Downsizing When Buying a Home

Posted by Greg Geilman on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 8:29am.

Buying a New Home to Downsize When it comes to buying a home, there are plenty of options available. Most current home-owners purchase a home that is similar in size or larger larger than what they already have. They want to move up either because they need or want more space, or because they are expanding their family. But not everyone wants a larger home. Some buyers are interested in downsizing and getting a smaller house, either because all of their children are grown, they are getting divorced, they want to live a more minimalist lifestyle, or for a myriad of other reasons. With that in mind, there are several things to consider when downsizing.

How Small is Too Small?

When downsizing, it's very important to think about the size of the home that's really needed. Not everyone wants to have a tiny house, and even people who want something smaller could still reach a point where the house is just too little to meet their needs. People looking to downsize don't have to live in 300 square feet to have a smaller house. Depending on the size of the house that's currently owned, even 3,000 square feet could be considered downsizing. Most people who look for a smaller home want something that's still large enough to meet their needs but doesn't have a lot of extra, unused space.

Is Cost a Big Factor?

The price may or may not be an important factor for any buyer, depending on their financial situation. It's important to remember, as well, that smaller houses aren't necessarily less expensive. Depending on the location of the home, the finishes, and other factors, it's possible that someone who is downsizing will pay more for their smaller home than they did for their larger home, or than their larger home is currently worth. Shopping around before making a decision matters, so buyers know what they're getting into when they plan to choose a smaller home.

Are There Guests to Entertain?

People who spend a lot of time entertaining other people may not want to downsize as much as others would. That's because they use plenty of room in their larger house during specific times of the year, or even frequently if there are parties or other get-togethers. If a buyer entertains guests often, it may be more important to avoid downsizing too much. A bigger house could be the best choice in those kinds of cases, because a smaller place may make it too difficult to have the space for everyone to come over and enjoy themselves.

How Long Will the Buyer Be Staying?

How long you'll own the house matters. For people who downsize at retirement and buy a home that they'll live in for the rest of their lives, the process may be different than someone who down-sizes because of a divorce or due to financial issues. In some cases circumstances will change, but considering what you plan to do for the future is very important when choosing a smaller home. Selling a smaller house may be harder to do than selling a larger one, depending on the market. If that's the case for your particular location, buying a smaller home if you don't intend to stay long-term could be an issue for resale.

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