So you might have read my post on “The American Dream.” It’s no secret that I think we Americans tend to live in excess. In fact, back in the 1950’s the average size of an American home was 1,000 square feet. A few years ago that average ballooned to almost 2,700 square feet. This got my wife and I thinking. Could we? Should we? Is it possible to buck the trend and live in a smaller house and put our money where our mouth is so to speak? So here are a few reasons why we are seriously considering downsizing and leaving our 1250 sq foot home for a 736 sq foot condo (and did I mention we recently had a baby?)
We want less of our monetary resources dedicated to housing. If you were to take a poll of how much Americans spend on housing we would already be towards the bottom of the list. Most Americans spend right at 35% of their wages on housing. We’ve actually taken extreme precautions to make sure that our mortgage is less than 15% of our wages. We don’t have any trouble paying it. We just want to be freed up totally from the idea of a monthly mortgage altogether. And soon. Remember when I talked about those IQ points dropping from financial stress? I’ve already got enough messed up brain cells without that happening.
We want to expand our rental property portfolio. We already have one rental property. It’s been such a good experience though that we want to add to that. I’m actually starting to think that being a full-time landlord could be a possibility for me down the road if we make some good financial decisions. Downsizing could really be a catalyst towards that possibility. We’ll double our rental portfolio immediately, and our new extremely low mortgage would make it even easier to triple that in the near term.
We love taking advantage of the deals around us. Right now homes aren’t a great deal – at least in our neck of the woods. The foreclosures and short sales just don’t exist at this moment in time. I’m all about going where the deal leads. And right now that deal is leading towards a condo. Condos aren’t selling in Atlanta right now. I’ve seen them go for $40-$50k. So, downsizing into a condo would help us take advantage of an incredible oddity in the marketplace – the ridiculously low price of condos.
It’ll force us to get rid of things we don’t need. Keep in mind, I’m not one of those extreme minimalists. But getting rid of a few things now and then and learning how to live with less stuff is a great exercise for us as humans. Fewer monthly obligations and less things to worry about can be incredibly freeing to the mind. It can really open us up for other possibilities that we were too preoccupied to see before. I hope that’ll be the case for us if we go through with this zany idea.
Stay tuned for future postings on our possible downsizing adventure! But what do you guys think? Would you be willing to do some downsizing in order to free your family and finances up for some bigger moves in the future? Would getting rid of some “stuff” help you clear your head for other pursuits?