Downsizing a home can be a big decision with pros and cons, says Tory Yates, a Realtor with 21st Century Redwood Realty in Frederick, Maryland. While there are certainly valid reasons to consider downsizing, there are also reasons to think twice before you make that decision."
If you're weighing whether to downsize or stay put, take a look at these seven reasons to avoid downsizing.
1. It doesn't make sense to switch mortgages now
With mortgage rates currently around 7% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, homeowners with lower rates may want to stay put.
Let's say you're thinking about moving to a smaller home to save money, and your current home has an interest rate of 2.95% for the next 15 years," says Mathew Pezon, a real estate investor and CEO of Pezon Properties in Easton, Pennsylvania. When you add up the cost of today's market 7 per cent interest rate, you may end up with a house that is 20 to 30 per cent smaller, but with the same house payment for the next 15 years".
In that case, you won't get the significant savings you would normally get from downsizing.
Your payments stay the same, but the house gets smaller, Payson says.
2. you can't afford the cost of selling your home
Don't have a mortgage? Downsizing may reduce your living expenses in the long run; but in the short run, it may cost you more than it's worth.
Mike Qiu, owner of Good as Sold Home Buyers in Kirkland, Washington, says, "The costs of selling your home - such as real estate agent commissions and closing costs - can outweigh the immediate financial benefits." In addition, market conditions can affect the likelihood of selling at the desired price.
Add to that the impact of capital gains taxes, and it may make more sense to stay in your current, larger home.
3. you prefer to age in place
If you already have a home that can be adapted to help you age in place, downsizing may not be the right choice for you.
Andrew Lokenauth, personal finance expert and founder of Fluent in Finance, says: "If you have mobility or other health issues, you may not be able to live comfortably in a smaller home. You may need a home with features designed specifically for aging in place, such as wider doorways and ramps."
In a larger home, you're more likely to be able to make necessary renovations, including the addition of accessible bathrooms and showers, as well as hard surface flooring.