Our Downsizing Story

By fran-lichtman May 29, 2019

A little over 6 years ago we sold our 5 bedroom 4 1/2 bathroom brick Colonial Maplewood home. We had lived there over 10 years after moving from the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  While we loved our house, the spot and our neighbors, we were 3 people living in a big space. There was an entire top floor to our house that was just used for storage and an occasional sleepover.  We were spending a lot of money on housing. More money than we really wanted to spend.

While we had talked about moving, we weren’t seriously looking and then the right house just showed up. Being in Real Estate, we knew that it could possibly happen one day, especially if we were open to it. We had always been interested in something more modern, something with more light and open rooms. We found a great 3 bedroom 2 bathroom Ranch in South Orange that had been owned by a family who moved out over a year prior. The minute I walked in I knew that I could see us living there happily.

Moving allowed us to spend close to $30,000 a year less on housing before even considering the difference in operating expenses. We freed up a lot of money that we could use for our son’s education, retirement, personal care,  fun things that could create family memories and give to organizations we support. And it also gave us money for some renovations including our kitchen. We now have a beautiful, open, contemporary space that we love to call home.  For us, it was definitely the right move and one of the best decisions we ever made!

I recently spoke with 2 other people whose family moved from larger and more expensive homes to smaller ones in their same community. Like us, when they purchased their needs were different, or they thought they would be different than they actually were when they sold. Also like us, their taxes had increased putting them in a situation where they wanted to spend less on housing. The most interesting thing to me was, that also like us, they both like living in their new home better than their former larger one.

Similarly they said that they were saving somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 annually and in one case they were now mortgage free and had the ability to renovate their new place to really create a space they loved. Another got a much bigger backyard and as people who love to garden, they appreciated that.

So here are the benefits in a nutshell:

  1. Lower housing costs. All of us realized a savings of between $19,000-30,000 annually. This came from things like reduced mortgages, reduced taxes, lower utility bills and lower maintenance bills.
  2. More disposable income for vacations and other fun things, also for saving and giving.
  3. Easier maintenance. Smaller house less upkeep.
  4. In 2 out of 3 of the situations, selling a more expensive place gave us the ability to have money to renovate and create the space we wanted.
  5. We all prefer our new homes.

So, could downsizing your home upgrade your life?

If you would like to discuss how downsizing could benefit you and/or get a price opinion on the value of your current home, we’d be happy to help.  If you know that you are ready to downsize and need help doing it, we are here for you. Give us a call.