Whether you plan to embrace the minimalist lifestyle by looking for a smaller home or will move because the kids have all grown up and moved out, downsizing can be a challenge for many families, especially those used to a certain amount of space. You might have a hard time knowing what to look for when you need to find a home.
Less square footage should not be your only goal. If you’re looking for the smaller home that will still meet your needs, here are some things to consider.
Remember All Your Stuff Will Not Come With You
People’s belongings typically grow to fill the space they live in. When looking for a new home, you can’t judge it by what will not fit. Instead, take an inventory before you begin your search. What things must be able to fit into the space? What compromises are you willing to make? Generally, you should consider whether or not a home has:
- Room for your mattress. A mattress is expensive to replace. A bed frame, however, can make a bed much more unwieldy and large. While you should keep your mattress, a bed frame is probably not as important because it can be replaced with something that saves more space.
- Closet space for your regular clothes. You might not be able to keep all your clothes if you have a vast collection, but a well-designed smaller home usually still has a nice-sized closet for storage.
- Space for essential furniture pieces. Your couches and dining table can be difficult to replace, especially if you have quality pieces. Cheaper items like bookshelves, dressers, and hutches should be considered expendable.
- Outdoor storage. Lawns have to be mowed, and outdoor areas need to be maintained. If you aren’t buying in an area that is maintenance free or has an HOA who takes care of yard work, you’ll need a place to put your yard equipment.
Everything else, including dishes, appliances, and keepsake items can be fit into a smaller space, especially if you are committed to letting some unused items go. You can get a smaller TV for a space, consider floating shelves instead of book shelves, and digitize photo albums.
Make Storage a Priority
People who successfully downsize find places that have clever storage solutions. Hidden closets, high cabinets in the kitchen, and spaces that have more than one function should be on your radar.
For example, you might want an attached garage. Look for a home that has space in the garage ceiling to store items like Christmas décor that you might have previously kept in a storage room or large basement.
Consider Your Own Needs
Many people downsize because they want a home that works for them instead of a home they have to work for. You want a home to have space that you can get the most function and enjoyment possible out of. Remember, buying a smaller home does not mean cutting out the fun. Make allowances for your hobbies, interests, and dreams. You might:
- Want a craft room or fancy office for editing and printing photos.
- Look for a kitchen to indulge your love of baking.
- Get a spacious yard for gardening.
- Choose a place that has rent potential if you hope to reduce the amount of time you have to work outside the home.
The beauty of downsizing is that you don’t have to sacrifice all of the comforts of home. Smaller does not mean lesser. With the savings that come with a smaller home, you may be able to afford nicer finishes, a nicer yard, or a place with rental potential.
For more information on preparing to downsize and finding a home that still works for you, contact us at Jeff Glover & Associates.