If you’ve landed on this post, or our website, chances are good you are looking to move into a condo. And possibly considering Downsizing Your Home! Awesome! Here are 5 Questions to think about! (And we’ll throw in a bonus one too!)
Downsizing can mean going from that huge 5 bedroom home to a smaller, 3 bedroom home as well.
Downsizing Your Home? Consider These 5 Questions
- Do You Want to Cut Expenses? Living in smaller space can reduce any number of expenses, from electricity and gas to a lower mortgage and insurance payments. But as you make this transition, you want to compare ALL your monthly expenses….such as maintenance costs of a home (be it from larger to smaller) and the monthly HOA fees in a condo. Also, as you move, don’t forget the costs associated with buying and selling, such as realtor marketing fees, closing costs on a new mortgage and moving costs.
- Do You Want More Free Time? Moving into a condo can free up lots of hours to do other things like work out in your new gym, take up a hobby or more traveling. You won’t have the yard to mow, the fence to paint or leaves to rake up. Certainly, you’ll have these if you move to a smaller home, but it may have a smaller yard that requires less time. Some communities might even provide lawn maintenance, such as a 55+ community.
- Does Your Home No Longer Meet Your Needs? Are all three kids off in college? Who needs a 4-5 bedroom house for just two people? Or, maybe you’ve reached the point of not wanting to climb stairs and would like an En-Suite on the main floor? Laundry on the main floor? Maybe it’s a long drive from Cumming to Midtown Atlanta to enjoy plays at the Alliance Theater or exhibits at the High Museum?
- Still Need Room to Host? If you expect your grown family to return often for visits, you may still need an extra bedroom, but 5 of them? So a smaller house could be the right choice. But if those family visits are just at holidays, maybe you get the Midtown condo, and YOU make the trip to visit the family elsewhere!
- Want Better Cash Flow? With the market shift in the past few years, you are probably back to the point you have positive equity in your home. That can be used as a large down payment on the next home or condo, thereby reducing your mortgage payments. This can free up money on a monthly basis for other things! Again, you want to compare all costs of where you live now, and what they might be in a different location. Property taxes on a condo in the city could be higher than what you pay on a house, say in Cherokee County. But what money will you save in commuting expenses if you work in the area, or better yet, retire and can walk to those plays and museums?
- BONUS — Do You Want a Lifestyle Change? This applies mostly to going to condo living. It’s very different from all that space in a house! (I’ve done both, and can relate/help you understand the difference!) Being able to leave your car parked and walk, both for leisure and possibly to work, is wonderful. You might not even need a second car. You will also have to give serious consideration to downsizing the “stuff” you have. There is not all these closets and storage nooks in a condo. And if you have a priceless family piece of furniture, be SURE to tell your real estate agent you simply can’t give it up, and there needs to be room for that 12-foot dining room table (yep, had that challenge) or maybe a large desk.
Downsizing is not a decision you should make in haste. Spend some time talking about it. Looking at the numbers. Another good thing, spend a weekend in a hotel in Midtown Atlanta. While it certainly is NOT like living in a condo, you can get the feel of being able to walk around, shop, dine and learn about city noises that you don’t hear in that John’s Creek subdivision where you are now.