You may envision your dream home as a huge place with many rooms, but that may put a major squeeze on your wallet.
If you downsize into a smaller home, which is what money expert Clark Howard did (more on that later), he says it can save you a lot of money in a major city.
How much can you save? A report from StorageCafe.com, an online storage broker, shows the U.S. metro areas that offer the most savings for downsizing your home.
How Much Could You Save if You Downsized Your Home?
Here are some key findings from the report:
- The San Jose, California, metro area has the largest savings between a four-bedroom and two-bedroom home: $777,426.
- The Rochester, New York metro area has the smallest difference between the two at $98,000.
To come up with its analysis, StorageCafe compared values of four- and two-bedroom homes in the top 100 metro areas. Then it incorporated the difference in property taxes over a decade and closing costs for buying and selling each home.
Home values in the report were sourced from Zillow’s Home Value Index, using data from November 2022.
Let’s dive a little deeper and look at the top 20 metropolitan areas for downsizing savings, according to StorageCafe.
Top 20 Metros With the Biggest Downsizing Savings Potential
In America’s top 20 metropolitan areas, you can save an average of about $196,000 by downsizing from four bedrooms to two.
|Metro Area||Downsizing Savings||4-Bedroom Home Value||2-Bedroom Home Value|
|1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$777,426||$1,936,821||$1,020,911|
|2. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA||$563,113||$1,844,024||$1,134,377|
|3. Urban Honolulu, HI||$519,361||$1,229,642||$607,514|
|4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT||$462,911||$829,811||$356,423|
|5. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA||$340,221||$1,115,661||$688,134|
|6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||$330,995||$1,150,541||$728,216|
|7. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL||$322,231||$678,636||$317,158|
|8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA||$297,573||$976,924||$604,633|
|9. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||$295,039||$730,864||$381,933|
|10. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA||$285,189||$974,083||$613,237|
|11. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH||$274,699||$839,081||$510,717|
|12. Stockton, CA||$272,318||$687,183||$367,793|
|13. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN||$261,796||$654,491||$341,588|
|14. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC||$253,797||$606,857||$312,232|
|15. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$247,999||$700,166||$423,223|
|16. Raleigh-Cary, NC||$247,282||$588,961||$300,001|
|17. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||$245,720||$516,661||$254,492|
|18. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV||$244,336||$685,733||$397,454|
|19. Birmingham-Hoover, AL||$242,647||$377,682||$112,061|
|20. Knoxville, TN||$241,495||$486,325||$210,017|
Clark’s View: Should You Downsize Your Home?
Clark is no stranger to downsizing. He’s moved to a place that is less than a fourth of the size of his previous home.
Clark says home sizes have drastically increased over the past few generations. Now that he’s in a much smaller dwelling, he says he’s been able to save money.
“We utilize a much higher percentage of the dwelling, and our overhead with the property is much, much lower,” he says. “And so it worked for us; it might work for you if you’re looking for a place.”
Instead of wondering how much house you can afford, Clark wants you to focus on the size of the mortgage. When considering a 30-year fixed term, he suggests using the following formula: the amount you’re paying for rent plus the monthly and yearly overhead costs you’d add by owning a home.
So that means you’d include expenses like:
Once you get a clear view of how much you’ll pay for your home, you can make a more informed decision on whether to become a homeowner and what home you need to buy.