Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Downsizing Your Home: Factors to Consider

[This article originally appeared at the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Q: What should I be considering when downsizing my home?

A: When you plan on downsizing your home, you may mean a couple of different things. Generally, there are a couple of definitions of downsizing in the real estate world. A definition that many people think of when they hear this term is moving from a big house to a smaller home. Although this is one popular definition, it is not the only one. It can also mean selling of personal property to make more room, cashing in on property investments, and reducing mortgage payments. This all has to do with downsizing. Let’s try to explain more about downsizing and why it is a great idea a lot of the times.

The philosophy of home downsizing is, in reality, just making do with less. Less space, less things and lower payments all come into play to make it this way. Many people start to downsize their home and stuff at about age 50 and continue well into retirement. There are many reasons to downsize.

One of the biggest reasons that people downsize is the fact that children may be grown and gone from their home. This means that there is a ton of extra space in the house and many items that are no longer needed. Maybe your children moved to a different city or somewhere far away? You may want to live closer to them and this is just another excuse to downsize at the same time. Children are a huge factor into a decision to downsize but it is not the only one.

Another reason people decide to downsize is if they lost their significant other. There are many reasons this may happen, but it a good reason to downsize as well. There will be the extra space that you do not need. Other reasons include the workload being too much for you these days. Or maybe you are ready to move into a home that you have always wanted, such as a lake house or a townhome. People even move to the Chattanooga area when they get older to escape the harsh climate of the winter up North. There are many reasons why people move when they get older, and they almost always downsize.

Downsizing is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you reach a certain point. Not only will it be easier and less open, but your payments will be lower each month. Think about downsizing if any of the above applies to you.

Get answers to questions you might have about real estate from Randy Durham, who is president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors and a broker with Keller Williams Realty. His column appears on Tuesdays. Send your questions to Business Editor John Vass Jr. at jvass@timesfreepress.com