Downsizing? Tips For Finding The Right Smaller House

Making the decision to downsize can be a challenge, but it also can be the right choice for many. You might have reasons why you hope to downsize, such as saving money or reducing the amount of house you need to take care of, but not all smaller homes are created equally. If you have been living in a larger home for many years, you might not know where to begin. Here are some tips for finding a smaller home that will make downsizing easier. 

1. Remember to look at the yard as well as the house

Yards bring with them a host of increased maintenance. If reducing home care costs and the time you spend caring for your house is your main priority, you'll want to look at homes for sale that do not have large outdoor spaces. You can also look for low maintenance landscaping. An unadorned lawn, for example, is simpler to maintain over several mulch beds and a variety of shrubs. 

2. Choose basic, simple layouts.

When a house is smaller, every square foot matters. You'll want to avoid homes that have wasted square footage. Look for open concept designs that allow you good flow from room to room. This way, you will still feel like you live in a spacious home that is easy to clean. Homes that have many hallways, out-of-the-way nooks and angled rooms will have less "bang for the buck" in square footage use. 

3. Look for space where it matters.

You'll also want to make sure you do have space where it matters most. You won't be able to have large rooms (or even that many rooms), but the rooms you have should have an efficient use of storage. For example, instead of four bedrooms, you might have two bedrooms with large walk-in closets for storage. Your living room might have built-in cabinets so you don't need as much free-standing furniture to clutter up the room. 

4. Choose multi-functional spaces.

Ideally, your home should have spaces that work for many different types of life situations. For example, if you mostly have informal eating habits, you might forgo a formal dining area in favor of an eat-in kitchen where the table also serves as a prep space for meals. Look for these shared spaces when viewing homes -- they will help with your goal to downsize your belongings. 

For more ideas, contact a real estate agent in your area.