. I always say in response, “maybe it is time to think about downsizing.”
Knowing when to move to a smaller place is not always easy. Sometimes you have memories tied to your current house. Sometimes you worry your children may not understand. Or, worse, you think your children will be upset with you if you sell their childhood home. Maybe you are afraid of the unknown. Moving is certainly scary sometimes. But, it does not have to be frightening.
Moving can be a great adventure. Moving can be a new start. There are lots of good reasons to downsize. So, let’s take a look at some reasons now may be a good time to downsize.
Congratulations! You have retired. Now you no longer have to get up early in the morning to go to work. You can sit back and enjoy life. You can relax. Or, you can volunteer.
Your kids are grown. You and your spouse have the house all to yourselves. But, are you feeling lonely? Are you finding yourself using only a couple of rooms in the house now?
Has your income level decreased now that you are no longer working? Do you find your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance increasing every year? Are you worried about paying those increased costs?
If you answered yes, now may be the time to downsize. A smaller home has less expenses. Property tax and insurance will be lower with a smaller house. Your monthly maintenance and utility bills will be less.
Now that you are retired, you have better things to do than worry about maintaining your home. You may not be able to mow the lawn anymore. You may feel like cleaning such a large house is too much for you.
When you own a home, you are constantly working on maintaining your home. You may need to re-paint the walls. Maybe your roof needs re-shingled. A front door knob needs to be replaced. The list is endless.
Are you feeling overwhelmed with all the maintenance you have to do? Are you worried you won’t be able to keep up with all the repairs? Or, maybe you just no longer have the energy to keep up with everything. If so, now might be a good time to think about downsizing.
Are Your Empty Rooms Collecting Dust?
Do you find yourself only using a few of the rooms in your house? Are a lot of your rooms just collecting dust? Do wonder why you need so much space?
When you have a family, lots of space is necessary. Children need room to run and play. But, children grow up and leave. Now, you and your spouse have no need for all that space anymore. That extra space is just another room to clean. Perhaps, that extra space has become a place to store your junk.
If any of this sounds familiar, it may be time to downsize.
You’re Not Getting Younger
Let’s face it. None of us is getting any younger. Whether we like it or not, we get older every year. With aging, comes medical issues. Our bodies are not as strong as they were when we were twenty. We can no longer run up and down several flights of stairs.
We may be feeling unsteady or off balance at times. You may no longer be able to bend down so easily to mop those floors on your hands and knees.
Or, worse case scenario, may be you are your spouse has become disabled. A two story house is not very conducive to a handicapped person.
So, if you are aging and finding your physical abilities limited, you may want to think about downsizing.
You Need Extra Money
Do you need some extra cash now that you are retired? Have you owned your current house for awhile? If you have, you probably have equity in your home. Equity in your home equals cash in your pocket.
When the market is good like now, selling your home may make sense. Homes in this area are selling above listing price. That means even more money in your pocket.
So, if you could use some extra cash in your pocket, it might be a good time to downsize.
Moving Closer to Family
Do you live far away from your children? Do your grandchildren live in another state or country?
We live in a transient society now. Gone are the days when you were born, raised, married, had kids and died in the same town. Now a days, people move for jobs, school or relationships. People no longer remain close to their family. Consequently, a lot of grandparents do not live near their grandchildren.
When you do not live near your grandchildren or children, you miss out on a lot. You may miss seeing your grandchild’s first steps. Birthdays and holidays are spent without family near by. You may only get to see your loved ones once or twice a year. As a result, you miss out on a lot of milestones: birthdays, graduations, first dates, loss of first tooth, etc.
Yes, we have video chat, cell phones and email. All of which are a great way to stay in contact. However none of those can replace being in person. You can’t hug a picture or a video. You can hug a person.
If you are missing your children or grandchildren, maybe you want to consider moving closer to them. If you are retired, moving nearer to them is a real possibility. If you are longing to be closer to your loved ones, it might be a good time to downsize.
There are many reasons to downsize. Only you can decide if and when you are ready. But, if you are looking for a lifestyle change, more money in your pocket, and less maintenance, downsizing might be a great option for you.