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Downsizing your home: the pros and cons to consider before moving

22nd February 2019

When the subject of moving to a new house comes up, a certain amount of stress is involved. Especially when the main consideration is downsizing.

There are so many things to consider – and in turn a lot of information to research before considering a new area, a new home for you and your loved ones.

It’s a lot to stay on top of, so we thought we would try and help ease the strain of what to consider before deciding if this is right for you. We have compiled a lot of that information into a list, so you can lay out coherent arguments for, and against.

Naturally there are always going to be advantages and disadvantages of downsizing home and hearth and depends entirely on your own situation.

Benefits

1) The financial benefits

This could be the most obvious and highly considered point. Naturally you’ll reduce your mortgage and household bills, which can be especially favourable to you if you have big plans.
This new space in your budget can provide you with the financial freedom to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, which is always something to smile about!

2) The upkeep of your home becomes a lot easier

Maintaining the state of your house can take so much time and become such a pain, not to mention the costs and bodily wear and tear each year. And the larger and older the home, the more care and upkeep it usually requires.
That’s why you may find the day to day chores that come with a house, becomes a lot easier when your living space has downsized.

3) The atmosphere might shift from vast and open, to cozy and warm

With less hallways and open empty spaces in a room, a home is going to feel a lot warmer, and a lot more communal.
This feeling of togetherness also really ties in with a popular trend known as ‘hygge’ which is all about filling your day with the little pleasures in life. If that’s just what your family or relationship needs, it might be a good pointer to bring up when discussing downsizing. As it could lead to more family bonding and potentially create a more relaxing atmosphere for when guests come over.

4) You’ll save energy

Another commonly heard of reason. Ultimately, paying for utilities to keep a home of a larger size comfortable throughout the year is considerably high. If you’d rather put that money towards something else, like a holiday, or a secure future for grandchildren, then this might be the golden reason for you.

5) It’s a good motivation starter

Some people are put off by the idea of a smaller space because they will have to say goodbye to certain items. However, many people see this as the motivation pusher to finally declutter a lot of random stuff they’ve kept for no real reason. Of course, we’re not saying get rid of things that are significant to you! We’re more so suggesting that you would have to up your organisation game to fit it all in a smaller home.
If you don’t know where to start, look to the future! Photos, movies, and music can all be stored on tablet devices, and if that’s an unfamiliar area to you, ask someone available who can help you sort it all out.

6) You’ll make money from the sale of your home

Depending on how long you’ve been in your home, you could have a great deal of equity. This allows you to profit from the sale of your home — even after paying the price of acquiring a new, smaller house. Again, this allows you to re-prioritize how you save for the future. It also lets you shift your mindset from spending in the here and now.

7) You can make even more money, by selling those unnecessary items

While packing you might come across some forgotten items that would fetch a great price, if you’re happy with parting with it. Selling old junk is a wonderful way to turn a loss into something beneficial for you, because who doesn’t like some extra notes in the wallet?
This can be done in many ways, from garage sales, to sites like ebay and gumtree, you could even go so far as to take your things to an auction if you fancy.

8) You’ll reduce your consumption

If you’re really into the green movement and trying to live a humble lifestyle, downsizing could be an unthought of attribute. The key to leading a greener life is to reduce the number of things you consume. From utilities to the products you buy, downsizing helps you reduce in all these areas and more. You may experience a sharp switch in focus from quantity to quality in almost everything and become greener in the process!

9) Diversify your assets

If you’re depending on the sale of your large home to contribute to funding your retirement, downsizing to a smaller home means you can invest elsewhere and gives you a lot more to work with.

Points to consider

If you agreed with all those beneficial points and are now pumped up to take this new step in life, it’s also important to remember that taking the plunge to a smaller abode is a significant lifestyle adjustment. Whether you’re a family of four, new empty nesters or a couple looking forward to your golden years, sacrifices are going to have to be made.

