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Published by Contour Mortgage on May 31 2024

Simplicity in Suffolk: Navigating the Downsizing Process for a Cozier Lifestyle

Less is becoming more popular when it comes to living space. Many homeowners are increasingly moving to smaller homes to better suit lifestyle transitions and preferences. And for many, smaller means simpler. As our days get busier and more frenetic, the appeal of a calmer, more revitalizing space is evident.

That’s where Suffolk County comes in. The region’s serene landscapes of rolling farmlands, picturesque suburbs, and pristine shorelines can offer a calming retreat from today’s hectic routines. It also sports a broad range of smaller housing options, making it an ideal setting for those seeking a simpler, more relaxed lifestyle.

Here, we explore how Suffolk County is a sought-after haven for those yearning to downsize their homes, simplify their lives, and find a snugger sanctuary amid a busy and fast-paced world.

Why Downsize?

Downsizing to a smaller home doesn’t have to mean downsizing your life. It can enhance your day-to-day with more time and resources to do more of what you want一whether that’s embarking on a Caribbean cruise, transitioning to part-time work, or writing the next great American novel.

And many are making the switch. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports the median single-family floor area has declined to 2,191 square feet, the lowest reading since the end of 2010.

By eliminating excess space, clutter, and hefty maintenance costs, things get simpler. Here are even more benefits of downsizing:

Greater Financial Freedom & Security

If you’ve paid off your mortgage or even built up substantial equity in your home, downsizing can free up cash to boost your bank account. Use it to pay off debt, travel, or put it toward your nest egg. Plus, a smaller home typically means lower costs, including insurance,  taxes, heating and cooling, landscaping, and other regular maintenance. 

Fewer Responsibilities

Remember all those weekend hours you spent mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and cleaning the gutters? With a smaller abode, you can get a lot of that time back. With a condo or apartment, you could give them up altogether. Imagine having the time to watch the whole game, get that workout in, or read an extra chapter or two.

Reimagining Your Living Space

Reducing the amount of your belongings to fit a smaller home can be difficult, but it can also be liberating. Downsizing enables you to reassess what items are most important and create a new living space and lifestyle reflecting these priorities. It’s a chance to build that personal sanctuary that’s uniquely yours.

Becoming More Spontaneous

With fewer home-related obligations and more resources, you can spend less time planning and more time living. Escape for the weekend or see that movie matinee. While gaining new freedoms may take an adjustment, the benefits of a more manageable and streamlined lifestyle often lead to greater satisfaction overall.

Why Suffolk County? 

Suffolk County, spanning central and eastern parts of Long Island, offers a diverse array of attractions and economic sectors. 

Its landscape is a mix of agricultural fields and sparkling coastlines, peppered with small towns, traditional suburban areas, and a handful of urban centers. The East End is divided into two distinct areas: the more rural North Fork, characterized by vineyards and charming villages, and the upscale South Fork, known for the luxurious Hamptons beaches and celebrity summer homes. 

Suffolk boasts a diverse economic base that caters to a wide range of interests and lifestyles, including healthcare, public services, agriculture, fisheries, a robust transportation infrastructure, and a thriving tourism industry. 

Access to New York City is a cinch given the region's extensive public transportation network, including the Long Island Rail Road (train), Suffolk County Transit (bus), and major east-west thoroughfares such as the Long Island Expressway (I-495) and Sunrise Highway (NY Route 27). Private bus companies such as the Hampton Jitney are also available if you’re heading to the Hamptons or Montauk at the county’s eastern tip.

Suffolk County's North Shore boasts ferries to Connecticut, offering a convenient gateway to exploring New England and its myriad attractions.

Additionally, airports in and near Suffolk County, NY, offer residents unparalleled convenience for domestic and international travel. John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are about an hour from western Suffolk, and Islip’s Long Island MacArthur Airport offers a variety of domestic flights. 

