If you’ve been thinking about shrinking your square footage and moving into a smaller home, you’re probably well-aware of the obvious advantages: There’s less to clean, heat, and cool, which means a savings of time and money.
But that’s only the beginning. Downsizing offers several other, less-talked-about benefits that make scaling back very appealing. Take a look at some of the big things you stand to gain by going smaller.
1. Enjoy that equity—you’ve earned it
When you sell a home you’ve owned for years, possibly even decades, chances are you’ll have built up quite a bit of equity as you’ve paid your mortgage month after month.
There’s a good chance that whatever smaller home you buy will cost less than the bigger one you sell. So, you may want to consider taking the left-over cash and fulfill a lifelong dream. Maybe you’ve longed to travel the world? Perhaps you’d like to retire early, or cut back to part-time employment? Having extra funds from the sale of your home allows you to consider these options.
You can also put your mind at ease by paying off debt. If you have outstanding credit card balances or auto loans, save on interest by eliminating these burdens.
A sudden influx of cash enables you to boost your savings. If you don’t have any immediate needs or desires, bank this money for later use. Add to your nest egg by contributing to your IRA, or have more money taken out of your paycheck and put into your retirement plan.
2. Savor newfound time
Owning a smaller home typically means you’ll spend less time maintaining the interior. But don’t forget about the hours you’ll save on outdoor work if you minimize your acreage.
Should you choose to live in a condo or apartment, all that (often back-breaking) exterior work is handled by a maintenance team. Watch and enjoy as your weekly to-do list shrinks in your new slimmed-down setting.
3. This is your chance to make a fresh start
If you’d like to change your lifestyle completely, downsizing is the perfect time to make a fresh start. Embrace the cultural opportunities and mass transit convenience of a big city by finding an urban area that keeps you busy. Or, put down roots in the countryside and enjoy the scenery and sounds of nature.
Whether you’ve wished for a warmer climate, or wanted to move to an area that allows you more time to devote to a hobby like fishing or sailing, this is your chance.
Or, if you opt to stay in the same locale, you can always redecorate to give your new home a fresh feel. Because there’s less area to remodel, giving these spaces a makeover should be more affordable than if you’d tackled a renovation in your former home.
4. Enjoy more togetherness
When you’re not separated by multiple levels and extra space, you’ll find yourself spending a lot more time with family. If you’ve grown tired of yelling upstairs or down to find your partner, pet, or child, moving into a smaller home may offer the togetherness you’ve been missing.
5. Feel better about your carbon footprint
Because you’re in a smaller dwelling, most likely you’re using fewer resources such as electricity, heat, air conditioning, and even water for the lawn.
If you’re in a walkable area, you can also save on gas and feel good about decreasing pollution while keeping more cash in your wallet.
So, if you’ve had downsizing on your mind, don’t forget to consider these additional benefits. It may do more for you and your lifestyle than you had even thought it would!