Updated: May 30
If you are empty nesters or approaching retirement, you might be wondering about downsizing. If you’re rattling around in your big house or soon will be, should you consider moving to a smaller, more manageable home? While you may be emotionally attached to the family home, there are advantages to downsizing.
In a smaller home, you may have a lower mortgage or no mortgage at all. Depending on how much equity you have in your present home, you may net enough to buy another house outright. If you are retired or will retire soon, you don't need to live close to work and could find a home in a less expensive area. A smaller home means lower utility bills, especially if you see a more energy-efficient home. The average US home is 2500 square feet. If you cut the size in half, you'll cut your energy bills by half. A comfortable 3-bedroom home with two baths can be between 1200 and 1500 square feet.
With the savings, you have more choices. You could go back to school, pay off debt, travel or take up a new hobby. Have you always wanted to go to more concerts or theater? If you are still working and want to bolster your retirement funds, this could be a perfect opportunity.
More Desirable Location
Have you always wanted to live in the country or a different state? Closer to family or friends? While you downsize, you can simultaneously move to someplace you have always wanted to live. Do you hate the weather where you live? Think about finding a new climate.
Easier Daily Living
A smaller house with less property means less yard and maintenance work. Choosing a lower-maintenance home with, for example, aluminum siding and modern, double-hung windows can give you more leisure time. If you want to eliminate that work altogether, consider a condominium or townhouse with property maintenance provided. You may gain community amenities like gyms and swimming pools. Keep in mind, most condo communities charge fees for this upkeep and to help fund other community improvements.
Rather than worrying about buying new things, you might find yourself concentrating on new experiences. You can declutter your home and use creative organization solutions to make your daily life easier to manage. Decide what you need and want to keep around you. Get rid of anything not beneficial to your new life. Experts say that if you don’t love something, you can do without it. Are you attached to family pieces?
Instead of waiting, you can give treasured family heirlooms to children and grandchildren now. Feel good about giving to charity while you clean out your closet. Less closet space means you must simplify your wardrobe. Give to charity or make a few dollars by selling things on local buy and sell apps like Letgo or Craig’s List.
You want to be a good citizen and help save the earth. By using less power and consuming less, you make a difference. Using half the electricity reduces emissions and global warming. Giving clothing to charity keeps those clothes out of the landfill.
VA Home Loan
Veterans can take advantage of VA Home Loans more than once. The only difference is a first-timer who doesn't put a deposit down pays a 2.30% loan fee, whereas a previous user who puts no money down pays 3.60%. If you put a minimum of 5% down on your new home, there will be no difference between first and second time user fees. If you decide you want to downsize, contact a VA Home Lender.