How To Know You’re Ready To Downsize Your Home


A common part of getting older and entering retirement is having an empty nest! This poses an important decision to make – should you downsize your home? There are endless factors to consider when it comes time to make this tough decision. I am going to lay out a few popular topics to keep in mind when planning your future living arrangements.

You need more money for retirement

Due to financial reasons, many Americans aren’t rushing to retire at 65 anymore. If you’re already retired or thinking about it soon, it’s understandable to feel nervous about your finances for the future. But what does this have to do with downsizing your home?

If you have paid off your whole mortgage loan, then it might be smart to sell your house and buy something smaller and save some of that cash. However, if you’re still paying on your mortgage, then consider refinancing your mortgage and how you could benefit from this. Refinancing allows you to get a new mortgage loan with a lower interest rate than your original loan. When you choose a no-closing-cost refinance, you don’t have to worry about paying anything upfront. This is a smart choice when you want to refinance your mortgage but also have bills to pay off or you want to invest in your savings account.

Selling your house to downsize or refinancing with a lower interest rate like this can give you peace of mind if you feel stressed over the future of finances throughout retirement.

Home maintenance is becoming too much

When the upkeep of your home is becoming too much of a strain on you, that’s a good sign that it might be best to downsize. Cleaning, yard maintenance, decluttering, and other upkeep can cause a lot of stress on your mind and strain on your body. It’s not easy to clean a large home, especially if you’re not using all areas of it anymore. Additionally, keeping your landscaping neat, cleaning your siding, and repairing things in a timely manner is a lot to manage.

Maintaining your home is vital when it comes to selling your house in the future. The last thing you want to do is make the decision when your home is already deteriorating. It’s better to stay on top of the maintenance when you can, and when you feel like it’s becoming too hard, consider downsizing as soon as you can.

Your house layout no longer fits your lifestyle

There are a lot of physical characteristics of family homes that no longer fit the lifestyle of a retiree. We already know that maintaining a large home or a lot of land can be tough, but here are some characteristics of family homes that may no longer suit your needs:

  • Two stories. Having two floors in a family home is great for the extra space and privacy for everyone who lives there, but as you age, it can just become a hassle. Now more than ever, modern ranches are being sought after for their convenience and open floor plans.
  • A lot of space. If you’re an empty-nester, you know your children likely won’t be coming back home to live; they may already have their own house and kids too! This means that you don’t need all of the extra bedrooms or playrooms like you used to.
  • Formal areas. Formal dining and living areas are great when you’re entertaining friends and family on a regular basis. But with age, other family members take on the responsibility of hosting holidays and birthday parties and the need for these formal rooms in your home dwindles.

These are just some of the things to consider when you’ve been thinking about downsizing your home. If you’ve felt the strain of keeping a big house well-maintained or need extra cash to help fund your day-to-day life, then living in a smaller home might be the way to go! If you have already downsized, what helped push you to make the decision?

A helpful tool is this downsizing checklist.


  • We’re going to downsize very soon. The fires in California – in our neighborhood have given us the final impetus to make the move. While our home is still there (thankfully) we’ve already been thinking it might be time to get that sailboat we’ve been talking about for years now and live in the harbor. It’s become a now or never kind of thing too. My husband is getting older and his body is needing repair here and there (tee hee) so if we’re going to do the boat, best to jump in now while we can still physically manage it. We evacuated with everything that was priority or dear to us – so whatever is left in the house can be sold or given away. 🙂

  • Beth Dargis says:

    Sorry to hear about the fires, Sherri! But, I am happy to hear you are on your way to living how you want to live!

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