DOWNSIZING YOUR HOME
If you think moving down in life means buying a bigger home, it’s time to set the record straight. Most of us have plenty of room to downsize their home without cramping their style. Consider the facts: the average new single-family home in the Bay Area is nearly 2,700 square feet, according to the latest Census data. While this is not a mansion let’s look back at history. In 1950, the average home size was less than 1,000 square feet—and families were bigger back then. By those standards, today’s home are huge!
Okay, so it’s time to downsize. You probably have a few questions:
WHERE WILL I PUT ALL OF MY STUFF?
The first question most people should ask about downsizing is, “Do I need all of that stuff?” How often do you really use that treadmill or jet ski? If the answer is, “Not very often” consider selling them and borrowing or renting what you need and when you need it. You can sell used items at: your neighborhood garage sale, eBay, Craigslist or your local consignment store. The money can be used to pay for your move.
WHAT’S THE ADVANTAGE OF DOWNSIZING?
Sure, a smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep. Think of all the fun you could have if you didn’t have to polish your miniature unicorn collection every weekend. You just might find a whole new world outside your door!
Shrinking your square footage might mean your family has to gather around one TV at night instead of spreading out across three or four different rooms (Gasp!). But is more time with the ones you love really all that bad? It just might be the kick in the pants you need to spend more quality time together!
WHAT’S THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF DOWNSIZING?
If you reduce your mortgage by $500 a month that’s $6,000 a year you could put towards reducing credit card debt, increasing your retirement account or other worthy cause. Downsizing could also reduce your property tax bill by another several thousand dollars a year. In some cases you may be able to downsize into a home for which you can pay cash which will totally eliminate your mortgage payments. Just think about how that would impact your retirement plan!
I’ve helped many people downsize so feel free to contact me if you have questions. Michael “Soon” Lee, CRS, GRI, (925) 864-8848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.