Downsizing your home is hard if you don’t have a plan in place and steps to take. Understanding how to downsize your home means taking control of your move, finding a new home that meets your needs, and enjoying the next chapter of your life with gusto. We have plenty of tips and tricks to help you with home downsizing. From empty nesters to retirees and even those just realizing sometimes less is more, we’ve got you covered.
4 Tips on How To Downsize Your Home
Knowing how to downsize your home is a vital skill when moving. The truth is, Texans live larger than life, so this can be a bit difficult for some. In terms of the top 10 states with the biggest houses, the second-largest state ranks 5th.
Everything really is bigger in Texas, but if you are looking for the best way to downsize your home, we’ve got you covered. Here are four quick tips on how to downsize into a smaller home:
1. Prioritize Your Home Features
The size of your home doesn’t always correlate with the number of features the property will include, but it often can. Making a list of the most important features of your home will help you when downsizing to a smaller home to ensure you get what you want and need.
2. Focus on Why You’re Downsizing Your Home
There are many reasons to make the move to a smaller home, but knowing them and defining them can help you in your journey. Beyond assisting in the home buying process, you’ll be able to better understand step one in finding the right features that work for your property.
3. Get Rid of the Unnecessary
Is there a room filled with items you can’t throw away but also never seem to need? Perhaps your garage is in need of an afternoon dedicated to decluttering. Whatever the case, when you get rid of things you aren’t using, you can downsize in personal items, which also helps with your move. Be sure to sell what you can or donate to charities as your items can help pay for moving expenses or help someone in need.
4. Take Your Time
The last thing anyone wants to do is to select a home they aren’t happy with down the line. Especially if there are no outside factors contributing to your decision to downsize, you should pace yourself in planning to decide what you really want. You should also take your time to understand where you want to live, what you need, and what you don’t need to bring into your new home.
Reasons To Downsize Your Home
Downsizing your home can come from many different areas in life. When the time is right, it can be a life-changer in a very positive manner. Here are some of the key reasons people decide to downsize their homes.
Change in Lifestyle
Maybe you’re retiring. Maybe you have fewer family members living at home. Perhaps, you’re simply looking to live a simpler life. No matter your reason, if you have a change in life, downsizing your home can be a great way to complement your evolution by preparing you for the next chapter in your journey.
Adjusting Your Finances
The expenses of homeownership cannot be overlooked. There are property taxes, home insurance premiums, energy bills, and more to consider. While not a hard and fast rule, when you downsize, you can often cut costs in a wide variety of ways.
Freeing Up Your Time
Larger homes can mean much more time maintaining them. From landscaping to home repairs, a larger estate naturally comes with more to do. By downsizing your home, you can spend less time fixing up your property and more time with the people and things you love.
How To Downsize When Moving
Another method of downsizing that deserves recognition focuses less on the size of your property and more on the number of personal items you keep.
Having fewer personal items is a great motivator for downsizing and moving can be the perfect opportunity to explore such ideas.
Minimalism or even just reducing what you keep in your home can give your new home a lot more space, make moving easier, and refresh your household. Here are a few tips to consider while moving, when you want to lessen the haul:
- Declutter one room at a time. Take an audit as to what you need and discard items that you haven’t used or needed in a long time.
- Reassess what you need in your home. Lifestyles change and even your impending move can cause it to evolve further. Leave behind anything unnecessary.
- Create your plan and stick to it. It can be easy to hold onto things you don’t need during the process but remember why you’re doing this and stick to your guns.
- Some things can be thrown away but consider having a garage sale or selling valuables online. Moving is expensive and the extra cash can come in handy. Donating is also another great option to do good for others.
- Creating a home inventory list or updating an existing one is a great way to keep things in order and possibly even save money through lower home insurance premiums.
How To Downsize Your Home for Retirement
One of the key reasons for downsizing your house is retirement. You’re no longer tied to needing to be geographically close to your work, often your household is much smaller at this point, and now, you have the time and funding to live life more on your terms.
This is an exciting opportunity but can come with some specific considerations you should be aware of. Here are some downsizing tips curated for retirees:
Decide Your Next Chapter
Retirement can allow you to travel or simply live in a new region. Take the time to plan out what is important to you and where you want to call home.
This could mean moving closer to family or moving to your dream destination. Additionally, consider your hobbies, lifestyle, and passions when deciding.
The process can take time but it’s more than worth it. In doing so, you’ll not only gain a better perspective as to where you wish to truly be, but you’ll also have a clearer vision of what you need to keep and what you need to let go as you downsize.
Being a retiree comes with unique financial considerations. Moving costs money and you’ll need to account for these expenses. However, like anyone downsizing their home, a move can come with savings in the form of fewer HOA fees, lower home insurance premiums, lower energy bills, etc.
But especially for seniors, you’ll also want to consider things such as social security income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits when moving. The sale of your home can affect capital gains taxes as well, but it also affects your income.
This can affect your eligibility for the number of benefits you can receive. Planning with a licensed financial advisor in the state of Texas can go a long way to ensure you make your move accordingly.
Don’t Discount Your Emotions
Downsizing your home means letting go and the emotional side of this for retirees can often be longer because there are more memories the longer you’ve been in a home. Furthermore, while many use this opportunity to move closer to family, for some, it could mean quite the opposite.
Processing the process of downsizing is very important and while retirement will bring a wealth of change, it’s important to take it all in stride. This is also a great opportunity to give away keepsakes and valuables that you don’t necessarily need to take and wish to pass down to family members for safekeeping.
How To Cope With Downsizing Your Home
Downsizing your home can come with a range of emotions. No matter if you are changing things up due to necessity or simply excited to make a change, there is a lot that goes into the process.
Letting go isn’t always easy and moving is taxing mentally no matter the circumstances. This is why it’s always great to take your time and make time for your mental health while making this change.
There are also services available should you need help downsizing your home. This can be a great option for anyone of any age and provides an additional level of support and guidance to make your move a success.
Finding a New Home After Downsizing
Texas is home to the third-highest population of Realtors in the nation. Connecting with one of these professionals will help you find a partner in delivering the right home for your needs…only smaller than your previous refuge.
Downsizing your home may mean giving up certain features, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise. The main thing you need to do is prioritize and remember why you are doing this and which features mean the most to you.
A good real estate agent can help you through this process to lighten the burden and ensure that your move is as seamless as possible.
Downsizing Your Home? Adjust Your Home Insurance
Downsizing a home can often mean you’ll need to downsize your coverage too. Your homeowners insurance policy will have many variables going into its premium, but the size and location of your home are two of the key factors.
All homeowners need to have enough coverage to completely rebuild their homes following a complete loss, but that means different things for different homeowners.
Obviously, the coverage needed for a 5,000-square-foot home and a 2,000-square-foot home could see some discrepancies, and moving is a great time to review your coverage.
Here at Freedom Insurance Group, we help homeowners in Texas avoid overpaying by taking a personalized approach to their protection. Working with over 25 top-rated home insurance carriers through our insurance center, our agents help clients save an average of 40% on their home insurance coverage and have been since 2005.
Each home is different and will have different levels of risk, even within the same neighborhood. This is why it’s imperative to re-shop coverage when you move to avoid paying too much for your policy.
Whether you are looking to learn how to downsize your home and stay protected or are just curious about your current policy, contact us today or get a free home insurance quote online to see how much you can save.