The Upside of Downsizing
We all come to a point in our lives when we ask ourselves, is bigger really better? Many of us slave away to afford that big dreamhouse and then we get it and realise the maintenance and cleaning is not so dreamy. Were you actually happier in your 3-bedroom home with a cute courtyard? Perhaps.
And with everything that’s happened in 2020, people are really looking at what they value in life and whether the stress of a big mortgage is really worth it. We never know what’s around the corner. Who could have predicted the world we’re living in now?
While the term ‘downsizing’ has often been linked to older retirees and empty nesters, the COVID world has made many young families think about what their space is really worth and what they really want out of life. If you like the idea of saving money, energy, resources and time – downsizing could be the answer you’ve been seeking. Here are some of the benefits of downsizing your property.
Big house = more stuff and a bigger haystack to find things in when some mysterious item goes missing. Unless you Marie Kondo your home within an inch of its life, this can be one challenge of a big home. Of course, you’ll also need to buy all this stuff to start off with, so that’s more money out of your savings.
Save stress and money
…which leads perfectly into my next point. Downsize and you’ll save money. Not just on furnishing for your home, but on its general upkeep and household running costs. From cleaning, maintenance, furnishings, garden and outdoor area maintenance and even just general costs – all of these things add up to a healthy sum of money and also a decent amount of stress. By downsizing, you’ll have less responsibility, a lighter workload and increased flexibility. Plenty of time for fun times and money for overseas holidays (in a post COVID world).
On the money front, you can save a significant amount of money on energy. And as these costs continue to rise, big home energy bills may really leave a hole in your pocket. Bigger homes cost more to heat in winter and cool in summer. Not to mention the lighting and the pool running costs, if you have one. And it’s not just your money you’re saving, you’ll help save this lovely little planet we live on too.
If you have a family, a home that’s too big may make you feel like you’re not close to each other in a family sense too. In a smaller home, you might just strengthen those bonds and learn to communicate and work together better. It may even teach your children some valuable life skills – like patience and sharing.
Start a new chapter
It really could change your whole perspective on life. No longer are you a slave to your home, you really can get out there and live your life. You’ll reduce the costs on your mortgage, maintenance and energy bills – giving you more money in the bank to make your lifestyle better. You can start ticking off that bucket list or start a new hobby. Travelling is much easier when you have a smaller home, especially if it’s an apartment. You can just lock up and go, zero maintenance required.
Interestingly, a smaller home often reduces your consumption too. You’re less likely to buy stuff if you don’t know where you’ll put it. Why waste money on pointless household items when you could be out there making memories?
Retiring and downsizing
For those that are faced with an empty home after the kids have moved on, the home just might feel too big and a bit strange. At this stage of your life it’s time to maximise your capital and focus on your lifestyle – after all you’ve spent your whole life working towards this.
Things to consider
People downsize for many different reasons – you’re probably sold on quite of the few benefits I’ve listed above. But before you take the plunge, it’s important to consider a few things. Take the following into account:
When you’re looking at smaller homes, make sure they have adequate storage. You may lose the stress of maintenance and trade it for the stress of not having enough room.
Make sure there’s entertaining spaces close by – choose the right location!
Consider if your new place will have enough privacy. You may not want to be seeing directly into your neighbors bedroom and vice versa.
It might be worth trying before you buy – rent a smaller place first and see how it works for you and the family.
Before you move, get ruthless with your stuff and sell or donate the things that don’t ‘spark joy’.
Really consider the drawbacks of downsizing – no room for guests etc. Will this new life make you happy?
As always, it’s important to undertake careful research with anything property related. This is your home. Make it awesome.