Thinking Of Downsizing?
The thought of downsizing can be pretty daunting for most people. Not only are there a lot of steps involved like selling your home and moving but there are also a lot of preparations as well. You may need to make repairs to the house to get it ready for buyers and packing. On top of all these logistical considerations, downsizing can be an emotional experience that you really want to be ready for.
You may have lived in your house for a long time and have built many wonderful memories there and now you’re moving to somewhere new. So before you even get to the point of packing up you want to ask yourself some personal and financial questions to lay the foundation for all the other aspects of downsizing.
1. What Does Downsizing Mean To Me?
Downsizing to some people could be going from 3,500 square ft home to a 2,000 square ft home. Or it could be moving from a single family home into a condo or town home. Just because you’re downsizing doesn’t mean that you have to have a small place. Just smaller than where you are now.
2. How Much Space Do I Actually Need?
This is where you decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need for your daily life. Once you decide what you need for your day to day life you can think about how much space you need if you have friends and family that stay over often. This is a big concern in the Jersey Shore area because a lot of people have family and friends who visit during the summer and want space for them to stay. Maybe just having an extra bedroom or one that functions as an office and a guest bedroom will be sufficient. Some people keep lots of extra space for people who visit rarely or just in case everyone comes at the same time to stay with them. You have to decide if its worth keeping and paying for that extra space just to have a week or two that everyone can stay together.
3. How Much Maintenance Do I Want?
Some people enjoy certain aspects of home maintenance, like gardening. Do you still like taking care of a property and just want a smaller property to take care of? Or do you want no exterior maintenance and only have to worry about caring for the interior, like in a condo or town home. The same goes for interior maintenance how much space do you want to care for inside?
4. How Many Levels Do I Need?
Do you need everything on one level or are multiple levels ok? Depending on what point you’re at in your life you may want to downsize to one level. Do you need a basement? Many homes in the shore area are built on slabs. While some people may need the extra space of a basement you may not, and you may not want all to carry things up and down the stairs. Adding garage storage or a shed may be a better solution. This can also save you money because homes without basements may be priced lower than ones without.
5. Should I Move To An Over 55 Community?
Over 55 communities can be thriving places with people just like yourself who have also downsized. It can be a great way to meet new people because many communities organize activities or events. Sometimes there is a stigma about moving to an Adult Community. I know quite a few people who have made the change and are very happy because they are much more involved in their community activities and have made a lot of friends.
6. Will Downsizing Lower My Bills?
It costs much more to heat and cool a larger home that no one uses than a smaller. You may also lower your taxes because you’ll be paying for less square footage and if you have a mortgage payment that may go down with a lower priced home. If you don’t have a mortgage on your current home you can take the money from your sale and pay for a less expensive home and then invest the rest of it. All these things create extra money in your pocket every month and frees it up for other things.
7. What Will I Do With The Extra Money?
Many people have equity in their homes that they can be using for other purposes after they sell. You may use some of it to purchase your next home, but you have more money left over after you purchase your new home. You can then look into investing or traveling or just saving it.
The best way to tackle downsizing is to start by figuring out the answers to these questions. That will give you the foundation to build a plan to make downsizing a great next step in your life.