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When interest rates rise along with the price of homes, many homeowners wonder if now’s the time to sell the property and downsize. While the minimalist mindset continues to sweep the nation, more and more people of varying ages are making the leap to a smaller space.

How do you know when it’s time to downsize? While it’s largely a personal decision, we’ve created a guide of the signs to look for.

Low Quality of Life

Over 38 million American households can’t afford their house. More people are opting to rent rather than buy, but the price of rent is on the rise as well. That’s where downsizing comes in. If you find yourself in this category, it’s time to ask yourself: Is your house taking up more than 30% of your income? If so, you may be finding yourself living in your house more like one uses a hotel on a business trip—as a place to grab a bite and sleep.

Beyond that, if you can’t afford to put money away for a rainy day, then downsizing is what is going to be best for your future. You don’t want something to go wrong where you can’t work and not be able to afford medical bills and food because your house has taken all the money. That’s just not healthy.

Downsizing your home will give you the freedom to work less and enjoy the home you live in more because you are paying less for it. Your home shouldn’t be a major source of stress in your life, and if it is, it’s time to consider downsizing.

Unmanageable Upkeep

Does your home have more things wrong with it than you can feasibly keep up with? Maybe the roof needs replacing at the same time your plumbing needs fixing, and let’s not even talk about the yard that you haven’t touched in several seasons. When tasks in your home are too overwhelming for you to handle, it’s probably time to downsize.

There are many locations that you can move to with smaller dwellings (which means fewer floors to sweep!), and the bonus is many of them come with gardeners! Ask your real estate agent to help you find a place that fits your needs the best.

Extra Space

Do you find yourself using more rooms as storage rather than livable space? If you find yourself only using a few rooms in the house regularly, it’s a sign that it’s time to downsize. While the extra space may seem great to store out-of-season clothes and decorations, wouldn’t you rather be paying for the space that you actually use regularly?

As for those items you seem to be accumulating—downsizing can take care of that as well. It will force you to get rid of items that you haven’t thought about in years and will never use, and will make you feel lighter.

Impractical for Your Stage of Life

Maybe you are the only one living in your house, or maybe it’s just you and your partner. With only a one or two people in the house, a 2,000+ square foot home might be a bit much. Unless you’re prone to throwing Hollywood-style parties, all that space could pay for much more! Imagine downsizing to a smaller home and using the extra money to travel or have a bucket-list experience. Your home may have been just the right size for your stage of life a few years ago when you had children and need more space. It may have been perfect for so many years that it just hasn’t dawned on you yet that you don’t need it all. Look to the future and decide if downsizing would be more practical for your stages of life moving forward.

Not a Fit for Your Needs

Many homeowners find their home increasingly difficult to maneuver as they grow older. Staircases that once seemed grand now are the most dreaded part of the house, as are the transitions from comfortable carpet to cold tile. If this resonates with you, it is probably time for you to find a home that fits your needs more effectively.

Structural issues aren’t the only thing that may have popped up as you’ve gotten older. Many develop issues with their health such as allergies to dust are easier managed in a smaller space. As soon as your health clashes with your house, it’s a sure sign that it’s time for a change.

Making the move to a smaller home is never easy.. Although there are many reasons people choose to make the move, if you’re unable to keep up the house, you find yourself with too much space, it’s impractical for your stage of life, or it’s no longer a fit for your needs, it’s time to strongly consider downsizing. Talk to your local real estate expert if you have any concerns about finding a new home that fits your needs both in terms of money and amenities.

 Downsizing your home doesn’t mean you’ve got to downsize the benefits! Get the best service selling and buying with a Clever agent near you. Call us today at  1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started. 


Ben Mizes

Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save thousands on commission. He's an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis and a licensed agent in Missouri. Ben enjoys writing about real estate, investing, personal finance, and financial freedom. He's a serial entrepreneur, having run several successful startups before Clever Real Estate. Ben's writing has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Realtor News, CNBC, and BiggerPockets.

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