The upside of downsizing
In business, downsizing isn’t a word that anyone wants to hear, but in real estate it provides homeowners with a wealth of opportunities. Every year, millions of people are electing to purchase a property that’s smaller than the one they currently own. Whether you’re switching to a smaller space because the size of your family is changing, or you want a lower-maintenance home for retirement, there are plenty of upsides to downsizing.
Access your equity
Downsizing is an excellent way to convert your home equity into capital that you can put towards what your family needs (like a vacation home or a better retirement lifestyle). Whatever your goal, don’t forget that in some cases, swapping a 3,500 sq. ft. split-level in the suburbs for a 1,800 sq. ft. space in the heart of downtown may leave you with little financial room to spare. It’s best to assess the value of your home and any desired properties with your REALTOR® first.
Less is More
One key benefit that attracts homeowners to townhouses and condos is the convenience of maintenance-free living. Less space means less time spent cleaning. Sure, you’ll still have to do laundry, but to permanently cross off outdoor chores from your to do list might be just the incentive you need to include the yard tools in the sale of your property. Plus, you may be inspired to use all your new free time to take a well-deserved holiday. Or two. The best part is, no one will know you’re on vacation by the state of your front yard.
Eliminate empty room syndrome
How many rooms does your home have? Of those, how many of them do you actually use? Take a tour around your home and assess how much space you use on a regular basis. If it’s 100%, stay put; if it’s 65% or less, you could be suffering from empty room syndrome. The average size of a home has almost doubled in the past 30 years, yet the average family size keeps on shrinking. Having too much space creates an imbalance that costs more than just time and money—it also means there’s more stuff to organize and dust.
The size of your new home isn’t the only thing that matters. When you’re planning to scale down your square footage, consider choosing a location that brings you closer to the places you regularly go—family, friends, work, shops— so that you’ll cut back on travel time and expenses. Better still, opt for an area that takes it a step further and places everything within walking distance; your heart will thank you for it.
Accessibility and comfort
A warm welcome
Polish up the doorknobs and dust off the welcome mat! One thing that a lot of homeowners overlook is the placement of their house number. Can you see it from the street? If not, consider relocating it or, better still, purchase some striking new numbers to identify your home with. Now stand on your front porch. Do you feel welcome? Take note of what your eye is drawn to first, whether positive or negative, and make any adjustments if necessary
A little effort can make a big difference in ensuring that your home has the curb appeal necessary to attract prospective buyers and encourage bids. Good luck!