Think about it: Big houses cost a lot. Between the utilities, property taxes, HOA fees and homeowner’s insurance, you can benefit financially from downsizing. If you’re still 20 years or more away from retirement, what better way to feather your nest egg than by shrinking that mortgage payment, lowering your property taxes and insurance and reducing those utility bills.
Benefits to smaller homes
Less to clean
A smaller house means you don’t have to dedicate an entire day a week to cleaning.
Less focus on stuff
Many people balk at downsizing because of the amount of stuff they accumulate over time. Less storage space means less room to accumulate stuff you probably don’t need. And less stuff means less to dust, which means less time to clean. #Winning!
Let’s say you married when you were 23, had your kids by 26, bought your “forever home” at 28; now you’re 44 and the youngest is off to college and while the idea of downsizing appeals, you have so much stuff. US News and World Report has a great list decluttering tips.
Improve your health
Attacked by allergies? Despise dust? See above! If you have less to clean, it’s easier to really deep clean and eliminate dust, pet hair and dander, which means you’ll suffer from fewer allergic reactions.
More free time
Smaller houses generally have fewer upkeep demands. Whether it’s fewer rooms to clean, less stuff to maintain, or a smaller garden to weed, you’ll have more time to hike or binge watch your favorite Netflix show.
More family time
While it’s true that bigger homes mean everyone gets his (or her) own space, families who retreat to their own places spend less time together. People who inhabit the same space more frequently interact more, which is a good thing if you only see your kids on the occasional weekend or holiday break.
Reduce your environmental footprint
Worried about the environment? Smaller houses consume less energy, use fewer materials to build and are often located in more walkable areas.
OK, let’s talk about the bottom line. If you reduced your monthly mortgage payments by $500 a month and used that cash in other ways, such as pay off debt, add to retirement, or pay off the mortgage early, you’d be far ahead!
Home improvements to boost your home’s value
You’ve taken the plunge. Checked the local real estate market. Booked an appointment with a realtor. But, now you have to sell your home.
Don’t incur a massive debt preparing your home for the market. Bankrate offers 10 cheap fixes to boost your home’s value, including:
- Sprucing up the kitchen with a cabinet face-lift and lighting fixture updates.
- Freshening the bathroom with a new toilet seat or regrouting a dingy tub and shower.
- Hiring professionals to deep clean the carpets.
Whether your house is old or new, veteran real estate professionals suggest:
- Not neglecting curb appeal (pruning and trimming back overgrown landscaping is critical).
- Addressing basic repairs—plumbing leaks, rusty gutters, replacing drafty windows, which are crucial to passing inspection and closing the sale.
- Painting rooms neutral colors.
With the end of the McMansion era, people have concluded that bigger isn’t always better, especially those who seek a less stressed, debt-free lifestyle. For many, including empty-nesters, downsizing living spaces and redirecting financial resources to pay off debt or boost retirement funds makes sense.
This is a guest post by DIY Blogger Seth Murphy who first got into doing DIY projects to save money, but over time he developed a real passion for hands-on, intensive work. He knows DIY can be intimidating so he created his DIY blog to share tips and help others with their own endeavors.
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