It’s safe to say homeowners typically do not daydream about buying a smaller home. However, there may come a time when that starts looking like an appealing option, usually when the upkeep of a big home becomes too much for physical, psychological or practical reasons.
Unfortunately, often the sudden realisation that the house is too big to handle comes too late for people. Usually an event will happen (a fall, deterioration of health, changes in financial circumstances, family situation etc) that makes moving necessary. For the most part, these events usually will bring with them their own stress, so adding the complications of moving is not ideal. This means that being proactive and thinking about the future and what type of things you will need as you age is important. It’s always best to move when you’re fit and able rather than being forced to by circumstances later down the track.
One thing you can do to prepare is decluttering. If you live in a big house, one problem is that you have probably accumulated a fair amount of “stuff” to fill it over the years. One of the trickiest things is getting rid of the clutter. Take a look at the article: Don’t know where to start? for some useful methods to help you declutter. Decluttering helps remove the belief that many homeowners think they need more space, or that moving is too monumental a task. However, homeowners who part with the kids’ schoolbooks from 20 years ago and toys that haven’t been played with for even longer sometimes find they can actually live in a smaller home quite comfortably.
Here are some benefits of downsizing:
If you have retired or semi-retired, your income/expenditure ratio may have changed. By downsizing, it will free up money for other pursuits more worthy than rates or getting the windows cleaned. Smaller houses also usually require less maintenance which frees up your time and money further.
If you are thinking of downsizing, think about doing it in a “new” home. A new home is often smarter with space than pre-1970s homes. The better design means that smaller houses can feel just as spacious. “New” houses also will have better insulation which means they are warmer and will cost less to heat in the winter.
Smaller houses also let you reduce your environmental footprint. “Right-sizing” your house means that you will consume less power.
If you are ever at the stage of needing some help to downsize, head to the Downsizing and Relocation section here on Eldernet for your local providers.