San Diego Homeowners’ Guide to Downsizing Your Home With Kids

San Diego Homeowners' Guide to Downsizing Your Home With Kids

When you purchased your home you were thrilled about the extra square footage and the oversized lawn.  But now that you are working full-time and raising small children, the task of keeping up with a larger than necessary home is just overwhelming. You’re considering downsizing, but that is just one more thing to put on your mile-long to-do list. Luckily, downsizing can be relatively easy and in the end, will create a more balanced and less stressful life for you and your family.  

Is Downsizing Right for You and Your Family?

Before you start looking for smaller homes, consider if downsizing is right for you and your family.  Moving from a large expansive home to a smaller living area is a lifestyle change so be sure it is the right change for you.  There are several reasons to downsize but the most common are: your mortgage is a major financial burden, you have to work constantly to afford your home, your home has unused rooms, and/or your yard is too big and requires too much maintenance.  Just one of these reasons may be enough for you and your family to consider downsizing.  You may also want to consider the financial cost of downsizing if you are close to paying off your mortgage or if you have a large amount of equity in your home that will make you subject to a capital gains tax.  

Prepare Your Children for Home Downsizing

You’ve made the decision to downsize but now you have to tell your children. While moving to a smaller home may seem exciting to you, there is a good chance your children will not share in your excitement.  They may be scared, nervous, or simply upset that they are leaving their home.  Remember that moving is a major life stressor for adults and children.  You’ll want to keep this in mind as you navigate the downsizing process.  Be prepared for your children to overreact and possibly act out during the moving process.  You can minimize childhood worry by involving your children in the downsizing preparations.  One way to do this is to turn downsizing into a positive experience.  Allow your children to help you pick out what furniture you will be parting with.  Have them help you choose a selling price for particular items.  And put the money earned toward a reward after the moving process is complete.  They can also help scout out new fun activities in the area of your future home.  Anything that involves them in the process will make them feel more at ease when the moving day comes.  

Choose Your Next Home

Yes, you are searching for a smaller home, but do you know where you want that home to be?  There are several things to consider when moving to a new neighborhood.  Since you have children, the most important consideration is the school district.  Find the school district’s ranking by doing a bit of research with Niche.com.  You should also consider the neighborhood.  If you are looking at moving to a large subdivision, remember that the neighborhood will be a large part of your children’s life so make sure it fits with your overall family lifestyle.  Finally, you should consider crime statistics.  Neighborhood Scout and AreaVibes are two resources to find crime statistics in the area you are searching.  

Before you make a final decision on your next home make sure it fits within your budget, especially if you are moving to cut costs.  Consider the real estate market in the area you are moving to and make your search for your next home easier by speaking to a real estate agent.  They will be able to pinpoint areas they know are popular among homebuyers with children and clue you into possible new construction homes or up-and-coming areas that may be a good fit for your family.  

While downsizing is not without hassle, in the long run, it is beneficial for families that are looking to focus less on their house and more on their family.  Opting for a smaller home may leave you with less square footage but it will add plenty of joy to the lives of you and your children.  

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