There are a multitude of reasons why someone would want to downsize their property. Maybe you are retiring and need a smaller pad now that the kids are no longer living in. Or maybe you just want to streamline your finances and save on the money used in maintaining the large spaces. Whatever your motivations, there are key factors you should take into account when downsizing your property to make that the home inspection process is as smooth as possible.
Location is always an important consideration when buying a home anywhere. If you no longer have live-in kids, you can have some flexibility in picking a location of your dreams such as some secluded retirement home somewhere. If you still have school-age kids, you will want a location that has all the right amenities such as schools, entertainment areas, shopping and dining areas, proximity to main highways and public transportation amongst others.
Look at the Costs
Probably one of the top reasons why you may be downsizing is to free up some money held in the property so you have to factor in all the costs that will be involved in acquiring your downsized home. These can include long term and ongoing costs such as the home inspection cost as well as the homeowners’ association fees in the neighborhood. Do a little digging into the background of the association and calculate all the costs involved in keeping your new home.
You should also look at the cost of acquisition. People downsize for money and lifestyle changes. If money is a key factor, then the cost of the new house will be something to keep in mind.
If you are downsizing due to retirement, then you need to look ahead into your future lifestyle. A multi-level home, for example, might not be ideal for a retiree. The various areas of the home should also be handicap-accessible. You don’t want to be house-hunting again a few decades down the line because the downsized property you purchased can longer serve your needs. It is always prudent to buy a home that is all-accessible.
Don’t Go to the Extreme
When downsizing, especially for your retirement, it is always advisable not to go the extremes by choosing properties that are probably too cheap. This can bring you into direct competition with first-time homebuyers and you may end up overpaying for a much smaller property. The number of first-time buyers getting on the property ladder has been growing by leaps and bounds in the recent years and you will be competing with them if you go too low.
Get Some Expert Advice
Whatever your intentions for downsizing your lifestyle, always seek expert financial advice. You will need to calculate the costs associated with the move and make plans on how you are going to save or invest the money you will have freed up by selling your old property.
If you are not too sure on how you are going to downsize to a smaller house, you can do a “test-run” by renting smaller quarters for short duration of time. This will give you a feel of “small living” and may help you get your priorities right.