3 Signs You'll Be Happy if You Downsize Your Home

by Christy Bieber | Updated Jan. 19, 2022 - First published on June 25, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
smiling couple toasting with coffee mugs on couch in empty apartment amid moving boxes

Image source: Getty Images

A smaller home could mean a big lifestyle change, so make sure you're ready.

Thinking about downsizing your home?

Selling a large, expensive property to switch to a smaller and cheaper place can have major benefits -- but it's not the right choice for everyone.

Before you call a realtor or make serious plans, consider these three signs that downsizing could be a good choice for you.

1. You aren't using most of your space

There's little sense in having a huge home if most of your rooms sit empty. You can instead find a property with nice versions of the spaces you love, and eliminate having rooms you never go into. This could mean a house with fewer bedrooms, especially if your children have left the nest. Or it could mean you go without a formal dining room if yours just gathers dust.

If you find yourself spending time in just part of your current home, downsizing to a place with only essential spaces could be a great choice.

2. You need more wiggle room in your budget

Downsizing can save you money in a number of ways.

If your new place is much less expensive, you'll shrink your monthly mortgage payment. If you can sell your current home for enough to buy the new one with cash, you might even eliminate this payment altogether.

But it's not just your mortgage that could cost you less. Smaller homes often come with lower property taxes and utility costs. You could see a huge change in the amount of spare cash you have -- and you may end up happy to use that money for other priorities.

3. You're tired of the maintenance at your current home

A large home requires a lot more maintenance than a smaller one. There are more items to break or get worn out, and the repairs for each can cost more. That's especially true for big-ticket items -- if you have a large house, a new roof or new flooring is going to come at a high price. Large homes can also require more time and money to keep clean. And you may have more outdoor work, such as cleaning more gutters or mowing a larger lawn.

If you're sick of spending your free time taking care of your home, or if you find yourself busting your budget to keep your property looking good, you may be very happy to trade in all that responsibility and opt for a smaller place with less upkeep.

Downsizing can mean major lifestyle changes, and you need to consider all the ways your world will be different. But if these signs hold true for you, downsizing may just be the best choice.

Related: See The Ascent's guide on how much house you can afford.

The Ascent's Best Mortgage Lender of 2022

Mortgage rates are at their highest level in years — and expected to keep rising. It is more important than ever to check your rates with multiple lenders to secure the best rate possible while minimizing fees. Even a small difference in your rate could shave hundreds off your monthly payment.

That is where Better Mortgage comes in.

You can get pre-approved in as little as 3 minutes, with no hard credit check, and lock your rate at any time. Another plus? They don’t charge origination or lender fees (which can be as high as 2% of the loan amount for some lenders).

Read our free review

About the Author