Upside to Downsizing

Downsizing can be challenging, especially when it comes to reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ one has. After living in a home for an extended period, possessions tend to pile up. However, making the effort to clear the clutter and reduce your possessions to those ‘must-haves’ can be very liberating. Plus, there are many financial and physical benefits of moving towards a smaller home, including a smaller mortgage or rent, lower property taxes and insurance, and reduced utility costs. Intangible advantages include a “less is more” mentality and reduced home maintenance and upkeep.

According to the census bureau, in 2016 the median size of a completed single-family house was 2,422 square feet. This size is smaller than the all-time high square footage from the 2015 census, which was 2,687 square feet. As a society, we are moving toward less square footage year by year.

A smaller, more compact home is much easier to manage because of the limited space available. Therefore, it’s essential every area of the house is utilized. Creating flexible spaces that can accommodate versatile furniture is useful and necessary. For example, transform an open area to a space with better storage capacity. Or, convert an existing space into a multi-purpose room, like combining the laundry and mudroom.

If you are looking to significantly downsize a tiny house might be an excellent option to consider. Tiny houses are becoming more popular for both functionality and affordability. Think of a tiny-house as a better version of a motorhome. It can be hitched up to a trailer and travel anywhere. Some tiny houses are entirely self-sufficient and include rain catchers and solar panels; others need water and energy hook-ups.

The cost to build or purchase a tiny house is significantly less than a traditional home. The price can range from $20,000 to $50,000, which is a substantially lower mortgage. A tiny house is also super energy efficient. Say good bye to those high energy bills. Whether it uses solar power or needs to be hooked up to a power source, the energy needs of a tiny house are much less than that of a traditional home.

Perfect for the environmentalist a tiny house is so small it can be made of recycled or repurposed materials and molded into a design that you can get creative with. If you are thinking of downsizing into a tiny home, there are a few questions to ask yourself. Are you prepared to rid yourself of most of your belongings? Why do you want to downsize? Does everyone in your family want to make a move?

Downsizing into a tiny house is a dramatic move that’s not for everyone. If you plan to design a house from scratch, you might be best served consulting with a professional contractor who specializes in tiny home design and construction.

We’re moving toward an age where “less is more,” and downsizing is a perfect way to declutter your life. Whether it’s transitioning to a smaller place or moving toward a tiny home, living in a smaller space is practical, more affordable, and overall easier to maintain.

Cari

Cari Barron, owner and founder of Contractor Hotline, purchased a home in need of various repairs in 2002. The process to find a quality home remodeling contractor proved to be a complex challenge. The first-hand experience was the inspiration behind founding Contractor Hotline in 2006. Connect with her on Google+

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