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Ten Ways to Decide if Now is a Good Time to Downsize

Ten Ways to Decide if Now is a Good Time to Downsize

The real estate market continues to heat up as many sellers prepare to list their homes. In kind, buyers are eagerly anticipating the influx of homes that are typically available in spring. With this in mind, you may be considering listing your home as well.

If you’ve reached retirement, are nearing it or will soon be sending a child off to college, you could be considering listing your home to find something smaller that better suits your current – and future – living needs. But, how do you know if it is really time for you to downsize?

The short answer is that there is no short answer. The time to downsize is different for everyone. To help decide if now is a good time for you to downsize, consider these 10 things:

1. Do you have too much space?

An empty nest is a common reason to downsize. Why? If your children have moved out of the house and have homes of their own, you may not need that four-bedroom home anymore. Now could be the right time for you to move to a smaller home.

2. Can you handle your home maintenance?

With all of that extra space comes extra cleaning and maintenance. Has it become too much of a task to take care of your home by yourself? You could downsize to a smaller home and cut those tasks incrementally.

3. Will your home accommodate you in five or 10 years?

Think long-term when you make a decision about downsizing. Don’t merely consider that your home is easy for you to navigate now. Instead, try to imagine living in your home in a few years. If it will be hard to get around your current home, it could be time to downsize.

4. Can you continue to afford your current home?

Obviously if the costs of living in your home have become too much for you, downsizing is a great idea. A smaller home typically means lower mortgage, taxes and utility costs. If your current home is putting a strain on your bank account, it may be a good idea to go for a smaller option.  

5. Are you prepared for other costs?

When you downsize to some communities, you may be faced with new costs. For instance, if you want to move into a community where lawn maintenance is included, you likely will pay a monthly home owner association fee to cover the shared service. So, while your mortgage may be lower when you downsize, know that you could face other costs.

6. Do you frequently have visitors?

You may not need all the space in your current home all the time, but if you regularly have children or grandchildren come to visit or stay with you, it could be too important for you to part with. Take into consideration how often you’ll be entertaining when you decide if you should downsize.

7. Do you plan to travel?

Maybe your children have moved out of your home and you intend to visit them frequently. Maybe you simply enjoy traveling and don’t intend to spend much time at home. Either way, if you don’t plan to spend much time in your current home, it may make sense to downsize to a smaller home.

8. Are you attached to your current neighborhood?

In addition to spending time with family or friends who come to visit, do you spend a lot of time with the neighbors who live around your current home? If so, it could be hard for you to leave such a close-knit community.

9. Can you part with the memories you’ve made?

If your current home is the one where you’ve raised your family, the chances are good that special memories fill every room. Though you certainly can take those memories with you when you go, you need to decide if you’ll be able to deal with the emotional detachment of leaving your current home.

10. Do you have equity in your current home?

If you have built equity in your home, downsizing could be a lucrative option for you. Profiting from your home sale could give you more options when it comes to buying a new home or just enjoying the next stage of your life.

No one can tell you when or if you should downsize, but considering these 10 factors could help you decide for yourself.