As parents, we all know the day comes when our kids sprout wings and fly away from the nest. But guess what? They have a tendency to come back! In fact, a whopping 29 percent of young adults are moving back home. So if you are thinking now is the time to sell the house with all the empty bedrooms and downsize before the “Boomerang Kids” try to move back in, you’ll want to weigh the pros against the cons.
Of course you don’t have to be an empty nester to consider downsizing to a smaller home. Here are a few reasons why you might want to scale your home size down:
You Can Save A Lot Of Money By Downsizing
Just a few short years ago, consumer confidence was high, jobs were secure, and the lending was easy. But the economic landscape looks very different now, and people are looking for ways to save their hard-earned dollar.
With the sale of your larger home, you should be able to save quite a bit each month on your mortgage. If you have lived in your home long enough to have equity built up, you may be in a position to either use that equity toward a substantial down payment or even purchase your smaller home with cash. This will give you monthly cash flow to purchase other needed items like a newer car or take that dream vacation. You will have more money to place into savings or help fund your children or grandchildren’s college fund.
Another savings you will notice are lower property taxes, insurance, and utility bills. This can add up to thousands of dollars saved each year.
Less Could Be More
Experts say that if there are rooms in your home that are used fewer than six times a year, you can probably do without them. If your Formal Dining Room only gets used over Thanksgiving and Christmas, the extended family probably wouldn’t mind if you set up folding tables in the Family Room for those special occasions. If you have two bedrooms that sit empty almost all year long, you are paying to heat and cool rooms that you don’t use. Fewer rooms that you really enjoy on a daily basis may make sense for you as your lifestyle changes.
Are You Ready To Say Goodbye To Your Stuff?
We all have “stuff”: furniture, artwork, keepsakes, etc. For some of us, getting rid of extra furniture, clothing, knick knacks that we have moved from house to house over the years is very freeing and cathartic. And for others, it is seen as a deeply emotional and difficult task to deal with. How do you decide what to keep, and what to sell or give to friends and family?
One suggestion would be have a discussion with your family about what you feel you absolutely must take with you to the smaller home, and what items you can bear to part with. This could be an opportunity to see a family member enjoy that special piece of art or really benefit from that room of furniture.
How Do You Know You Are Ready To Downsize?
Downsizing is certainly not going to work for everyone. If you have out of town guests or family members who visit fairly often, you may want to keep your present home for a while. It can be stressful for everyone if your guests have to sleep on blow up mattresses on the floor. If you love to entertain, you may find you need the space you have now so that all your guests are comfortable.
If you are considering downsizing solely for the purpose of saving money, but still have other family members living at home, think about the potential added stress that can be caused from living a little too close for comfort.
Another thing to consider is the possibility that one or more parents may need to come and live with you, either temporarily or permanently. Especially in today’s unstable economy, adult children are taking care of their parents, and in turn, the parents often help out financially. If you think this is a possibility you will probably want to hang on to the space you have to create in-law quarters.
It’s Your Move
From dealing with “Boomerang Kids” issues, to planning for aging parents, to scaling down your personal things, weighing your financial savings against your loss of square footage, all factors need to be carefully considered. Talking it through will help you make an informed decision that works best for you and your lifestyle.