The pros and cons of downsizing your home

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If your needs and priorities have changed as you’ve gotten older, the thought of downsizing to a smaller property might have crossed your mind. Sometimes, less is more, right?

That said, while there are many advantages to switching to a smaller home, there are some disadvantages too.

Let’s first consider three advantages:

1. Fewer chores and more leisure time

A big advantage of a small home is that it’s quicker to clean, because there are fewer rooms and the floor area is smaller.

Most likely the garden will also be much smaller, which means a smaller lawn to mow and fewer flowerbeds to weed.

If you move into a retirement village or a townhouse complex, you might have the use of a large garden and pool without needing to maintain it yourself.

2. Financial benefits

There may be financial benefits, like lower rates and electricity costs if you’re moving to a smaller and cheaper home.

You’ll also probably have lower maintenance costs over the long-term. For example, there will be less painting to do and fewer fixtures to repair.

3. Comfortable retirement

Family homes often have stairs or uneven surfaces, and this makes it difficult if you start having mobility issues. If you downsize to a smaller home that is on a single floor, it will be easier for you to move around the home as you grow older, especially if you need walking aids.

Three disadvantages to downsizing are:

1. Disposing of some belongings

If you move to a smaller property, you’ll need to get rid of some of your belongings and furniture because you won’t have space for everything in your new home.

2. Loss of reminders

If you’ve lived in one home for a long time or raised a family there, then every room would remind you of a wonderful experience and you might miss those reminders.

You’ll also need to say goodbye to your neighbours. Even though you can keep in touch, it’s not the same as running over for a cup of coffee.

3. Lack of space

You’ll have less storage in a smaller home, and if you’ve kept some of your old furniture, your new home may feel cluttered because the furniture may be too large for the new rooms.

You’ll also have less privacy or space for yourself if you live with someone. It can be more difficult for one person to listen to music while another watches TV because the rooms are not that far apart in a small home.

You won’t have all the extra rooms for visitors to stay the night or for entertaining.

But if you see the disadvantages as temporary challenges to overcome, then you might enjoy the downsizing experience and your new smaller home.

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