Downsizing is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for those entering late middle age and even younger owners that don’t want some of the ongoing costs of maintaining a larger home.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says one in four transactions now involve a seller seeking to downsize. And data from Freddie Mac suggests the supply of new smaller homes is now at a 50-year low.
NAR states older Americans are now competing with first time homebuyers because of a lack of new smaller homes being built.
A large proportion of Americans approaching retirement and whose children have flown the nest have little choice but to downsize, according to one think tank.
Beyond believing their home has become too large to manage, more than 50% still have a mortgage, says the Urban Institute, based in Washington. To become debt free and have cash for their retirement, they look to sell. Back in 2007, that was true for only one third of late middle aged Americans.
Downsizing doesn’t have to mean moving into a condo or apartment though – there are many options available today. From smaller footprint houses that don’t have some of the extra rooms that come with larger homes (such as multiple living areas, gamerooms, or media rooms) to homes that are designed to be more space efficient and often also come with smaller lots for less maintenance required – much like the garden homes we offer.
Did you know that there are many advantages to downsizing?
Boost to Cash Flow
With the property market performing so strongly recently, it’s a great opportunity to cash out on the family home. Your property is likely to have grown in value by up to 20% in the past 12 months alone.
If you are one of those who still have a mortgage on your home, this may be an optimal time to downsize. With inflation at a 40 year high and the Federal Reserve pushing up the cash rate, many mortgage interest rates are moving beyond 5% to 6% now.
Work with your financial adviser to ensure you have crunched the numbers properly. If you move into a condo or apartment, you’ll find management fees will hit your cash flow. So, be aware of all of the numbers before making a final decision.
With electricity and gas prices going through the roof right now, who wouldn’t welcome lower bills? It’s much cheaper to run a smaller home than a big house. You’ll achieve significant savings if you downsize wisely.
If all the “stuff” you’ve accumulated over a lifetime weighs heavily on you, then this is a great chance to have a clean out. You’ll have to decide which possessions have emotional attachments because downsizing will force you to throw, sell, and give away many belongings.
Big homes steal your free time. They require significant effort in maintenance and cleaning. I’m sure you know the feeling that the list of jobs never ends. By downsizing, you’ll get a sizable chunk of your life back.
Live Your Life
With more time, you’ll be able to start new hobbies or reignite old pastimes that you gave away when you were raising a family. Downsizing can and should change your life for the better.