Are you becoming aware that you have "too much house?" or "Have your circumstances changed recently?" Maybe you're just tired of having too much home to maintain. Or you'd like to cut your mortgage payments in order to pursue other hobbies and interests. If any of these thoughts are on your mind, it might be time to consider downsizing.

More and more, Americans are moving into smaller homes that better fit their lifestyles, and residents of the Andover's are no exception. It's not just retirees and empty-nesters who are listing their larger homes and settling into smaller houses – there is a growing population that are looking to create a smaller global footprint and who want their homes to reflect a more flexible way of life. In fact, many real estate professionals are starting to use the term "rightsizing" to reflect this trend toward smaller homes.

Here are just a few advantages to listing your home in order to downsize:

•    Savings. Saving money may seem like an obvious benefit of moving into a smaller home, but have you considered what you might do with that extra cash you're not spending on your monthly mortgage payment, utility costs for a large home, and services like landscaping and professional cleaning? Many homeowners see this cost savings as a chance to increase their nest eggs, while others enjoy the luxury of more disposable income to spend on hobbies, interests, and travel. 

•    Free Time. Home maintenance takes a lot of time – particularly a lot of weekend and evening time for working homeowners who would most likely rather be relaxing or having fun. Reducing home upkeep can free up some of those precious hours for more pleasant pursuits (and save you money on maintenance projects as well).

•    Liberation from Excess Baggage. Getting rid of accumulated stuff can create a tremendous sense of freedom. If you think about your belongings and consider which items you actually use, you'll probably realize that years of living in one place has allowed for a buildup of clutter. Moving into a smaller home necessitates some decision making about what is really important to you. And the rest? Sort it into the following categories: Toss, Store, Donate, Recycle, and Sell. You might even make some money at a yard sale or by selling unwanted possessions on the Internet (just exercise caution if selling via Craigslist or similar sites).

•    Lifestyle. What kind of a home is your ideal home? Decorating a smaller space can be easier and more cost effective, allowing you to really express your style. And perhaps there are other conveniences that appeal to you – a more urban setting, walkability to parks, shopping, or entertainment venues – that are located in and around neighborhoods that are comprised of smaller homes.

If the idea of downsizing has crossed your mind, it might be worthwhile to look into your options. The market is hot and homes are selling quickly. It could be that a change in your living space will open up your world.

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