A few years ago, I was watching Oprah interview a Danish woman about her family’s lifestyle. She asked the woman about the small and almost empty (by American standards) occupied by her family of five.
The woman replied with something that’s stuck with me for years: “Less space, less things, more life.” What a simple concept! Moving to the right size home for you could help you create “more life” just like that Danish family.
Consider these reasons for “right-sizing” your home.
Less to Clean
This may be the best thing about buying a smaller house. In a smaller home, you have less space and, by default, less stuff to clean. This gives you more time for other things that you actually enjoy doing. Having less space and less stuff to clean also helps cut down on dust allergies. Since there’s less to clean, it’s easier to dust the whole house more often.
Larger Resale Market
When it does come time to sell your home, there’s usually a larger market for smaller, more affordable houses than for larger, more expensive ones. Since a larger part of the population is able to afford a smaller house, it could make your house easier to sell.
Lower Utility Bills
With a smaller home comes less space to heat and cool and fewer lights hooked up to the electricity, saving you money. Plus, reducing your energy use is better for the environment.
More space, more stuff. Less space, less stuff. When you have a smaller house, you have less space to keep “extra” things. What do you do with all those extra items when you move? Why not sell them? Less stuff could equal more money in your pocket or better quality furniture because you’ll need fewer pieces.
Donna Stellhorn, a feng shui expert, went from having a closet that was the size of a bedroom to a comparatively small one. “I have just 30 pieces of clothing for my professional wardrobe. I have three colors in my closet; black, blue or purple so everything is mix and match. I get dressed in under 3 minutes each morning and always feel polished and put together. When I had a big space I kept feeling it was empty and needed to be filled. With smaller closets I bring home less stuff which means I have more time for life experiences,” says Stellhorn.
Lower Mortgage Payment
With a smaller house, your mortgage payment may also be smaller. This could free up money for things like funding your retirement or paying for travel expenses. Or, since your payment will likely be lower, you might have extra money to pay your house off faster.
Less debt means less risk. The less debt you have, the more flexibility you’ll have financially in other areas of your life.
More Money to Invest
What if you were able to lower your mortgage payment by $500 a month and invested that money? It could grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more, depending on how close you are to retirement) that will be there when you’re ready to retire. Moving to a smaller home now could mean decades of freedom when you retire. Do you want to see how much your savings from a lower mortgage payment could grow if you invested it? Check out this investment calculator.
Cheaper Home Insurance and Less Owed in Taxes
A smaller house often means a smaller insurance payment and owing less at tax time.
The amount of time you’ll likely save in cleaning and general home maintenance with a smaller house could allow you to spend more time and some of that saved money enjoying your life. You might also have the chance to have more face-to-face connections, as a smaller house usually means fewer rooms for your family to disappear to.
Molli Carson from MakeSpace downsized from a spacious home in suburban California to a tiny bedroom in the heart of Brooklyn. “Like many others in my millennial generation, I’m a fairly mobile person. Having fewer possessions makes it much easier to move around. I recently spent three amazing months in Berlin, which wouldn’t have been possible if I’d had to lug around tons of stuff,” said Carson.
Having less to clean, less debt, fewer expenses and less mess is likely to lower your overall stress level. You can’t put a price tag on that.
Felice Cohen, author of “90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet,” moved into a 90-square-foot New York City studio when she was writing her first book.
Cohen said that her “stress went down, happiness went up, savings went up, free time went up — far outweighed the limited square footage. I ended up staying 5 years and in that time realized less space gave me so much more.”
Now, I’m not suggesting you move your family of four into a 200-square-foot tiny home. That might be going a little overboard. Maybe “right-sizing” for you is going from a 3,000-square-foot house to one that’s 2,000 square feet. The whole idea behind right-sizing is making life better for you and your family.
If you’re ready to right-size your home, let one of our Home Loan Experts help.
What would be the best thing for you about right-sizing your house? Comment below!
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