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The Pros and Cons of Downsizing

By Thomas Mitchell

If your children are grown, and you're now living in a family-sized home far bigger than what you and your spouse (or just yourself) need, than you may want to consider the benefits and downfalls of downsizing to a smaller home or condo.

If you do decide to downsize to a smaller home for whatever reason, there will definitely be some benefits for you. One of the main benefits of downsizing to a smaller home is that you will end up saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. A smaller, less expensive home or condo will come with a smaller mortgage payment . The proceeds from the sale of your present home may also allow you pay for a smaller place in cash, eliminating mortgage payments altogether. In addition to extra money from equity, the bills for your new home will be smaller too. A smaller space means less money you have to put towards heating/cooling the property, along with reduced property taxes, utility bills, insurance, and maintenance. Another good reason to downsize is you will usually experience less stress. For older retirees who don't want the burden of housework or maintaining a home with a lot of clutter, downsizing might be a good choice. Smaller homes also use less energy and resources which is easier on the environment too, which you can feel good about.

As with anything, downsizing does have its drawbacks too. With less space, you may have to put some stuff in storage, or get rid of it. You may have a lot of useless items that you have collected over the years that need to be disposed of, but often times these random little knick-knacks can have sentimental value which makes the process of getting rid of them emotionally draining for you. Also you may feel like you took a step backward in regards to success. If you use your home as a measure of the success you've attained in life, downsizing can be a bit of a blow to your ego. Although less space can be a benefit, it can also be a negative if it's not one of the reasons you decided to downsize in the first place. If you have a family and go from having two bathrooms to only one or you like to entertain guests often that can be a hard adjustment to make.

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