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Should You Downsize and Upgrade at the Same Time?

[Updated: Apr 16, 2021 ] Mar 05, 2020 by Maurie Backman
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There may come a point in your life when you don't need the same amount of square footage you once did. Maybe your kids have grown up and moved out of your home, leaving you with multiple bedrooms that mostly go unused. Or maybe you're just plain tired of having to maintain a larger home and would rather ease that burden by shedding some square footage.

There are plenty of good reasons to downsize your home at various stages of life. And in some cases, going that route could make it possible to score a more updated home in the process.

How downsizing makes upgrading possible

It generally costs more money to own a larger home than a smaller one. It also costs more money to own an upgraded home than one with outdated features. Now maybe you can't afford to own both a larger home and an updated one. But if you're willing to give up some square footage, you might manage to swing a renovated property that offers some of the features you've been craving -- granite bathroom countertops, high-end kitchen appliances, and the softest carpets your feet have ever touched.

While it's true that many homeowners downsize as a means of saving money, if you're comfortable with the amount you're paying mortgage-wise, but simply don't want or need so much space, you might manage to find a smaller yet updated home that winds up costing you the same amount you're responsible for now.

Imagine, for instance, that a slightly smaller master bathroom in a new home also gives you marble countertops, high-end faucets, and a spa-style showerhead. If so, it may be worth trading in your larger master and the chipped laminate countertops, leaky shower faucet, and dated features that come with it.

Should you upgrade while downsizing?

If your goal in downsizing is to cut back on housing costs -- say, because you're struggling to keep up with your mortgage or you'd rather divert your money to more important goals -- then upgrading in the process may not make sense, because the end result could be similar, financially speaking.

On the other hand, if you're downsizing not out of financial necessity but because you've realized you just don't need the same amount of space you once did, then upgrading your home at the same time could be a smart move that lets you enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.

Downsize your home to upgrade your life

Downsizing could allow you to live in a more modern, up-to-date home. But that's not all; downsizing could be your ticket to an upgraded lifestyle. Those nice vacations you can't afford at present? Lowering your housing costs could make them possible. The same holds true for other luxuries you're currently skimping on to swing your mortgage payment.

Therefore, even if it's not financially feasible to downsize and upgrade simultaneously, you might enjoy life a lot more once you dump some square footage and slash your housing costs substantially.

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