Downsizing to Two Homes Instead of One
It may seem counter intuitive, after all you’ve committed to downsizing, and now you’re considering owning not one home, but two. However, owning two cottage homes can be the perfect solution for some homebuyers on their journey to downsize. Consider this: two, one-bedroom cottage homes combined likely total 800 – 1,100 sq. ft., still a downsize for many homeowners. Plus, if both homes are right-sized and provide the luxury of a low-maintenance, easy lifestyle, it makes owning two separate properties seem more realistic.
Cottage homeowner Erin recently shared her story with us of downsizing from one large home into two cottages. We retell her tale here to provide some inspiration for those of you considering this as a possibility for your living choice.
In 1999 Erin’s family home flooded under the rising tide and torrential downpours brought in by Hurricane Floyd. She resolved to rebuild thinking a disaster of that magnitude could never happen again – at least not in her lifetime.
Unfortunately, in 2018 she found her home again buried in nearly 6 feet of muddy water. For days her friends and extended family helped her dispose of things, salvaging what they could. Negotiations with the insurance company went on for nearly 8 months.
That time of back-and-forth allowed Erin to think and dream about what was possible. She recalls sitting down and making a list of “what makes me happy.” As much time and energy as she had put into rebuilding and maintaining her family home, she realized that the large house was not on her “happy list”. In fact, the home had required significant monthly overhead, maintenance, and upkeep. She was barely finding time or money to vacation and her hobbies had become remnants of the past. With few possessions to her name and occupational freedom, she knew this was her chance to do exactly what her heart desired. This brave woman resolved to find two small homes, in different locations, that she could comfortably settle her life into. She now owns around 900 sq. ft. and happily says perfect for her.
The Case for Two Cottage Homes
It doesn’t require a natural disaster (or two!) to think through what’s important for your home and your life. Straight from Erin’s “happy list” here are some other benefits to owning two homes instead of one:
1: Your favorite outdoor setting year round
Owning two homes means transitioning from one to the other as the seasons suit you. Spend some time evaluating what you like to do outdoors and what kind of landscape and weather makes you feel your best. Do you like mountains, plains, lakes, or beaches? Do you prefer cool weather year-round, hot weather year-round, or seasons that change with the passing of time? Two homes means the freedom to set yourself up for outdoor living exactly as you imagine it.
2: Low maintenance
Anyone who has owned a large house knows the amount of time, energy, and effort it requires to maintain it. Two right-sized homes will usually require less upkeep freeing up money and time for other things.
3: Less clutter
If you are always planning to move back to your other house, you’ll think twice about purchasing a bunch of stuff that needs to be hauled back and forth. It’s a great way to evaluate what really makes you happy vs. what you may be purchasing just because.
4: Cost savings
It’s hard to believe but two right-sized homes can be less expensive to purchase and less expensive to carry than one larger home. Initial purchase prices for Simple Life cottages start in the mid $100s. Simple Life also provides a combination of Lot Lease, Lifestyle, and Utilities & Maintenance fees so you can budget how much your monthly overhead will be for everything from access to the outdoor pool to trash collection at your house.
5: Rental Income
If you have the desire to create some additional income, renting one home while you are living in the other offers this opportunity.
We invite you to visit Simple Life to meet some of our residents and to hear their personal stories. Call (904) 404-5114 or chat with us live online to schedule a visit. You are also encouraged to LIKE us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or follow us on Houzz for more reasons to consider a right-sized lifestyle.