Thoughts Before Downsizing Your Home
Your kids have moved out and your house is feeling much too big. You wander rooms and wonder if you should downsize. Less cleaning will mean more time for you to do the things you love and what is the point of paying to heat or cool rooms that are not regularly used? Being an empty-nester does not have to be a bad thing. Instead you can look at it as a new phase in life’s adventure.
Though it is a positive move forward you do not want to jump in haphazardly. There are some things you will want to ponder, some considerations to take into account and some decisions that will have to be made.
Ontario real estate agent Sol Kahane who sells homes in Springfarm Yorkhill has helped many clients in this position make the transition in a well-planned stress-free manner. Here are some things he suggests you keep in mind.
- Financial Capabilities
As in all real estate transactions you will need to go over your finances and create a monthly budget. Whether your working days are over or you have a few years until retirement you want to think about the same deciding factors. Talk to your realtor about a potential listing price for your current home and see if this changes anything. If you are downsizing freedom is likely on the top of your list. Remember this always.
- Family and Community
If you are leaving a home you have lived in for a number of years you have probably created a network of friends and family close-by. Now will be the time to decide if you want to stay in the same area or maybe move to that town or city you have always wanted to call home sweet home. Whether you are looking for a new start or just a smaller more convenient space spend a few days on this one.
- Type of Dwelling
Some people love condo living while others cannot handle being micro-managed in their own home. Still you might choose to buy a condo or townhouse if you are not interested in having a garden or taking care of a lawn. If a yard is one of your top criteria when picking a new home you will be happier owning a house albeit a smaller one. Depending on where you live there are a few housing styles to select from.
- Size of Home
Maybe you are downsizing but your daughter or son who live in a different city like to bring your grandkids and stay a few days here and there. This may change your mind on a potential house if an extra bedroom is a must. Also do you need space for an office or a studio? This is important as you do not want to find you have bought a house that is not the right size.
- House Longevity
If you are buying you are likely planning on living in the new place for the foreseeable future. Make sure the house will suit your needs as you age. If you think the yard work may be overwhelming it might not be the right home going forward. Excessive stairs might get a bit much as you get older.
- Potential Earnings
If you happen to be a snowbird or you like to spend a large portion of the year traveling you may be able to use your new home to offset your expenses and help pay for your travel adventures. You might be able to put your home on Airbnb or VRBO. Location can make your home very attractive to people visiting your area. It is something to think about.
- Your Belongings
When moving into a smaller space you will not be able to take everything with you. This is probably one of the hardest elements of your transition as we often become attached to our belongings. Go through the current rooms and put a sticky note on the things you must keep. You may have to do this a few times. Ask friends and family if there is anything they want and with the rest sell it at a garage sale or take it to goodwill.
Moving is a big undertaking for anyone. It is one of life’s major stressors and doing it because you are entering a new life phase can be overwhelming and emotional. However downsizing your home can be the first step toward freedom both financially and physically. Embracing it and planning it in a methodical manner can make it a very positive and exciting move forward.