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Downsizing Your Home

If you think moving up in life means buying a bigger home, it’s time to set the record straight. Most American families have plenty of room to downsize their home without cramping their style.

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Consider the numbers: The average new single-family home comes in at nearly 2,700 square feet, according to the latest Census data. You may not think that’s all too big until you look back at history. In 1950, the average home size was less than 1,000 square feet—and families were bigger back then. By those standards, today’s homeowners are living large!

Moving into a smaller home may feel like a step down, but a closer look reveals quite a few upsides.

You’re Moving, Anyway

If you’re already getting ready to move because of a job relocation or for some other reason, consider checking out smaller homes, especially if you’re moving to a more expensive area. Families who can afford sprawling homes in the Midwest may find that they are financially forced to downsize if they move to the east or west coast where housing is significantly more expensive.

If you’re already in the process of moving, why not assess your situation to see if downsizing would be a good plan for you?

You’re Trying to Live on One Income

If you want either mom or dad to be able to stay home with the kids and work on raising your family, moving into a smaller home can help. MSN’s Real Estate section points out that smaller homes not only come with smaller mortgages but are also cheaper to heat, cheaper to decorate, and even cheaper to maintain because replacing big-ticket items like roofs and floors doesn’t cost as much.

You Want to Live More Simply

Maybe you’re trying to get back to the core of life and want to put family values more into play. Of course, it’s entirely possible to live simply and with family values in a large place, but it may be easier in a small space. The extra space to store junk you don’t really need won’t be available and family members will be forced by space constrictions to interact on a more regular basis.

More Income

The money you save on your mortgage can translate into the things you’ve always wanted to do. Reward yourself. Take a dream vacation, join a club, buy a new car, or go shopping. Whatever. Add some fun to your life. Your income will also increase because of the money you’ll save on maintaining your smaller home. The bigger the house, the more “fleas on the dog.”

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