I’ll be the first to admit it. When at a restaurant, there are times I order more food than I need. Take me to my favorite BBQ place in Brownwood, Texas or any sushi bar, and you’ll see several plates in front of me. As my dad would say, sometimes, “my eyes are bigger than my stomach.”
This can also carry over to other areas of life… clothes shopping, TV show binge watching and even house buying. We’re a culture that likes to buy in bulk. It’s understandable when so many stores offer discounts and savings when purchasing items in larger quantities. But, at the end of the day, you may not need to purchase 3 of the same blue long-sleeve oxford button down shirts or to watch five episodes of “Orange is the New Black” in a row or even to buy that big of a house.
As with most purchases, the house you have should match the life you lead, or anticipate to lead. Life changes are inevitable, and sometimes that will mean your home needs will change too. Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, downsizing may be just what you need. It’s certainly worth considering if you are…
- Empty Nester. Have your kids left the house, gone off to college or found a place of their own? If you’re pretty sure they’re not on the “boomerang plan” (returning to live at home after they’re done with school or in a few years), then it might be a good time to find a smaller place. Sure, you may have had plans to turn their rooms into a craft or exercise room, but will they be used frequently enough to justify the upkeep? The money you may save with a smaller place can be put towards a gym membership which will give you more equipment options (and you don’t have to dust those)!
- Suddenly Single. Unfortunately, not every love story ends like a Meg Ryan movie in the ‘90s. Some relationships end differently and before we thought they would. With one less person around, the house you are in may echo a bit, or maybe there are just a few too many memories around every corner. Starting fresh in a place more fitting to your new life may just let you feel renewed and help you get your groove back.
- Redirected Professional. Like romance, some professional situations don’t end like we might anticipate. Whether your company experienced downsizing of their own or you initiated a career restart yourself, your income when you purchased your current home may be different and less than what you are making today. Paying a smaller mortgage payment might make sense for this time in your financial journey.
- Busy Professional. Sure, you may be making the money for a nice, big house, and you deserve the luxury when you get home from your long day, but do you have enough energy to really enjoy it? Even if you do, how long does it take (or how much does it cost) to clean the place, much less furnish it all? I’m not saying move into a van down by the river, but you may get more bang for your buck by finding a nice townhome, a modern condo or a fun loft. You can still create a space that makes you feel rewarded, and most likely, the time/money needed for upkeep will not be as steep. Your “on the go” lifestyle might be better suited for less space.
- Simplicity Seeker. Life can be complicated. Our ‘to do’ lists never seem to end. Downsizing to a smaller home may help relieve some of the pressures of life. Condos, lofts and townhomes remove the responsibility of lawn care. Time cleaning a smaller space goes by much faster. You won’t need as much furniture to decorate the downsized home, so your move can be lighter. And, since you’re not heating or cooling a larger place, you may also see some utility bills decrease. Having a sound foundation of simplicity will help you be ready when other issues may arise. Leave the complicated lives to the Housewives.
If you identify with any of the above, downsizing your home may be a good step for you to take. In our next post, I’ll share a few realities you can consider and options you have when smaller sounds better for you!