30Aug
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The 90s are making a comeback when it comes to fashion, but in terms of real estate the era of the McMansion isn’t seeing a revival. Instead, more people are downsizing and embracing the micro loft, tiny house and even campers and RVs in lieu of larger options. It’s not just a way to save money on the down payment or rent: It’s also a green move as more and more homeowners and renters are taking responsibility for their carbon footprint. Is downsizing the right move for you?

The reality is the many Americans could do with less living space than they have. However, when home buyers start working with a real estate agent and see all those sprawling properties for sale, their eyes get bigger than their senses (kind of like seeing a pancake challenge and thinking you can do it). Even if your budget allows for it, is going big when going home the best approach? It’s time to take a closer look at micro living.

The Upside to Smaller Spaces

Americans are prone to waste and excessive spending, plus it’s only natural to want to “fill” a home. Doesn’t everyone need their own office (even if you don’t have your own business), a spare bedroom for elusive guests that rarely arrive, and an exercise or meditation room? You can certainly dream up a number of ways to fill space, waste money furnishing it and spend more on utilities heating and cooling it, but to what end?

Micro living forces you to reassess what’s important and what’s necessary. You start getting creative and realizing that paying day after day to store useless things isn’t going to help you build a nest egg. There are a number of frugal millionaires and billionaires who choose modest (for them) accommodations and don’t splurge on luxuries. Many of them are wealthy because they live realistically and spend wisely.

Signs you need to downsize

Your housing costs shouldn’t be more than 25 percent of your take-home pay (and that’s actually a rule for many landlords). However, it should be followed by anyone whether you buy or rent. This needs to include your utilities, lawn care and any other regular costs for maintenance. If you know you have appliances that need to be professionally inspected and maintained at least once per year (and you do), divvy that up into your budget.

Smaller living spaces provide more intimacy and more cash in your pocket. Who wouldn’t want that?

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