Buying a Home that’s Smaller : Why Downsizing Could be Better

In the past forty years a trend has developed in the housing market: Bigger is Better! Unfortunately, with bigger comes much more responsibility; financially, mentally and physically. Buying a smaller home may be the answer to the stress, the bliss and the constant cleaning and mowing… Downsizing may be the answer.

Why Downsize?
Home buyers downsize for many reasons, the most typical being that they’re empty nesters and son’t need or want the pressure of maintaining a larger home. Another usual reason is lack of cash flow, as we saw when the economic crisis hit North America and many were forced out of their bigger houses. Some people simply want a different way of life: a simpler existence with less impact on the Earth, and their wallets.

There are several advantages to making the move to a cozier place:

With a smaller house or condo comes a smaller plot of land: less lawn and garden to maintain. The time that used to be spent trimming, mowing and sweeping can now be dedicated to other endeavors.

With less house comes less cleaning time! Imagine the amount of time that gets shaved off of your mopping and vacuuming schedule when you know off a thousand square feet or so. Again, time that could be devoted to hobbies, travel or quality hours with your family.

Financially speaking, selling a house and downsizing can make a tremendous impact on your lifestyle. Families and couples that previously found themselves constantly strapped for cash become free to use their hard-earned money on things other than steep mortgage payments, utility bills and property taxes.

When you sacrifice on space, you are gaining on extra cash which could open many doors: more travel time, more time with your family, more time for hobbies, or more cash flow for home improvements.

Downsizing 101: What to Look For
When buying a smaller home, there are many factors to take into consideration.

  • Make sure you think about your or your family’s needs. Do you want to be close to a school, or removed from a family neighbourhood?
  • Is the neighbourhood or building pet-friendly?
  • What is the size of the yard?
  • Will the majority of your belongings fit into the new house?
  • What are the main selling points that you can’t live without? (e.g. large master bathroom, craft room, office, etc.)

How to Make the Move
Before you set out to your smaller abode, a possession purge may be in order. Your new home will not have the same amount of space and a few adjustments may need to take place.

Take stock of your furniture and make sure it will all fit into the new place. If not, a shopping trip may be in order; replace your sectional with something smaller.

Have a garage or yard sale to get rid of furniture and knick knacks that will take up precious space in the new house. Donate the gently used items that don’t sell; don’t take them with you!

Throw out or shred all of your old paperwork that isn’t needed anymore and make a trip to the recycle depot in your neighbourhood with old electronics.

Plan out the use of every new room before you move in. because of the smaller space, you will need to turn a room or two into multi-purpose rooms (i.e. an office / guest room).

Downsizing is an adventure that can help you and your family take advantage of more activities and opportunities that life has to offer. Embrace the opportunity and repeat: Smaller can be Better!