Although most buyers want the most house for the lowest price, you might find the best deal by looking at a smaller-than-average home with smaller-than average monthly costs. It is easy to see that smaller homes are easier on the budget, have less environmental impact, and take up less time to maintain.
The major first step before buying is to know why you want to move into a smaller home so you will not be saddled with regret. There is a luxury side to low maintenance and a simpler lifestyle, so if you are ready to cut any emotional ties to your big house and reduce your possessions, you are on your way.
Know Your Living Costs
Start by creating a list of expenses and finding out what you can or want to truly afford. Whether you are on a limited budget, retiring or facing a drastically reduced income, you will need to know how much of your income is available for mortgage payments, utilities, lawn care, maintenance, and property taxes. Also be mindful of other monthly expenses like Homeowner Association fees and insurance. Many websites have mortgage calculators that provide mortgage and insurance payments to assist you.
Know How much Space You Will Need
Make a list of all pieces of furniture, appliances, sports equipment, tools, and household wares you cannot live without. It does not make sense to keep them just to store somewhere else unless you want to pay a monthly storage fee. The least desired possessions can be cleared out in advance, making your move that much easier. Determine how much space will be needed to have easy access to the most utilized things you own. A garage can double up as car space and workout room, for example.
Know What Size Home You Need
Depending on your lifestyle, your smaller home needs to work for you. If you prefer to be indoors most of the time, buy a home with more inside space with smaller outside space. If you love the outdoors, a small house with space for a large deck or pergola might be a good choice. If you are planning to have a home office sometime in the future, carefully consider the floor plans and flow of traffic. First-time home-buyers need to know how long they plan to live in the smaller home before the necessity to increase bedrooms arises. If you are retired, you might want a smaller kitchen but a roomier bathroom, or if you are not home much, you may want a larger bedroom.
Know How Much Yard You Want To Maintain
Postage-stamp yards have their advantages because they are easy to keep, whether you pay a neighbor kid to mow it or do it yourself with a small push mower. Watering a smaller space of grass keeps the water bill down as well. Keep in mind there are many ways to make yards more spacious, so do not pass up what appears to be a small lawn.
Know What Energy Efficient Appliances The Home Offers
Because smaller homes have less expense and up-front costs, making them energy-efficient does not require a behemoth budget. Sellers often update their smaller homes by installing new heating and air-conditioning systems and appliances with the latest energy-efficiency ratings to attract buyers. With all-around smaller costs for furnishings and utilities, you may be able to afford higher-end, state-of-the-art appliances.
A 2011 study by the National Association of Home Builders showed smaller homes are moving faster in today's tough economy because of their smaller price tags and lower ongoing monthly costs. Find a realtor that is knowledgeable in smaller homes that are Eco-Friendly to help you find a home suited to your needs. If you find several homes, do cost comparisons for taxes and utilities, to help you narrow down to the best fit for you.