3 Reasons You Could Come to Regret Downsizing Your Home

by Christy Bieber | Published on Oct. 27, 2021

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Happy, mature couple laying on the floor surrounded by moving boxes.

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Will a move to a smaller space backfire?

Downsizing to a smaller house is often a smart decision -- especially if you're getting older and your family situation is changing as children move out. But while a smaller home can have significant benefits -- including a smaller or nonexistent mortgage, fewer maintenance expenses, and lower property taxes -- downsizing isn't the best choice in every situation.

In fact, here are three situations where you may end up regretting your choice to switch to a smaller space.

1. If family moves back home

Many homeowners sell a large family home and downsize when their children are grown and gone. The problem is, children don't always stay gone forever. Your kids may move back home after graduating from school or while trying to save for a house of their own -- or if they experience any life setbacks, such as a job loss. You may also have aging parents who need to move in.

The last thing you want is to have to turn down your loved ones if they are in need of a place to stay. But, if you've downsized, you may find you don't have the space for them. You'd be left in a tight spot -- literally -- and might even need to reconsider a move to a bigger place if you wanted to help out.

2. If you don't have space to indulge your hobbies

Downsizing is often common after retiring or changing to a less demanding (and less lucrative) job. However, the circumstances that lead you to downsizing often also provide you with more time to indulge in your hobbies.

Unfortunately, sometimes a smaller home may not give you as much space to do that. Say you love to cook and are used to a large kitchen but have switched to a small home with minimal space and one oven instead of two. In that case, you may find you don't have as much fun making meals.

Many hobbies can require a lot of space, from gardening to crafting to woodworking. So before you downsize, think about how you enjoy spending your time and whether the space you're moving to will make indulging in that hobby easier or harder.

3. If life circumstances change

Sometimes it can be difficult to predict what type of lifestyle changes will happen. For example, no one would have predicted a pandemic that would lead to so many people working remotely.

If you've downsized your property and suddenly need a place at home to work, you may end up wishing you had a larger space with a dedicated area for quiet work and online meetings.

It can be impossible to know when or how your life will change in a way that necessitates a larger home. But before you decide to sell your existing space, think ahead about what the coming years could bring. And if you end up making a lot of money from the sale of your home when you do downsize, consider stashing it in a dedicated savings account for at least a few years in case it turns out that a smaller home didn't work out and you need the cash to upsize again.

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