Finding the Right Home in Suffolk County

Suffolk County offers a wide assortment of towns and villages ideal for downsizing. Here are a few areas we love: 

Port Jefferson 

Port Jefferson, located just 65 miles from Manhattan and 35 miles from the Hamptons, is ideal for those looking to downsize without losing the essence of a vibrant lifestyle. This picturesque village boasts a historic downtown filled with unique boutiques, acclaimed restaurants, and lively cafes. Its community-oriented spirit shines through in the area’s regular farmers' markets and art festivals.

For those seeking a simpler life, Port Jefferson offers a variety of housing options, including condos, smaller homes, and townhouses一some with stunning views over Mount Sinai Harbor. This serene yet culturally rich setting makes Port Jefferson perfect for a downsized yet fulfilling living experience. It’s also home to the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, a daily ferry traveling to and from Connecticut. 


Mattituck, nestled on Long Island's North Fork, is an idyllic location for downsizing in a tranquil, scenic setting. Known for its rural charm, this small town is a haven of vineyards, farms, and beaches, offering a peaceful retreat from fast-paced urban life. Its Main Street, with quaint shops and local eateries, also fosters a warm, community-centric atmosphere. Residents enjoy easy access to Peconic Bay and the Long Island Sound, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who love boating, fishing, or simply relishing the local natural beauty. The local housing market primarily includes single-family homes with lots of cozy cottages一perfect for those seeking a simpler yet comfortable lifestyle. 


The village of Ronkonkoma offers a perfect blend of small-town feel and natural beauty, making it an ideal place for those looking to simplify and downsize in a serene environment. Named after the nearby Lake Ronkonkoma, the largest freshwater lake on Long Island, the area boasts a beautiful beach and plentiful green spaces, inviting residents to enjoy peaceful outdoor activities and relaxation. 

Housing in Ronkonkoma primarily consists of single-family homes and condos, catering to a range of preferences for those seeking a more manageable living space. Ronkonkoma remains conveniently connected, with easy access to major highways, various shopping options, and diverse food choices. 

Wading River

Wading River, often likened to a quaint New England town, presents an idyllic setting for those seeking to simplify and downsize. With its village green, colonial homes, and horse farms, Wading River exudes a pastoral allure that seems increasingly rare. The town's tranquil atmosphere is reminiscent of a bygone era, offering a peaceful retreat just 90 minutes from the Big Apple. Its beaches along the Long Island Sound are some of the island’s best.

The housing scene in Wading River includes smaller single-family homes, perfect for those looking to downsize yet maintain a sense of space and privacy. This blend of rural beauty, historical charm, and proximity to urban centers makes Wading River a highly sought-after location.


Patchogue, on Long Island's South Shore, is ideal for those looking to downsize without losing a vibrant community life. The town boasts a range of housing options from single-family homes to condos, some adjacent to a dynamic downtown. This lively area offers shops, restaurants, and entertainment, blending suburban peace with urban excitement. Patchogue's appeal is further enhanced by its historic Victorian houses, some adorned with wrap-around porches and turrets.

Waterfront access is a key draw, especially for boating, with numerous rivers and canals leading into the Great South Bay. A short ferry ride brings residents to the beaches of Fire Island, adding to the area’s recreational benefits. Plus, Patchogue's proximity to New York City ensures an easy commute, making it a perfect balance of small-town charm and convenient city access. This mix of history, natural beauty, and a bustling downtown makes Patchogue an excellent spot for a simpler yet fulfilling lifestyle.

Getting Started

While the prospect of downsizing can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be, especially with the right planning, resources, and mindset to guide you through the transition. 

If you’re considering downsizing in the Suffolk County area or want to learn more about it, our Suffolk-based loan officers can help. They’re specialists in the region and can provide expert guidance on how best to finance your dream of simplifying your life without sacrificing the essence of home. 

Contact Contour Mortgage to learn how we can help with questions, qualifications, and financing requirements.

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