Signs You Should Downsize Your Home

Melissa Aguilar

Melissa Aguilar

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When you first sit down to figure out how much home you can afford, you are budgeting sometimes 30 years into the future, based on your current life circumstances. But circumstances change, you may have switched careers, decided to refinance your home, or want different things out of life now. As you get closer to retirement, it’s a good idea to consider if you should downsize your home.

You want to free up some income

How much home you could afford while you were still in the workforce will be different once you’re on a fixed income. But the same general rule of not spending more than 30 percent of your income on housing holds true.

Even before you officially retire, it’s a great idea to take stock of your financial situation and the plans you have for your golden years. By downsizing before you even retire, you could use those years to save up money for your future goals.

You could use the equity you’ve gained on your home into paying off other debts, or paying for a family member’s college. If you have dreams of traveling the world, downsizing might be the key to having enough monthly cash flow to do that.

Home maintenance is getting too difficult

Does it seem like it’s getting harder and harder to rake up all the leaves every fall? Or do you feel like maintaining the garden is cutting into your family time? Those could be signs you need to downsize your home.

Maybe a family member who was staying in your extra room has since moved out and you don’t really need it anymore. Having less space and fewer rooms can also cut down on your utility costs and cleaning time.

Whether you have space you’re not using, or the upkeep on your home is getting to be too much, downsizing can help make things feel more manageable and help you focus your time and energy on what actually matters to you.

You’re looking for a lifestyle change

Tired of the snow and ice in the winter? If you downsize, you could find a place somewhere warmer. Or maybe you want to finally live closer to family. Deciding to downsize could be a great time to also reevaluate the type of community and neighborhood you want to be a part of later in life.

Or maybe you’ve decided you want to live a more minimalist lifestyle. With a bigger house, you’re more likely to feel the need to buy more furniture and decorations to fill it up and make it feel homey. Downsizing could be a great way to keep your spending in check and buy less clutter.

If you’re getting older, mobility needs may also be a concern. Having to move up and down many flights of stairs may not be practical for you anymore. By downsizing, you could find a home that will allow you to safely move around independently.

Downsizing your home can be a big change, but it’s important to make sure your home fits your current lifestyle and needs and not the person you were when you first took out your mortgage!