After yesterday’s blog post on downgrading, I learned that there are some of us who would like to downgrade our home but just can’t do so. The housing market makes it difficult to sell a home at all, let alone get a decent price for it. But, it is possible to downgrade your house even if you can’t sell. These ideas may not work for everyone, but they are real options that can be used if needed.
One way to downgrade your home is to reduce the amount of the home that you are using. You can rent out your garage or your basement for storage purposes. This would in essence make your home smaller, as you won’t be able to use that space for your own use. But the money coming in could cover a nice portion of the mortgage and utilities in your home, making this a way to downgrade your house.
Another way to downgrade is to take on a boarder. Decide whether you will be renting a room only or including kitchen privileges, parking, etc. Again, you are shrinking your home and reducing the cost to run it. You may wish to start with a boarder who is a relative or well-known to you, and try it on a trial basis.
Another way to temporarily downgrade your home is to close off areas in the winter. This can be done by sealing doors tightly or hanging up thick quilts in doorways. Don’t heat those unused areas, and you may save some money. if your home is zoned for heating, this strategy may work well for you.
Finally, if you really want to move to a new home, try to arrange for a house swap. It may take some effort, but the rewards will be worth it. Basically, you buy someone else’s home and they buy yours. A family that is growing but in a smaller home would be idea. This way you can downgrade and get your home sold. In general, the usually is a difference in price that will be made up at settlement, depending on how equal the two home values are.
Click here for more articles by Mary Ann Romans.
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