You might be excited by the new opportunity downsizing presents. But have you thought about the potential drawbacks? Before you move ahead with downsizing, ask yourself these questions to determine if the change is right for you.
- 1. What are you leaving behind? The obvious answer is extra space. But what’s included in that space? There probably won’t be room for your scrap booking room, workshop or formal dining area in the new, smaller house. That means you may have to give up these pursuits or be willing to continue them in a smaller space. Make sure you’re ready to do that or to rent out a storage unit for anything that doesn’t fit.
2. Are you completely happy with your destination? Life is always changing. Because of that, it’s important not to downsize without considering all the possible consequences of your decision. For example, if you’re downsizing and moving closer to your children, make sure you research the area. Would you be happy living there even if your children don’t? Being able to answer this question affirmatively means you could still be happy at the new place even if your child moves.
3. Will your expenditures be higher? Don’t assume you’ll automatically save money as a result of downsizing. If you’re replacing your large home in the suburbs with a small condo in the city, you may actually pay a higher mortgage. This is especially true if you’ve lived in your previous home for a long time. Make sure you thoroughly research the market you’re considering. It’s even more important if you’re moving to a new state.
4. Will a smaller space be hard on you? We live in a society where more is often believed to be better, and you may be proud of how your larger house reflects on you. But now you’re downsizing and moving into a smaller place. Will you really be okay with this long-term?
5. Will you outgrow your downsized home? We all have the best-laid plans, but sometimes life throws us a curve ball. What will your curve ball be? Will it be a child or family member who needs to move into your home for an extended period of time? Will it be a new job or hobby that requires dedicated space in the home? Whatever the case may be, make sure your downsized home is equipped to handle any foreseeable life changes.
If you decide downsizing is for you, your next step is to decide what to keep, sell or toss.