A smaller home is not only easier to maintain (think cleaning, repair, the money that goes into upkeep, etc.), it’s less expensive to maintain, and less time consuming to maintain. But let’s talk numbers. Downsizing leads to a smaller home leads to less debt and less risk. Your current net income, number of dollars you have safely in the bank, and amount of existing debt should all be used to determine how much house you can actually afford, and one life event that can affect all of the aforementioned items is…divorce.
Whether you are a working woman, a stay-at-home dad, a top-earning executive, or a freelance artist, your net worth after a divorce is typically less, and downsizing is quite common. Understandably, downsizing may be one of the last things you want to think about when dealing with a divorce, but believe it or not, this one action may help make you feel a lot better about moving forward. A certain freedom comes with downsizing. Selling the shared home so you can find a smaller place that is more suited to your new (single) life, is a big step. Taking care of a large home requires a large bank account, and this may not be feasible during a divorce.
The agreement met with your soon-to-be-ex spouse will determine how the proceeds of the home sale are distributed, as well as who gets what in terms of belongings. When deciding what you will take with you use your new place as a guide. Measure closet space, cabinet space, and watch out for accumulating multiples of anything. Be realistic about the amount of space you actually have. If the furniture is too big, don’t hang onto it! Replace it with appropriately-sized pieces.
THE PERFECT EXCUSE TO “CLEAN HOUSE”
Use this life event as a chance to remove any excess baggage (literally and figuratively). De-clutter your closets, your basement, your garage, everything. Sell what you can. Consider including marriage mementos that have recently lost their sentimental value. Clutter is paralyzing, especially when the items hold such raw emotions and conflicting memories.
Divorce is hard enough as it is. It’s not all about the shared home and items within – couples going through a divorce lose friends, pets, and time with the children. Which brings us to our next item:
DOWNSIZING WITH CHILDREN
Moving the children to a new, smaller house is one thing, but moving them to a new neighborhood and a new school district is forcing them to adapt to an entirely new lifestyle. This can be bad, or good – every family is different, but before taking that next step, consider what is best for them, and how your decisions impact their lives.
Another thing that may affect the young ones is pulling up roots to move multiple times. Does your planned path seem like a temporary fix, or a somewhat permanent solution?
RENTING VS. OWNING
If you combine the costs associated with owning a home, renting may not only be a good option…it may be a necessary one. There are many positive factors that come along with renting a home. Yard maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and property tax are no longer your problem – they’re the landlord’s responsibility!
Downsizing after a divorce doesn’t need to be a miserable experience. After all, this is a chance at a new start, and a new you. This Huffington Post article says it well, “Downsizing After Divorce Isn’t All Bad”.
Whether a divorce has you downsizing by renting temporarily until you can get back on your feet, choosing the hassle-free renter lifestyle for good, opting for a smaller home for you and your children, or any other scenario – PRO Home Buyers will provide you cash for your home, quickly and easily, so you can move forward with your life! For more information on downsizing, visit our Downsizing Assistance page.