If all of your kids have gone to college or moved out, you may be looking at their empty bedrooms and thinking about downsizing. There are some distinct advantages to doing that, as well as downsides to consider.
Downsizing Can Save You Money
There may be no need to have a large house if your kids are rarely there and one or more bedrooms just sit empty the majority of the time. A large house can mean high bills for utilities, maintenance, property taxes and insurance, not to mention a steep monthly mortgage payment.
Downsizing to a smaller home may allow you to significantly reduce your living expenses and give you more money to save for retirement or to use for traveling and other priorities. It can also give you an opportunity to enjoy a simpler and less stressful lifestyle. You’ll be able to spend less time on cleaning and maintenance, and have more free time to devote to hobbies.
You Can Still Have a Place for Your Kids to Stay
Moving to a smaller house doesn’t mean that your kids will have to stay at a hotel if they want to visit. You can buy a home with a guest bedroom, or you can set up a family room, home office or hobby room with a sofa bed or space for an air mattress for times when your children come home during breaks.
Moving to a Smaller House Isn’t the Only Way to Save Money
If you’re looking to cut your living expenses, downsizing isn’t your only option. Room rentals are in high demand. You may be able to rent out one or more unoccupied bedrooms on a monthly basis. Or, if you live in an area that sees a lot of tourist traffic, you may earn more money by renting out rooms for shorter periods of time.
If You Move, You’ll Need to Let Some Things Go
If you decide to downsize, that will mean that you’ll need to get rid of some of your possessions. It may be a good idea to have your kids go through the house and make a list of things that they would like to have. Then you can figure out what to do with the rest. You may decide to have a yard sale, donate some items to charity and discard others.
Don’t try to cram everything into a smaller house, and don’t rent a storage unit so you can avoid getting rid of things. If your goal is to save money, a monthly storage unit rental fee will reduce your overall savings.
Think About Your Goals and Dreams
While your kids were growing up, you likely focused on their needs and put your own long-term aspirations on the back burner. Now that they’ve moved out, you have an opportunity to figure out what you want your future to look like and to make your dreams a reality.