In today’s culture of the bigger, better, faster, more expensive mentality, going smaller or cheaper isn’t on a lot of people’s minds.
It should be.
If you’re a recent empty-nester or simply moving to another state or neighborhood, consider downsizing. Having the biggest house on the block might be fun for a while, but the pros of a more manageable-sized house might just outweigh the need to outdo the Joneses.
Save the Debt
You know that mortgage you’re still trying to pay off? Downsizing to a smaller house will reduce your mortgage significantly. If you’re deep in debt, downsizing is one way to cut down on the many years you’ll spend paying off student, car, and home loans.
Reducing your mortgage will, in turn, give you that little bit of extra cash every month that you can then put towards other debts. Some loans cannot be reduced, so do what you can to reduce the ones you have control over. Downsize to smaller home and a smaller mortgage, and save your necessary debt for the loans you can’t do anything about.
Save the Savings
A smaller mortgage isn’t the only way to save money by downsizing. A smaller home requires less heat, gas, and AC to keep comfortable. You’ll cut back on your heating, electric, and water bills every month.
A smaller yard (if you downsize your property as well as your home) will mean less watering, less fertilizer, and less maintenance. Real estate taxes aren’t getting any cheaper. Downsizing to a smaller piece of property can save you in tax dollars as well.
Moving into a new home is a perfect time to reduce your cost of living, as well. Every neighborhood is not created equal, and you might just be able to find an area of town with lower living expenses.
Going smaller might just save your finances. Big homes are expensive to maintain, and if you no longer have need for the extra office, bedrooms, or square footage, you might as well save a few bucks each month by downsizing to a more efficient living space.
Save the Stress
Downsizing means you’re going to have to find space for all of your stuff. Going from a 4,500 to a 2,500 square foot house is going to leave you with excess furniture, closet-stuffers, and décor that just won’t fit into the smaller home.
Having to get rid of some of your possessions might not seem like a benefit of downsizing, but it definitely is. Clutter puts our senses on overload, and that constant stimuli reduces our ability to relax. It can prompt guilt, embarrassment, and inhibit productivity. So as much as you like all of your “stuff,” living a more “minimalist” lifestyle is one way to cut down your stress levels down to size.
Save the Mess
Of course, it isn’t enough to downsize if you’re going to bring as many of your possessions with you as you possibly can. Do your best to get rid of everything you no longer need. Leave the extra furniture, décor, and clothes you no longer wear behind.
You have several options that will make your attempt to leave the mess behind easier:
- Have a garage or yard sale. Sell everything you aren’t taking with you—at least you’ll know it’s being put to good use.
- Donate excess stuff to a charity or thrift store.
- Put anything you absolutely can’t bear to part with in a nearby Houston or Edmonton storage unit. You can either find a unit back in your home town (and then if you never miss the stuff, you can safely get rid of it for good) or take it with you and find a storage unit closer to your new home. Check out Bulldog Self Storage or other similar companies for more information about what you can expect with this option.
Save the Work
Finally, expect to save a considerable amount of work. Downsizing to a smaller home and yard will reduce house and yard work. Eliminating the periodic dusting, vacuuming, and general upkeep up those rooms you hardly used in a larger house will leave you with more time and energy.
Having more time to focus on your interests and hobbies instead of keeping hundreds of unnecessary square feet of tile mopped will be a huge benefit to you and your family.
So before you buy a new house just as large as your current home, consider downsizing as a viable option. You might not have the biggest house on the block anymore, but your savings account, workload, and stress levels will all appreciate a smaller home.
Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose family is her pride and joy. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others.