Empty Nesters By Seth Murphy

Dated: 02/10/2018

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For Empty Nesters, Less is More

Every ending is also a fresh, new beginning. While your nest may now be empty of children, it can be full of relaxation, flexibility and fun! One of the best ways to embrace this simpler season of life is to downsize your home; reclaim your home as an adult space, slice your expenses and responsibilities and free yourself to enjoy more time for leisure, relationships or even traveling.

Benefits of downsizing

Decreasing the size of your living space will help you save on more than just the mortgage--other homeownership expenses such as insurance, property taxes, HOA fees and utilities will also shrink after downsizing your home. Consider, too, the less conspicuous costs of furniture and decor items purchased to fill space in larger homes. With fewer expenses and, in turn, an increasing cash flow, you focus more directly on other financial goals, such as reducing debt or saving for retirement.

Not only will your wallet thank you for the added savings, but so will the planet. Moving into a smaller home will reduce your carbon footprint, saving the energy required to heat or cool larger spaces.

Plus, imagine all the delightful ways you can exercise your new freedom from excessive daily chores. Extra time spent on cleaning vacant rooms and performing maintenance on large home systems will be a thing of the past after downsizing your home. With your newfound flexibility, as well as your thicker wad of expendable cash, you can devote more time to family, favorite leisure activities, bucket list items and rest. Sounds like a win-win!

Preparing to downsize

When preparing to move into a smaller home, consider the functionality and purpose of everything filling your current colossal space. Evaluate the contents of your home and decide what you need and what you can live without -- it’s time to declutter. Don’t think of the process as one that requires parting with memories, but as a welcome herald to the simplicity of a new chapter of life. Begin sorting through things early in order to avoid stress as your move approaches. Work by separating possessions into categories: keep, give to relatives, sell, donate or release.

Additionally, before your engine revs into smaller-house mode, care for the state of your current home. You need it to sell before you can leap into your smaller dream home.

First, go for a quick drive around your neighborhood and really pay attention (perhaps for the first time, rather than robotically ending up in your driveway) to the way the other houses look. Examine your feelings when you arrive on your own curb: Does your home stand out among the others as fresh and inviting? If the answer is no, your top priority will be to revitalize your home’s curb appeal. If potential buyers don’t like what they see when they first drive by, they won’t come inside. Consider upgrading your landscape, or possibly adding a front porch to make your home appear more warm and welcoming.

A few other simple and cost-effective strategies for boosting your current home’s resale potential include:

Painting: Freshly painted rooms appear clean and updated, adding value. Choose calming, versatile colors such as pale blues, greens and greys.

Adding virtual space: Visually increase your home’s square footage by removing heavy window treatments and thereby allowing the entrance of more natural light. Sunny equals spacious when showing a home. Adding a large mirror to a smaller room as well as removing chunky furniture or clutter also helps to visually increase space.

Replacing the outdated: Ridding your home of worn carpets or rugs, dated wallpaper or aged appliances and replacing each with current styles helps buyers perceive your home as well-maintained.

Leap into empty nester life with fewer worries and more flexibility. Downsize your house to embrace a simpler, freer version of your life!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Written by: Seth Murphy

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