After decades of prosperity and dedicated consumerism, the great recession happened, leaving many questioning the traditional American Dream. This growing trend has countless people choosing downsizing in recent years, preferring to simplify their lives and live more mindfully.
While some initially chose smaller options for financial reasons, an equally large number of folk have grown tired of cleaning and maintaining homes much bigger than they actually need. An empty room collects dust same as the rooms you use, a bigger footprint leaves more area to maintain, etc. etc.
Downsizing choices have their own appeal. And it’s no secret; houses are getting smaller.
An Aging Population
Obviously, going smaller speaks volumes to certain population segments. An aging public embraces downsizing for the quality of life and independence it can offer. The growing flood of aging citizens – 65 years or older, estimated to be over 70 million by 2030 – will be looking at downsizing to solve some of their biggest problems.
Smaller homes offer ease of access, such as no stairs to climb and simple to maintain. Smaller homes are cost effective with lower utility rates. And smaller homes tend to cost less initially, lessening the financial burden on retirees.
Whether the reasons are financial or physical, everyone can take a tip from the senior’s; little luxuries translate well to the smallest of homes. And bigger isn’t necessarily better, when you need a compact home that’s easy to get around and care for.
Millennials bring a new set of priorities to the (real-estate) table. Buying a large home, living paycheck to paycheck to cover immense mortgages just to have a big house doesn’t hold the same appeal it once did.
Without the big mortgage payment, life becomes happier and less stressed.
Many first time homebuyers see smaller homes as real options in getting on the property ladder. The reduced costs and smaller spaces make home buying a more affordable solution – one of the key pro’s to downsizing.
Just like their more opulent cousins, small houses can be packed with high-end style and luxury. It’s possible to create a dream home with cathedral ceilings, marble finishes and cherry wood floors, all on a smaller budget.
Go Green – Start Here
Other, more global considerations – climate change, for example – are spearheading the challenge to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Our society is becoming more aware of the impact modern life is having on the natural world around us. Once again, the millennial generation is leading the way with a better knowledge of their environmental footprint. This new-found awareness presents the challenge to live a greener lifestyle and what better way to meet that challenge than through the trend of small, eco-friendly homes.
Downsizing doesn’t only mean small or tiny houses. The trend also embraces micro-housing; efficiency apartments for example, no smaller than 220 square feet, each with a bath and kitchen.
The 2008 financial crunch made many of us re-examine our lifestyles. Suddenly, a new and different dream was replacing the more traditional vision. Less work, more freedom, a new road to happiness and wellbeing. Smaller homes and places to live have shown us that a lot of big rooms won’t make us happy. Downsizing offers many solutions for budget constraints, ease of upkeep and helps create a smaller ecological footprint.