Have you noticed there is a new push for downsizing the way we live? Homeowners are realizing that “living large” doesn’t always mean bigger is better. In fact there are many benefits to downsizing to a smaller home. Whether the decision is voluntarily are you’re forced to move for job relocation or other life event, rest assured there’s a benefit to decreasing your home size. If you love saving money, energy, resources, and enjoy saving time on upkeep, downsizing might make sense for you. Here are just a few benefits of living a “cozy life”.
1. Save money:
A smaller homes also tends to translate to a smaller mortgage payment and lower property taxes. Furthermore, the more space you have, the more area you need to decorate and furnish! One of the beauties on downsizing your home is the ability to stop wasting money on furniture, electronics, appliances, and home items that are used to fill space rather than to fulfill a function. Downsizing into a smaller home will you help you prioritize your life and only bring what is necessary in your home. Finally, when you live in a smaller home, it’s possible to splurge on quality materials. In a large house it can cost thousands to install hardwood floors, or radiant heated floors in a bath, smaller spaces cost significantly less to update.
2. Enjoy the benefits of smaller living:
Many homeowners agree that living in a larger home leads to greater stress and upkeep. From cleaning, maintenance, furnishing, outdoor home upkeep and the cost to run all of these factors can lead to a home that is stressful. Downsizing your home can be the first step to a minimal and stream-lined life. You will be surprised how reducing your daily chores and maintenance will free up your time for leisure activities, spending time with your family, getting more rest, and maybe loving your home more than loathing it.
3. A smaller home often leads to a happier home
While your home lifestyle varies from your neighbors, many homeowners agree that smaller homes enable the family to bond and work together as opposed to large and spread out floor plan homes. Smaller homes create an environment where family members and roommates get organized and can compromise over living arrangements, sharing closets, and making a small home feel cozy instead of cramped. Instead of looking at a smaller home as a down-grade, look at it as a way to a happier domicile.
4. Save energy when downsizing to a smaller abode:
If you have ever lived in a large home you know one of the downsides are energy costs. From heating and cooling costs to water savings in your bathrooms and kitchens, it costs a lot to run a large home. Smaller homes will give you the added benefit of reducing you and your family’s carbon footprint meanwhile you will enjoy a lower energy bill in the warmer and cooler months. If you are curious to find out how a smaller home and energy efficient appliances and systems could work in your home, contact your local home energy provider. They often can give you an audit of you current usage and estimate how you can save.
5. Down-sizing can free up your lifestyle for traveling
You may not have considered it before, but your house requires a lot of work when you leave town. From ensuring the security of the property to keeping the grounds up, traveling can often be a burden when you have a large home. If you decide to downsize traveling can be less of hassle when you need to leave your home for extended amounts of time, especially if you downsize to a maintenance free apartment or condominium unit from a stand-alone house.
6. Downsizing to a new home can help you open a new chapter
For many homeowners downsizing their home can be a new chapter. Whether you are an empty-nester who has older children who have moved out to those who have suffered from a death of a spouse or close roommate. Downsizing can represent a way to start a new life in a new home. Consider opting for a smaller home that could have less upkeep, possibility of a homeowners association that can maintain the grounds and other amenities to enjoy your home as opposed to maintenance.
Are you Ready to Downsize into a Smaller Home?
If you are planning on moving to a smaller place in the near future, then read ahead for some tips that will make the transition as smooth as possible.
Assess Your Needs
Before you begin packing, you need to sit down with your loved ones and write down some of the necessities that must be in and around your new home. Many people do not realize just how different it is to live in a smaller home and making sure your new place has a few key features will lessen the shock. Do you need an office, what about a basement, does it need to be finished, what about a craft room or space for family members when they come to visit, will you be hosting holiday gatherings and do you need a formal dining room or would an eat-in suffice? What about local amenities, nearby parks for the kids/grandkids, local golf courses, as well as dining and entertainment?
Give Yourself Time
Trying to move into a new home under a strict schedule will almost always result in unnecessary stress. Even if you are not ready to begin packing your personal items, you can still collect moving supplies and start going through unused rooms. Many moving companies suggest that families should start packing three or four months in advance. Starting early will also give you plenty of time to sell or give away anything you do not plan on bringing with you.
Start Creating Piles
Unfortunately, those who plan on downsizing their home will have to make some tough decisions. If you are having a difficult time getting rid of any items, then you might want to start creating three or four separate piles in each room. One pile should contain all of the items that you absolutely must keep. The other piles should include possessions that you are still on the fence about. Some of the items in the “maybe” pile can even be put in storage for a few months to give you time to think about it. If there’s something you use very infrequently, do you need to own it? Could you borrow it or rent it when you need it? Regarding the sentimental items, sometimes it works to take a picture of these, and to simply let the original go. Keeping antique furniture that does not fit your décor, style or taste for sentimental value will always stick out like a sore thumb. If no other family member is interested, keep the picture of it and donate the item to a good cause.
Find Affordable Storage
Just because you are downsizing your home doesn’t mean you need to sell or donate all of your belongings. Renting out a storage unit will give you more time to go through all of your possessions and decide what must be kept and what can be donated or tossed. Storage units are also an excellent option for any seasonal supplies that you do not need throughout the year. You can use a local storage unit to safely house items such as holiday decorations and old tools.
Ask for a Loved One’s Opinion
No matter how objective you try to be, there may come a time when you simply cannot make a decision. Going through a lifetime of belongings can be extremely difficult, and you might want to have a loved one help you through this process. When you come across any possessions that you can’t decide on, call a friend or loved one and have them take a look. At the very least, they might need the item themselves.
Donate Your Extras
Seeing a trashcan full of your family’s possessions is going to be heartbreaking. By donating the items instead, you can rest assured that they will be going to those who need them the most. Many non-profits offer free curbside pickups for families that are getting ready to move. As an added bonus, you might be able to claim the donations as a charitable deduction on your taxes.
Downsizing can be incredibly therapeutic, but many families find moves to be quite stressful. Taking some time to plan out your move well before the day arrives will allow you to avoid any number of common mistakes that could cost you time and money.
If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals!
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