Upsizing vs. Downsizing – How to Decide Which One is for You

Melissa Hill



When we consider our future lives, the size of our household really does seem like an important factor. Some people feel that their current homes are needlessly big and that they could make good use of downsizing. Others predict that they will only need more and more space as time goes on. Therefore, in this instance, upsizing is a clear choice. Well, both have pros and cons. And it is crucial to understand them before you make your decisions. So, let's take a closer look at the most significant differences between upsizing vs. downsizing and how they will impact your life.

What to consider

If a particular financial situation forces you to downsize, you don't have much of a decision. But, if you feel like changing your living situation, you should be aware of what both downsizing and upsizing bring. As you'll soon see, there is no "better" choice between the two. There are only pros and cons that these two bring. And the better you understand them and how they will impact your life, the better your decision will be. So, here is what you need to take into consideration.


Let us first consider the financial aspect of upsizing vs. downsizing. It should be reasonably obvious that downsizing is cheaper than upsizing. But how big is the difference between the two? Well, we cannot quote exact numbers since the degree of downsizing, and upsizing can vary wildly. And the value of a certain property can be hard to estimate. But, what we can do is list all the notable expenses that factor in:

  • Utilities
  • Property taxes.
  • Rent (or cost of purchase if you are buying a home).
  • Maintenance

All this considered, it is no surprise why upsizing is the more expensive option. Also, consider the cost of transporting all the extra items, even if you can find the help you need at a budget price. All of that will come out of your wallet. Of course, it isn't only the size of the property that determines the price. The old saying in real estate, "location, location, location", should hint at another factor that plays a significant role in how costly a piece of property is. But, as a rule, if you are considering a larger home, expect that you'll need more money. Both upfront and in the long term.

Future lifestyle

Upsizing allows you to spread out and dedicate to your lifestyle however you wish. You can have dedicated rooms for work, exercise, hobbies, pets, and so on. If you plan on having kids, you can see that they have their own or even bedrooms. And you'll have plenty of room to experiment with various interior design options. While this all seems great, you should consider your lifestyle before opting for upsizing.

Namely, if you are a single bachelor that doesn't plan on spending much time at home, it hardly makes sense that you opt for a large one. In some instances, downsizing can bring you far more comfort as you'll make full use of your space. Furthermore, by lowering your living expenses, you can look to enjoy your outdoor life more and invest your money in a lifestyle that will actually suit you.

All this to say that you need to carefully assess your life and what it will be like in the foreseeable future. If you plan on having a family or wish to put a workshop within your home, then yes. Upsizing is a good idea. But, if you will essentially use your home for eating, sleeping, and showering, then downsizing is the smarter option. When done right, you'd be surprised and how comfortable minimalism can be.


The bigger the property is, the harder it is to maintain. We aren't only talking about cleaning and all the other aspects you need to do to keep your home functional. If you have a sizable home, you will need to:

  • Inspect for damages and signs of trouble.
  • Perform basic repairs.
  • Renovate when needed.

If you upsize to a home, this will include not only the inside of your home but also your roof, your yard, and the overall structural integrity. Not to mention your HVAC, heating, plumbing, wiring, etc. All will be up to you to keep in order. Meanwhile, if you choose to downsize, the effort and the money required to maintain your home will be considerably less. You won't have to go through to find professionals. And you won't have to learn about house maintenance. So, keep this in mind, as it is a big plus for downsizing.

Your past experience

The last thing to take into account is your past experience. Depending on what you went through, you likely have experienced some pros and cons of both downsizing and upsizing. If you've moved to a smaller flat to go to college, you are likely familiar with downsizing. And if you've bought a family home, you probably know a thing or two about what upsizing brings. Learn from your experience, and try to imagine what it would be like to take further steps in either downsizing or upsizing.

Final thoughts on upsizing vs. downsizing

What's important to note here is that you don't have to rely solely on your experience. If you ask your friends and family, you will easily find people that have either experienced downsizing or upsizing. Or even both. So, talking to them and seeing their experience when comparing upsizing vs. downsizing is wise. Also, talk with your real estate agent. You'll see that there are tons of aspects that never even crossed your mind. And what can be a plus for someone can be a big minus for others. Your task is to first understand the people talking to you and then understand what they are saying. If you feel your lifestyle resembles someone you know, you should learn from their experience.


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