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There are many different factors that go into deciding when it’s time to move. Families often aim for the summer in order to avoid uprooting their children mid-school year, spring is often seen as a good time if you want to sell your current home at a high price, and winter is a great time to shop for a bargain.
Another common moving consideration these days revolves around the question of downsizing.
The truth is, bigger isn’t always better, and when it comes to a house, there are quite a few financial benefits that come along with a downsized home. If you’re on the fence about getting a place with a smaller footprint, here are a few of the best financial reasons to consider making the change to a smaller space a reality.
Less Space Means Less Stuff
The idea of decluttering and having less stuff isn’t a new one. In fact, the minimalist art of feng shui comes all the way from ancient China. Along with a host of other, deeper motivations, the concept of feng shui physically manifests in the concept of minimizing clutter and maximizing space in order to create a sense of balance within your home.
However, it can be genuinely challenging to adopt a minimalist approach like this for many people, especially if they live in a larger space that enables things like storing and hoarding. Downsizing can enable you to carry out the tenet of “owning less stuff” simply because you have less space to keep it in.
For instance, a natural lack of space pushes you to keep things more organized, and typically in unique, smarter ways that maximize space, as well.
In addition to naturally avoiding clutter, working with a smaller space also has the added benefit of saving the money you might have spent on furnishings and other household items that are typically purchased to fill up a larger living area. Extra couches, love seats, tables, chairs, beds, and so on aren’t required when you don’t have empty rooms you’re trying to fill.
Lowering Those Maintenance Costs
Along with naturally reducing the clutter, a smaller home simply means you’ll have less to keep up on where maintenance is concerned. If you need to reroof the house, it’s likely to have a significantly smaller bill attached to it. Changing the house color should take a lot less paint or siding, as well.
Even if a larger event takes place, like a furnace or water heater breaking, the costs of installing a new one will be smaller if only because you don’t need a huge unit capable of heating as much space as a large home.
Cooling Off Those Utility Bills
Speaking of heating things, another cost that naturally drops when you make the shift to a smaller home is the utility bills. Less space means less electricity used. Less square footage means less fuel used to heat in the winter. Smaller yard means less water used to maintain it.
While it’s nearly impossible to get rid of utility bills entirely, the savings that come with a smaller home are certainly significant.
Less Square Footage: Mortgage Edition
One fairly obvious benefit of downsizing is the smaller mortgage that typically comes with it. Smaller homes tend to cost less, and a lower mortgage means a smaller monthly mortgage payment, sometimes by hundreds of dollars.
This extra cash can be used to pay off the mortgage faster, reducing the overall amount of interest paid over the course of the loan. It can also be used for retirement, debt, or a plethora of other things.
Less Square Footage: Tax Edition
Along with saving on the mortgage, having a smaller home is likely to reduce your tax bill as well. While this isn’t a certain fact (many factors go into property taxes) chances are, a smaller home is going to mean you’re paying Uncle Sam a bit less overall each time tax season rolls around.
While this one’s a bit of a stretch, there is some real weight to the fact that you can even include some healthcare and health-related savings into the mix when you downsize. How? There are a couple of reasons.
For one thing, it’s easier to keep a smaller house clean, and a clean house is less likely to have an abundance of allergens like mold or dust. In addition, things like minimalism and simplicity — which naturally comes with a smaller space, as we discussed above — are famous for helping to reduce anxiety and stress, both of which tend to aggravate health issues. Downsizing also likely means a single-story house, which will definitely be better for your physical well-being as you enter your golden years and stairs become more of a dangerous challenge.
Getting Money Back in Your Pocket
Finally, there’s the plain and simple fact that downsizing means you’re going to need to get rid of a lot of stuff. While many things that get tucked away in storage have little value by the time they see the light of day again, some of your unwanted items will be worth reselling.
Amazon, eBay, or even a good old fashioned garage sale can help you make a nifty side profit from your downsizing adventures.
The Many Benefits of Downsizing
While larger living spaces certainly have their appeal, there are so many positives that go into living in a smaller space, it really is hard to argue with. Right off the bat, there are the many benefits of minimalism and simplicity. Add onto that the financial boon of a smaller mortgage, lower utility bills, fewer taxes, and so on, and the fiscal positives of downsizing become a major factor to consider for nearly every moving scenario.
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