The Downsides to Downsizing: When Smaller is Too Small
Friday Nov 29th, 2019
If you’re looking to sell your home to downsize, you’re not alone. With higher real estate prices, busy schedules and daily stressors, like house cleaning and maintenance, many homeowners are looking to downsize as a way to achieve more freedom. And while this is an excellent option for some folks – especially seniors – downsizing isn’t for everyone. Simply put, several lifestyle changes can occur when you trade space for smaller square footage – and for some folks, these changes can be viewed as major disadvantages.
Here are some downsides to consider when downsizing your home:
1. Too-tight quarters
If you are used to living in a larger space with room to spread out, downsizing to a smaller home or condo can feel jarring. You might find that you have less space for hobbies or quiet time compared to what you had in the past, or that entertaining larger groups of friends and family feels more challenging. With less square footage to carry out your daily life, downsizing to a smaller home can be difficult, especially if you have to share that precious square footage with other people.
2. Less storage
With less space often means less storage, which is tricky if you have many possessions. It can be a struggle to find room for everything you need to store, whether it be clothing, kitchen items, sentimental belongings or special collections. When downsizing, you’ll most definitely have to let go of things – and that can be very hard for some people.
3. Lifestyle changes
If you are a person that loves to cook in a fully-stocked kitchen or tinker about in the garage, you’ll need to consider your lifestyle when downsizing. In many cases, moving to a smaller space will impact your hobbies simply because you may not have the physical space to enjoy your passions or the room to store equipment to carry out your hobbies. If you live with others, you may find that the closer quarters may make it challenging to keep up with your pastimes (or vice versa), like reading, watching movies or having friends over.
4. Financial sense
A key advantage to downsizing is the financial freedom that it can provide – but that’s not always the case. After selling your larger home for something smaller, you may not walk away with as much money in your pocket after you consider the real estate fees, taxes and moving costs. There are also living expenses to consider, like property taxes, applicable maintenance fees and utility costs of your new home. You’ll want to do your research to make sure that the savings that you generate from downsizing are worth the cost of less square footage. You may find it’s not – and that’s okay.
Like most things in life, downsizing is a very personal decision that will work for some and not for others. Before you decide to move into a smaller home or condo, do your research to make sure that the pros heavily outweigh the cons – especially how downsizing may impact your lifestyle, interests and routines. For some homeowners, a smaller home is their key to freedom, while for others it can feel like a sentence.
To learn more if downsizing is right for you, please contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative and ASA at Keller Williams Realty Solutions, Brokerage, in Mississauga, Ontario, to discuss your options.