Over the Hill – Downsizing at the Precipice

8 Reasons Why You Should Do It

It may seem too early to be downsizing your home when you’re in your 50s and 60s, but if you’re in this age group and are becoming “empty nesters,” the time is right. In fact, it’s even better to think about it in your 40s. Planning for downsizing gives you the time to do it right, research your options and take your time choosing your amenities. You may choose to age in place by setting up a time line for remodeling your current home, or you might decide to move to a different climate and build a new home in a retirement community. Enjoying the perks of downsizing at the top of the hill, rather than on your way down, can give you more options for building, it can be financially beneficial and it can keep you in the comforts of home. Here are some reasons to take the plunge:

benefit of In Law Suite Addition

You have more time to create and enjoy your new abode.

    1. Starting early will get you on the list of any sought-after custom builder – an important point, because the best builders fill their calendars quickly. You’ll have time to consult, research and design the best possible home for your individual needs.

    2. If you’re going to remodel, you can literally open up a room by remodeling or building a new home with a great room in the floor plan. These rooms, which combine the kitchen, dining area and family room, usually sport high ceilings and span the length of the house.

    3. You can refresh your entire décor, update to the latest trends, and essentially start over from scratch. Our tastes change over time, so that sunken jacuzzi in the master bath might not be our favorite thing about the house any more. It’s probably wasted space. Turning it into an oversized stand-up shower not only makes the space useful again, it gives you a contemporary new bathroom. Always wanted that window seat view from the kitchen window? Ask your custom design builder to incorporate it. Forever coveting your friend’s sun room? You can design it into your new home. Making design changes and remodeling in your 40s gives you more time to enjoy these amenities. It also increases the retail value of your home by updating it.

    4. If you choose to build a smaller home, you’ll be forced to make good use of all the space. You can be creative and innovative with built-in designs and fashion selections that make the rooms seem larger. Light paint on the walls, for example, is an easy and inexpensive way to open up a room. Removing closet doors and using the closet space as part of the room is another way to visually increase the room’s size. These little architectural touches can be built-in insets or shelving that can hold a variety of items. Work with your custom builder to create storage solutions that expand upward, like built-in shelves or book cases.

It can boost your finances.

    1. Your home mortgage is likely the biggest expense in your monthly budget. Payment of the mortgage can often eat into retirement savings or prevent you from saving as much as you would like. If you downsize to a smaller home in your late 40s, you put yourself in a stronger financial position by giving yourself more money to save over a longer time period. The 10 years of additional savings makes a huge difference. In addition, you can diversify your investments and give them more time to grow – it could be thousands of dollars by the time you’re 65.

    2. Upkeep of a home costs money. According to one study, the average homeowner spends between one and four percent of their property value on annual upkeep. If your home costs outweigh your property value, it’s definitely time to downsize.

It can keep you at home, healthy and well.

  1. When you downsize your home, you downsize your work load. Single-family homes require upkeep to maintain their beauty. There are lawns to mow, yards to groom, windows to wash, as well as any repairs that may need attention throughout your home’s life. You’ve spent the last 20+ years keeping busy with house work. Give yourself some time to relax by making your chore list smaller. You can still have a yard, but it might be half the size of your current property, or it could be wooded without any grass to mow at all. Ideally, you will have an HOA fee that will cover grounds and home maintenance.

  2. If you are already aware of a physical disability, you should be planning any renovations, remodeling or new construction jobs now. Universal design in construction, including features like single level living, open floor plans, grab bars and curbless entry in the shower and non-slip floors, are for everyone’s safety, not just the elderly. The friendlier your home is to the needs of its owner, the more likely you’ll be able to stay in it.

Downsizing is filled with challenges – from throwing out clutter to furnishing the space. By doing it in your 40s or 50s, you not only have more energy to build or renovate to get the features you crave for your dream home, you also have more time to enjoy your creation.