Not only is summer the most popular time of the year to move, it’s also when some households find themselves a little emptier as graduates prepare to move out and start new life chapters. These changes lead to a question: “Is now the right time to move out of my single-family home and downsize to a smaller dwelling?” Downsizing your home can offer many financial and emotional benefits for empty-nesters; here are our top 10:
- Lower mortgage— Depending on the location of your new property, you may have a lower monthly mortgage cost.
- Cheaper utilities— Smaller homes require less electricity, gas, heating and cooling, resulting in lower utility bills.
- Fewer maintenance costs— Downsizing to an apartment or condo eliminates the need for lawn service, cleaning service, and additional costs associated with driveway, roofing or yard maintenance.
- Lower taxes— A smaller property may offer the benefit of lower real estate taxes.
- Boosted nest egg— Increase your retirement savings with the money you save on your mortgage.
- Eco-consciousness— Using less electricity, water and gas will pave the way to a greener lifestyle.
- Travel-readiness— If you aim to become a more accomplished traveler, downsizing will provide you with a modest home base to return to in between trips.
- Freedom— Want to take up sailing, become a world-class skier, or play golf every day? Downsizing offers you more freedom to explore and revisit activities and hobbies that you may not have been able to enjoy when you had a larger house to maintain.
- Minimalism— Sell, donate, or throw out items accumulated over the years that you no longer need. You can also use an online self-storage finder and store some things remotely.
- Less stress— Less clutter, debt, and financial and maintenance obligations will lead to a clearer state of mind, and give you the opportunity to enjoy a new, simplified home.
If the advantages of downsizing appeal to you, the following dwellings are alternatives to a single-family home:
- Age-qualified community: The standard age requirement for an age-qualified community is 55+. These communities are often gated and offer amenities such as a pool, fitness center, organized activities, athletic teams, sports courts, a golf course and more. Many of these communities are in popular snowbird destinations like Florida, Arizona and California, so your new home could feel like a permanent vacation.
- Downtown living: Dwellings are typically smaller, but the energy of the city is so much larger. Moving from the suburbs to the city offers you a wealth of access to museums, restaurants, shopping and theatre right outside your door. A move to a smaller space in the city could also enable you to sell your car, reduce your stuff and possibly lower your taxes.
- Suburban condo: While still maintaining home ownership, condo buildings in your current neighborhood offer the convenience of less space to maintain and perks that may include a front-door staff, an onsite fitness center, pool and/or community room. Moving to a condo also eliminates much of the maintenance associated with owning a large home, including mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters and sweeping the driveway.
While downsizing your home is a significant life change, it comes with great benefits. You can begin exploring your downsizing options by starting your new home search online.
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