Front of a green house with lawn. downsizingEventually, many homeowners face the same question: to downsize or to stay in the family home? Whether you’re an empty nester or simply want lower expenses and less upkeep, downsizing is a popular move for homeowners who are ready for a change. Here’s what you need to consider to make sure your downsize is done right.

Who will stay at the new home?

The prospect of a cozy one-bedroom home may be tempting, but don’t forget to take guests into consideration. Will your children come to visit frequently? Will out-of-town family members want to crash at your pad over the holidays? If you want these guests to be welcome, you may need a spare bedroom or at least a pull-out sofa in your new home.

Where are you moving to?

A smaller home doesn’t necessarily mean lower expenses or even less upkeep. Moving from a small town residence to a big city condo will likely come with high taxes and association fees. Likewise, moving from a property in a managed community to a standalone home can add significantly to your maintenance tasks. Make sure you understand everything that comes with your new address.

Why are you downsizing?

What do you want to get from your new home? Lower bills? Less upkeep? Better access to amenities, friends and family or destinations? Your dream neighborhood or location?  No matter your reasoning, develop clear goals for your move so you can effectively navigate the decisions you’ll encounter along the way.

Once your downsize plan is in place, it’s time to prepare for your move. Get rid of the belongings you can’t keep by divvying everything up into categories such as keep, sell, donate and throw out. Host a yard sale, or sell big items online, then use the funds to purchase more compact, functional pieces for your new space. Once your work is done and your move is complete, you can relax and enjoy the benefits of your downsized digs.