Whether you're retired, an empty nester, or simply looking to declutter your life, downsizing has a number of clear benefits. A smaller property can be less expensive, thus reducing your mortgage or enlarging your retirement nest egg and its income stream. It will probably be easier to maintain and, if you choose wisely, may be located closer to services and transportation.
Here, we look at the advantages of downsizing and what you need to consider before doing so.
A Smaller Footprint
Downsizing comes in several forms. It may simply be a smaller house or a unit, villa, or townhouse, perhaps in an over-55s retirement village complete with amenities such as pool, clubhouse, gym, tennis courts, even a restaurant or cinema.
You may opt to be close to city amenities such as museums, theaters, and restaurants, or head for the coast to enjoy water views and sunshine.
"Downsizing is about reducing maintenance and upsizing convenience," says architect William Smart of Smart Design Studio. "Space is first and foremost," he explains. "We spent a lot of time refining the floor-plans so residents can experience as generous an apartment as possible."
Less is more.
High-design interiors don't require tons of square footage, and downsizing doesn't mean you need to compromise on style. Making the most of a smaller home means emphasizing its style potential and getting clever with the possessions it withholds.
Apartment or townhouse living also offers better security and little or no lawn to mow, leaving you with less work to do and more time to enjoy yourself.
Dollars and Cents
Of course, downsizing may not put extra cash in your pocket; in fact, it can cost more. Upmarket apartments on the water or near cities often cost more than a four-bedroom house in a middle or outer suburb and you will lose money in agent's fees on your sale and stamp duty on your purchase.
And, if the move does leave you with extra cash, it may have an impact on your pension entitlements. All these issues need to be researched, discussed, and resolved before you make a decision.
Then you must decide what you take with you, what is passed on to family, and what goes to a garage sale or gets donated to charity. You may need to hang on to that box trailer just a little longer, but that geriatric lawnmower and the dress you got married in could be the first things to go!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.