Bigger spaces can be problematic for many homeowners, and these days it seems, many homeowners or potential homeowners are taking the “smaller is better” option. From those participating in the tiny home fad to those who give up that big family home for something much smaller, buying a smaller home is a very personal choice. This is a time for some of you to simplify your lives and reduce your footprint. Not to worry though – giving up some square footage doesn’t necessarily mean giving up comfort or style! If you want to reduce the size of your home without reducing its level of comfort, you just need creative style and a savvy real estate agent to help find you that perfect smaller home.
A Closer Look At Why People Downsize
There are a lot of good reasons to downsize, no matter what the motivation.
- Purchase cost. A home is typically priced largely by the size. A smaller home will likely have a lower asking price than a larger one in the same neighborhood making it an affordable option to many more families like you.
- Cost of ownership. The associated costs of operating a smaller home are lower, too. It won’t cost as much to heat and cool, and landscaping less land means more money in your pocket. (yay!)
- Stress reduction. Paying for and keeping up a large house can be very stressful. Have you heard of the term “being house poor?” This is when a family dedicates such a large portion of their income to paying for and maintaining their home, that they have very little money left to enjoy life. A heavy stress-load can lead to health problems and contribute to the breakdown of a significant relationship. Downsizing to a smaller home can alleviate some of this stress. You shed a lot of the “stuff” (physical and emotional) that causes worry.
- Changing needs. Once children fly the coup to go off to college, university, or simply to pursue independence (maybe even start their own family), you’re left with empty rooms you have no use for. Perhaps you convert one bedroom to a hobby room or that home library you’ve always wanted, just to find that you still have several large rooms unused. It can leave you feeling wasteful and dreaming about what you could do with the extra money IF you downsized J
- Eco-friendliness. Since you’re using less energy to heat and cool, your impact on the planet decreases. It also requires fewer resources to build. Choosing to downsizing is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while at the same time benefitting your bank account.
Making the Move Forward
Exerting creativity is key when downsizing. You can get big style in a small home with a dash of creativity and good space planning. The “tiny home” movement is evidence of that (just search for “tiny home” on the internet and see how some folks are taking downsizing to the extreme!). You can take a few cues from this kind of thinking to help furnish your downsized home. Here are a few tips that may help.
Edit and Reduce
Chances are, you won’t be able to fit the furnishings of a 4 bedroom home into a 2-bedroom condo. You will have to make some decisions about what items mean the most to you. Divest yourself of large pieces. You can start giving them to children, grandchildren or other loved ones to start their own homes.
In a smaller space, you can’t afford to allot space to specialized furnishings. You can only fit so many items; think “multipurpose.” Give some thought to how particular items can serve in more than one capacity. Here’s an example. You might only need a dining table several times a year but a slim console table behind the couch is useful all year long. What if that console was actually a drop leaf table with two “wings” that lift when you need the extra room but stay out of the way when you don’t? Or what about a good, old-fashioned Murphy bed that can turn your office into an instant guest room?
A professional organizer is a wonder of the world! You’ll be amazed at how much can fit into a small space when everything is organized. Consider hiring a pro to create an organized home. Kitchens, baths and closets can hold so much more and operate much more efficiently when they’re properly organized.
In a large house, big patterns and bold colors seem right at home. In some (but not all) cases, these can overwhelm a smaller space, depending on the size of the print. A cohesive color palette in soothing shades makes a smaller room look spacious. Focus on textures and subtle details to make the décor interesting and layered. Again, hiring a professional can make a big difference. We recommend booking a consultation with KW’s Award-Winning Rooms in Bloom Home Staging.
Make the most of your downsized home by subtracting the clutter and adding some multifunctional style. You’ll soon see that downsizing is often the best decision you can make.
How Your Real Estate Agent Can Help
Choosing to downsize can be an emotional journey. You’ll need a good agent to help guide you through the process. An experienced real estate agent can help you find the features you really need and help you figure out what you can really do without. If you won’t be having nightly dinners with several people, do you really need a large dining room and an eat-in kitchen and a bar with extra seating? Can you get by with one guest room and some creative furnishings? Your agent can help you see how you could live in a home. If you are looking to downsize and are looking for that perfect smaller space, give us a call at 519.885.0200 or email us here.