This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Downsizing the house BEFORE retirement.

Posted by Matt
As I've mentioned in previous posts, my family is moving to a new house soon. Almost without exception, everyone who I speak to about our new house is shocked to hear that it is around 1200 sq. ft. smaller than our current house. Of course, these were the same people that were shocked when we told them that we were buying our present 3400 sq. ft. house for just three people (me, wife and toddler).

The next house will be our 4th in four years, though, and so we've gotten some exposure to the pluses and minuses of different house styles and sizes. Our new (and hopefully long-term) house is just on the cozy end of our ideal range at around 2200 sq. ft. It has the right number of rooms at the right sizes (large master, a medium room for our son and two small rooms we will use for a guest room and shared office.) We're very excited to be scaling down for several reasons:
  • My wife wants a "cozier house".
  • We both want less house to clean and maintain.
  • We want to live more efficiently. I can't think of a better way to say this, so let me just give an example: I won't have my own office, but I also won't have to communicate with my wife via IM anymore, and I won't have to run up and down the stairs every time I want to print something.
  • The frugalize factors: reduced heating/cooling costs (unless there is a loss in efficiency when moving from a two-story to a single-level?), reduced property taxes (because the house is older than our current one) and a smaller mortgage!

The last benefit we're looking forward to, and the one you should keep in mind if you are home shopping, is that buying smaller lets us afford better quality!

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