We're currently suffering through an economy where everybody is selling but nobody is buying, and this is especially true when it comes to the housing market and particularly for first time buyers. The market is a complete nightmare to the extent that most young people, who once aspired to find their way onto the property ladder, have been forced to throw their money away month after month on rental properties because they simply can't afford the lofty mortgage that modern estate agents demand.
On the other side of the spectrum, there has been a significant increase in one specific area of the housing sector. Thousands of homeowners every year are choosing to downsize their superfluous palaces to cozier, more intimate and ultimately more cost-effective and manageable abodes. The reason might very well be primarily financial or because the children have flown the coop and their empty bedrooms are starting to gather dust. However, there are other, perhaps less obvious, reasons why more and more homeowners are choosing to move from larger, suburban houses to more compact living quarters, and not necessarily in their Autumn years either.
There was once a stigma attached to downsizing of any kind (indeed, the word itself implies negative connotations), but here we'll be examining why that isn't the case anymore through a series of reasons why downsizing might be the answer to most of your problems and why downsizing no longer needs to be a dirty word.
OK let's get the obvious one out of the way first. A smaller home will generally mean smaller bills on everything from council tax contributions to electricity and water bills. This will free up finances that can be spent elsewhere.
Nobody enjoys commuting to work, and if anybody tells you that they do, they are lying. By moving to a smaller house or apartment closer to the city or town centre, you'll be adding minutes and hours, not just to your days, but to your life! Think about all the wasted hours you've spent on the bus or the subway, fiddling with your smartphone to idly pass the time and to take your mind off the acrid stench of body odor and caffeine. By downsizing to a home less ‘out of the way' (and closer to work), your working life will feel less stressful, and your home life will improve as a result.
Cleaning and Maintenance
If you've ever stumbled through a 3-bedroom house at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning hungover from Saturday night's frivolities and nursing a headache that could slay a walrus, only to find 10 rooms full of cleaning that needs to be done, you'll know exactly how freeing a smaller home could be. It's simple really; a smaller home means less mess, and therefore, more time for you to enjoy it and your family too. Also, consider that a larger home is simply more difficult to maintain, especially if it has a large garden that will become an overgrown and unattractive burden over time.
With the price of mortgages for larger homes reaching astronomical levels in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, many homeowners have found that there is simply no money left over from the monthly paycheck to actually spend on themselves. Life should be about working to live, not living to work, and with a monumental mortgage hanging over your head, that's never going to happen. Smaller homes mean smaller mortgages, leaving you with more money left over to spend on spoiling yourself. Whether that be on summer holidays or sports cars, the financial freedom you'll gain through downsizing should be reason enough to at least consider it.
Shedding Excess Baggage
We're not talking about emotional baggage here but literal baggage – the detritus that tends to accumulate over a life. With less room to store all of your ‘clutter,' there will be more of an impetus to get rid of it. You might also find the smaller space ‘mentally freeing,' as there is less space to worry about, and this will result in a simpler, less stressful home life.
Bringing Families Together
With less space to ‘lose' each other, a smaller home could help your family feel like less of a scattered assortment of people from different generations, and more like a clan. The extra time you'll have due to the shorter commute and less demanding chores also means that families will have more time to spend with each other.
As you can see, to downsize your home doesn't necessarily need to be a step backward. In the right circumstances it can actually represent a huge step into a more fulfilling, more comfortable life.