Couple sitting on floor

As homeowners get older, it becomes increasingly more difficult and expensive for them to maintain a larger home. That’s why many retirees and empty nesters are moving into smaller spaces. Downsizing, however, is not for everyone. Consider some of the pros and cons of reducing the size of your living spaces before you start shopping. 


You might appreciate downsizing if you’ve recently retired or your children no longer live at home. The transition could help cut back on clutter, responsibilities, and expenses. The money and time you save could then help you live a more leisurely and travel-filled retirement. Imagine being free to travel the world and catch up with old friends whenever you want.

Downsizing could also potentially benefit your health. Moving closer to family and friends is a proactive approach to combating the loneliness and boredom often associated with retirement. Moving into a condo building might offer the added benefit of doormen who can help emergency services get into your apartment if necessary. Lastly, a smaller home could limit the dangers of navigating features like steep staircases and uneven walkways. 


A successful retirement is possible without the need to downsize. Staying in your current home might be easier emotionally than leaving behind years, maybe decades, of memories. You might also feel more secure about your children’s future knowing that you’ve left the home to them as an inheritance. 

There’s also a chance that downsizing won’t move you closer to family. There might not be any available properties, or they might exceed your budget. Such a move could end up making you feel more isolated and lonelier than before, reversing the positive health benefits listed above. Living in a smaller space could also make it harder for a caretaker to stay with you, if that were to become necessary.

The Choice is Yours

Consider your five, 10 and 20-year plans in detail before making a decision. Regardless of whether you choose to downsize or stay in your current home, you can make the best out of empty nesting and retirement. There are financial solutions to both staying put and to moving/downsizing. 

Two financing options to look into are HECM and/or HECM for Purchase mortgages. Both loans allow you to defer mortgage payments until you stop living in the home, providing you with disposable income that could make your retirement more manageable.

We at Open Mortgage are here to help with all of your home financing needs. To learn more about talking to an experienced home financing professional, explore our website.  

Things to know about Reverse Mortgages:
  • At the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds
  • Charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees
  • The loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance
  • The borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance, and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home
  • Interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment
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