Once the children have moved out, that nest might start to feel a little empty. And it might also be more space than you want to heat and air condition. When children go to college and then move into their own homes, that’s a good time for you to reinvent yourself. One good way to move forward with your second act is to downsize your living space. Eclat Designs by Crystin presents the following tips to assist you in your downsizing journey.
Benefits of downsizing
When you decide to move, the most obvious benefit of downsizing is all the money you will save on utilities, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, maintenance, and potentially homeowners association fees. Of course there will still be costs that you will want to plan for.
Depending on the size and condition of your current house, you might find you can fit yourself into a smaller home and lose the mortgage. In other words, the equity you have on your current home might be enough to buy the smaller home without a loan. Keep an eye on mortgage news and resources for information and tips that can help you make the most of your downsizing.
Another option is moving into an apartment, which nixes a mortgage altogether. You have plenty of choices in the area; in fact, more than 4,700 apartments in Denver are available at the moment. Think of all the fun you can have without a mortgage payment! Suddenly, that vacation to Hawaii doesn’t seem so impossible. You can go out to eat more, go to more concerts, and throw more parties.
A smaller house also means less space to clean and, if you’ve been doing all your own cleaning, more time to have fun. Smaller houses often come with smaller yards, so that’s also less yard work, and more time for binging on the best new Netflix shows — you could even move to a place that offers much better internet speeds so you can make the most out of those binge-a-thons!
Embrace the tiny house movement
As Green Living magazine notes, the most extreme way to downsize is the tiny house. These precious homes with super small square footage, ultra clever use of design, and sleeping lofts are the rage for people who want to go off the grid altogether.
If your goal is to quit your jobs and spend the rest of your lives hiking, gardening, playing music, reading good books, and experimenting with new recipes, a tiny house could well be in your future. Make sure that zoning laws in your neighborhood of choice allow new construction this small. Some city ordinances require new structures to be at least 500 square feet.
If your goals for freeing up time and money are more modest, it’s even easier to move into a small house of 500-1,000 square feet. You won’t have to build it yourself or worry about zoning when you buy a house that already exists.
Get the most bang selling your current home
One way to increase the value of your home upon resale is to lower your utility bills. You can do so by installing spray foam insulation in the attic and basement. The Chicago Tribune reports that home sellers recover 116 percent of their investment in insulation.
You should also consider replacing old drafty doors with doors that admit less cold or hot air to the house. Replace an old refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, or clothes dryer with a stainless steel energy-star equivalent. Be sure to prompt your real estate agent to sell these energy-saving features of your home. If you are getting really good energy savings, post your three latest electric and water bills prominently where buyers can see them.
Here are some other improvements that yield a good return upon resale:
- Replace rotten timbers, tattered siding, and tattered roof shingles.
- Patch any holes in the walls, and repaint the entire interior if it has not been painted within the last three years.
- Make sure your kitchen is cheerful and homey. Replace any flooring, cabinets, and countertops that are badly worn, scratched, or broken.
In short, it’s time to celebrate your new life as a vibrant couple with well-launched children. A change of living space is a great way to mark your transition from big family to carefree, fun-loving couple. And downsizing, while you’re at it, makes good sense financially.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.