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Planning Your Downsizing
GET DOWN TO BASICS
Take inventory of everything in your home and pare
it down to only the items you truly need. Once you do,
you’ll have a better idea of how much space your next home
should have. Donate or sell everything you won’t take with you.
DO SOME LONG-TERM PLANNING
If you have adult children or out-of-town relatives who visit frequently, you may not
want to give up having a guest room. If you dream of starting your own business
someday, make sure your next home has space for an office or workshop.
THINK ABOUT THE COST OF MOVING
Even if you’ll slash your mortgage payments, moving into a smaller home still
might cost you money. Think about whether or not your existing home needs work
before you can sell it, whether your smaller home might come with association
fees or higher property taxes, and if you’ll need to buy a lot of furniture.
Financial Benefits of Downsizing
LOWERING YOUR MORTGAGE
The smaller your house is, the less you may be
spending for mortgage payments each month.
SLASHING YOUR DEBT
With less of your income being directed to your home, you’ll be
able to pay student loans, car payments and other debt much faster.
BOOSTING YOUR RETIREMENT
You’ll also be able to put more of your money into your retirement plan when your
mortgage payments are lower.
ELIMINATING YOUR MORTGAGE
Buying a smaller home could mean that you can say goodbye to a mortgage
altogether. This is especially true if you’re able to buy your new home with the
money you made selling your old one.
How to Get Started
If you believe the time is right and downsizing makes sense for
you and your family, here are some steps to simplify the process:
GET EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE
If you share your home with anyone else, make sure they understand the goals and
practicalities of downsizing. A little conversation can prevent a lot of fights later.
MAKE EVERYTHING MULTIPURPOSE
The best way to prevent clutter is to ensure every space and item in your home
can serve more than one purpose. Buy furniture with added storage space or use
a fold-away desk to turn your living room into a home office.
TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL
Realtors can help you make the most informed decision when it comes to finding
the smaller house of your dreams. They also can make it easier to know you’re
getting the most value out of your existing home when you put it on the market.
How To Do It The Right Way
There are many good reasons for downsizing into a smaller home, including:
Cutting the amount of
clutter in your life
Your children may be
moving out to start college
You would spend less time
cleaning the house and
maintaining the yard
Saving money by lowering
your mortgage payments