3 Scenarios Where Downsizing Your Home Is Smart

By Dave Goodboy | July 11, 2012 AAA

The decision to downsize can be difficult. Most homeowners have a deep emotional connection with the family home. That's not surprising since it's the place where many happy memories are made. However, the downsizing decision can open up a whole new world to many people. No longer burdened by the overhead, upkeep and just plain worry caused by a "too big" home, opportunities and new avenues of enjoyment will be self-evident. A large home can be a heavy weight that, once jettisoned, will make you feel like everything is new once again. All it takes is making the decision to downsize. Let's take a closer look at three scenarios where the logic of downsizing makes sense.

SEE: McMansion: A Closer Look At The Big House Trend

Scenario 1: Financial Pressure
Most people don't like to talk about it, but the financial crisis of 2008 hit many folks hard in the retirement account. All the years of planning and saving were damaged for many during the recent financial crisis. Financial pressure is particularly acute for those who find themselves owing more on their home than it's worth.

Even in cases where your home is completely paid off, never ending taxes and general upkeep and maintenance can take a huge chunk out of your already diminished funds. Even if you are still working and earning a solid income, paying on an up-side-down mortgaged home can feel like you are on a treadmill that never ends. Waiting for the market to bounce back could take forever. Downsizing is a great solution for relieving financial pressure.

SEE: Downsize Your Home To Downsize Expenses

Scenario 2: Time to Travel
World travel is the dream of many. Unfortunately, responsibilities often prevent this dream from being a reality. Maintaining a large home can take a substantial amount of time; even if you are fortunate enough to be able to have others do the work, time is still required to oversee the projects to make certain everything is getting done correctly. The decision to downsize into a condo or townhouse will eliminate this extra work, freeing up the time and money you need to follow your travel dreams. And for those planning on spending extensive periods of time abroad or traveling the country, it makes sense to have a downsized home base. The cost of maintaining a large, vacant home in your absence is often unjustified.

SEE: The Best Bang For Your Holiday Travel Budget

Scenario 3: Get Closer to Family
If you are like most people, your family is scattered all over the country. Everyone has moved away from home in order to find work, a spouse or a more preferable location. Downsizing from the family home could enable you to have one or more smaller abodes, with the goal of being closer to your family. For example, the ability to spend the winter down south near your son, then traveling to California for the summer to be near your daughter's family can become reality should you decide to downsize. Even If owning multiple homes isn't your goal, with the kids living in homes of their own, is a large family home really necessary? For many, the answer is no, and downsizing is a great option.

The Bottom Line
For many, a gigantic home is just unnecessary. When we accept the idea that we can all live with much less, we open up a world of possibilities. Downsizing a home can be a great step in freeing up our wallets, reducing stress, and puting travel and family back on the top of our priority list, instead of home expenses. If you constantly feel pressure from your home payments, and feel as if you could live in a smaller home, downsizing may be the solution you're looking for.

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