1) The sudden problems of hosting

Yes, a smaller home can make the atmosphere cosier and more relaxing when you have people over. However, if you like to host and entertain with a bit of sizzle, downsizing might not be the right move for you.
You can make a smaller home look great and fanciful and bright, but if there simply isn’t enough space for a large amount of people to sit and converse, people might turn your future invitations down. If you’ve got a busy social life, and thrive on being the go-to host, make sure you consider this factor.
Remember this point even if you just like to have fun as a family of four. If elbows keep getting knocked, the family game night might not be as fun as it used to be.

2) Your lifestyle will change

It may sound a little cheesy, but a large home is a way of life, simply because of the way you live.
Moving to a smaller home forces you to adjust practically everything about how you live. Abrupt changes could vary from the way you shop, to how you keep possessions and how much of them you can keep before it becomes an uncomfortable problem.
Yes, you can transfer photos and movies to a tablet. However, if you have a lot of beloved items that have too much emotional value, you might have some tough decisions to make with less storage space.
Not only that but change in general is difficult. For years you’ve settled into a certain routine and environment. By moving you’ve got to relearn it all over again and possibly even make new friends. Keep this in mind if you’ve got little ones or a partner with a hefty social life. After all, our loved ones’ happiness should be one of our top priorities!

3) It’s going to be emotional

This is the case whenever you move, regardless of the size of the new place. But don’t discount the sentimental part of packing up and moving from the place you’ve called home for years, if not decades. You may be leaving the house where you raised your children, or a home filled with memories too numerous to count. The thought of leaving these behind can be nearly unbearable, especially when you consider that someone else will be settling down there after you.
Be prepared for a potentially powerful punch of sentimentality. It’s not a very nice thing to think about, but sadly it had to mentioned. Sorry if this has stopped you in your tracks!

4) There’s more costs to moving than just paying the movers

Yes, moving to a smaller home will fill your pocket, thanks to a lack of greedy bills. But make sure you’re prepared in the short run because any move tends to be a costly endeavor. The costs involved can add up quickly when you don’t know what to expect and sometimes, there are hidden expenses adding to your budget. Some things you may not have considered.

5) A new home could mean new surprises

Sounds cute and fun right? Well maybe not.
You might not realise, but a new home does not mean that it is squeaky clean in itself. You may come across a lot of unwanted surprises, especially if you don’t pay for a home survey to be done.
It’s important to research so much before you move. Including the area and its crime rates, and the actual quality of certain unseen corners of your potential new house. A smaller property does not necessarily mean less problems.

6) Moving is stressful, and if you don’t take the other points into account beforehand, that stress might not go away

The emotional stress of the actual move is not usually something people can just brush off. From sentimental attachments to the building itself to the many possessions it holds inside, it can all get to you.
And of course, there’s that famous stress that comes with packing everything up and shifting it all to the new building. Only to unpack it all again and try to decide where it’s going to fit.
But if you’ve chosen to move to this smaller house for a couple of reasons, and haven’t properly looked at the bigger picture, you could be moving into a constant reminder of your mistakes. If you overestimate how comfortable your family of four will be, living together in closer conditions, there are going to be more squabbles. If you refuse to part with more stuff than your new home can hold, the constant frustration of tripping over things is going to build up and become difficult.
Please remember that moving to a new house is not just difficult for the you if you are a parent. Your children, no matter what age have to go through all of this too!

7) You’ll potentially experience a loss of prestige

If this is important to you, you’ve probably already gotten it written down in the list of reasons not to. But if not, take a quick peek at this point. Some people experience qualms about the loss of prestige associated with owning a smaller home. If you believe the size of your home represents how people perceive you or view your success, downsizing might not be the right choice for you.

Ups and downs

Moving to a new house is a big journey. The key points to remember, is that you should always consult everyone who lives under that roof with you. If you’re having a big family discussion, or you and your partner are considering a new change, try not to forget about their voice. Even if you’re excited and want to move and someone in your family does not, try not to get angry or frustrated if their reason doesn’t seem like a big deal. Make sure everyone gets a say, and everyone’s reasons are explained and worked through. If the move is disagreeable for someone and it’s not resolved, problems will stir.

Reference – BL056 – Feb – 19

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