Minimizing the mortgage

Downsizing unlocks significant homeowner savings in Houston, says study

Downsizing unlocks significant homeowner savings in Houston

12312 Terraza Austin townhouse for sale
Dropping two bedrooms can save $133,000, per the study. Photo courtesy of Kuper Sotheby's International Realty

Downsizing can do more than clear out the clutter in your home. It also can help declutter the finances of Houston homeowners, a new study indicates.

The study, published by self-storage platform StorageCafé, shows homeowners in the Houston metro area can yield savings of $133,000 by downsizing from a four-bedroom home to a two-bedroom home.

StorageCafé says it calculated the savings based on home values for a four-bedroom and two-bedroom house, property taxes for each house, and closing costs for the sale of the larger home and purchase of the smaller home.

According to StorageCafé, the most profitable move in the region (more than $310,000) would be from a four-bedroom home in The Woodlands to a three-bedroom home in Houston.

“Homeowners leaving Houston for a smaller home in the more exclusive The Woodlands will end up with just $10,000 in savings, while those relocating to Sugar Land are gaining almost $40,000 in savings,” StorageCafé says.

In the study, Houston ranks 17th among the country’s top biggest metro areas for savings from downsizing.

Dallas-Fort Worth ranks 12th, with savings from downsizing estimated at $189,300. StorageCafé says homeowners in Dallas would gain more than the average amount if they downsized to Arlington (about $354,000) or Fort Worth (about $348,000).

“Texas is generally more affordable than every other big state in the nation,” StorageCafé says, “and consequently [average] savings are not on the hefty side.”

The San Francisco metro area tops the list. StorageCafé pegged the region’s savings for downsizing at $406,600.

Despite the financial benefits of downsizing, Austin real estate agent Job Hammond, adjunct professor of real estate and finance at Austin Community College, says more homeowners are now snapping up bigger homes.

“There was a recent movement towards downsizing and living in smaller spaces convenient to shopping, lifestyle, and amenities,” Hammond tells StorageCafé. “After experiencing the global pandemic of COVID-19, individuals are now seeking larger living environments further away from the cities that have home offices, media rooms, and home gyms that accommodate a work-from-home environment.”