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Downsizing: when less is more

22 October 2014
2 minute read

why is less more

For every South African struggling to pay a bond, support a family and save for a rainy day there might be a solution: downsize your home or, in other words, sell it and move to a smaller home in a cheaper neighbourhood. No longer just an option for empty nesters and retirees, thousands of families around the world are choosing to downsize to save money, reduce their debt and live simpler lives. Here’s how downsizing will save you money – and a closer look at why it might be the move for you. 

Smaller bond repayments: a smaller home means a smaller bond, which not only reduces your monthly mortgage repayment but also the total amount of interest you will pay on that bond over the coming years. You might also be able to pay off a smaller bond a lot faster, which quickly adds up to even more savings on interest.

Reducing the cost of ownership: every home owner knows all too well the costs associated with owning and running a home. There are rates and taxes, electricity bills and for those living in a sectional title, levies. On top of these costs there are maintenance costs including salaries for maids and gardeners. All of these expenses should come down if you move to a smaller home in a cheaper suburb.

Travel: ideally a move should put you closer to work, which of course means that you will save on petrol and maintenance. In the spirit of downsizing and living a simpler and cheaper life, you should not be moving further away from work!

While downsizing might be an answer for the cash-strapped, it is also an answer for families and individuals who want to work less to support less and prioritise their health, relationships and happiness. Big house? Who needs the crippling monthly repayments? Big expensive car? A smaller, more efficient car does the same job – and it is greener too. And when it comes to belongings, to the shelves of books, the piles of clothes and the cupboards of clutter, more than one family has sung the praises of getting rid of their ‘stuff’. Find out how this couple moved from a 2 bedroom apartment into a tiny wooden house and found happiness.

Six years ago, Tammy Strobel was unhappy- "I was commuting 2 hours a day, going to a job I hated, overweight, unhappy, kind of middle class plight". Then she began to dream… about less.

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