Deciding when to downsize can be difficult; we’re often sentimental when it comes to our homes, and it can be hard to move on from a home that’s been good to us. So how do you know when it’s truly time to move on?
As real estate experts, we buy houses in DC and the team here at MarketPro Homebuyers has helped thousands of people through this decision. And here’s what we know: If one of the five situations below applies to you, it might be time to downsize.
Situation 1: Your finances have changed.
If your income has shrunk or your expenses have grown, downsizing can help get you back to a sustainable financial situation. Maybe you’ve gone from two incomes to one, or your hours at work have been cut. Maybe your taxes and utilities have gone up. When we buy houses in DC, we often hear these reasons from our clients.
Whatever the reason for your new financial situation, know that a smaller house generally costs less to maintain. (And if you’re already having trouble paying the mortgage, make sure you’re aware of all your options!)
Situation 2: Your household has changed.
This can happen for many reasons—some positive and some negative. If your kids have gone off to college, if you’ve gone through a divorce, if you’ve lost a family member—all these family changes will likely impact how much of your home you’re actively using. If you have spare rooms that never get touched, a three-car garage when you own one car, or a massive kitchen when you only cook for one or two people, it might be time to downsize.
Situation 3: You’re traveling a lot.
Are you one of those lucky retirees who’s spending most of their time traveling? Or does your job keep you on the road? Because we buy houses in DC, we have worked with many clients that have government or military jobs that keep them away from home for long periods. Downsizing might make sense for you. When you save on home costs—mortgage, taxes, utilities, and upkeep—you can put that extra money (and time!) towards your travel and other activities. Whether you’re a snowbird who goes south for half the year or you’re planning several different trips overseas for work or pleasure, there’s no point in spending a lot on a home you barely use.
Situation 4: You don’t want the maintenance.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with the maintenance of a larger home, downsizing can be your way out. Or maybe it’s just that your priorities have changed and you value having free time over having a bigger house. You don’t want to be mowing a big lawn or fixing faucet leaks when you could be reading or relaxing!
Whatever the reason, decreased ability or desire to spend time on home maintenance can be a great reason to downsize. Your home should be a source of enjoyment, not exhaustion or frustration.
Situation 5: You’d like to age in place.
If you’d like to stay independent as you get older, it might make sense to downsize and get yourself set up to age in place. Maintenance is one factor, but it goes beyond that.
To age in place, you’ll probably want a single level, accessible home. Whether or not you use any mobility aids now, you’ll want to make sure everything is accessible to a wheelchair or walker. You might need wider doorways, appliances that are operable from sitting height, and grab bars in key locations. Of course, these accommodations can be put in any almost house, but it’s much easier and less costly to make a smaller home accessible. Here in the Washington DC area, we love our row homes. They are tall, narrow, and they are decades old. These houses are beautiful and architectural, but our clients sell them to us because they know we specialize in buying houses in DC and they want a more accessible home.
If you’ve decided to downsize, we’re here to help.
We’ll give you a fast and fair cash offer for your current home just as it is now; no repairs, no inspection, no commissions or fees. You can even choose your exact closing date to coordinate perfectly with the purchase of your new, smaller home. Our team will walk you through your quote, including a review of what your home would likely bring on the open market.
If you’re in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, or Pennsylvania, we’d love to show you how easy and stress-free the sales process can be. Contact us today for a same-day, no-pressure quote.