Over a year ago, while pregnant with our second child, we decided that instead of getting a bigger house to accommodate our growing family that instead it would be a good time to downsize our home. So, nearly a year and a half down the track, how has that decision gone for us?
The answer is: pretty great actually, not perfect but I'm not sure any home is ever 'perfect'
The plus sides
- We decreased our monthly living costs significantly which has allowed my husband to pursue his dream and start his own business. We simply wouldn't have been able for him to afford to do this in our last 'big house, big mortgage' home.
- Our power bills have decreased and heating / cooling the house is easier.
- The house itself works well for us and has everything (and more) that we need. The kids each have a bedroom, we have two bathrooms and a downstairs toilet plus a small deck and backyard for them to let off steam. Compared to the 'Tiny Home' movement, we live in a virtual mansion. For us it was more about 'right-sizing' than 'down-sizing'.
- The community that we live in (a gated community) is fantastic for my daughter who has a number of friends on our street and tends to 'free-range' down our cul-de-sac with her friends, in and out of each others houses, after school and at the weekends. It reminds me of the childhood that many of us used to have. We also have awesome shared facilities like a pool, gym and playground.
The down sides
- Storage is still an issue - although I think the issue is less about having enough storage and more about having too much stuff. While we did get rid of A LOT of stuff when we moved, we definitely need to get rid of more. I'm currently reading 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying - The Japanese art of decluttering and organising' with a view to decluttering, freeing up space and simplifying our lives even further.
- Noise can be a bit of a problem, it tends to carry up the stairs which means we have to be a bit careful when the kids are asleep.
The best thing about this move is that is has freed us from the 'bigger is better' mentality and the constant need to continually upgrade our home (We had bought 3 houses in 5 years, each one bigger and more expensive than the next). Instead it forced us to look objectively about what we really needed for happiness, and not surprisingly, we found that the answer was not a 5th bedroom, 2nd lounge or double garage.
The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of NZHL (New Zealand Home Loans).