As a senior, you’re probably familiar with the notion of downsizing, i.e. selling your current home for a smaller residence. You may even have friends or relatives who have taken the plunge. For many people, making the move to a smaller home opens the door to living large. We are not really talking about having piles of money to spend (although for some that may be true!), we are talking about the opportunities that open up when you downsize.
Imagine being able to travel on a moment’s notice where all you have to do is lock the condo door behind you. Or after years of traveling back and forth, you’re finally close enough to be the one who hosts the birthday party. Or your years of commuting are over and you can finally live in that vibrant urban neighbourhood with amenities steps from your door. That’s living large and what downsizing could offer you.
7 Reasons People Downsize Their Home:
1. The kids are grown and the current house is too big
2. To do less house-related work
3. To be closer to children, grandchildren and other family
4. To decrease living expenses and save money
5. More freedom to travel
6. For a different lifestyle – city living for some, country living for others
7. Desire for a simpler life
Your reason for downsizing is as much a part of your smaller home search as your budget.
Make a list
Sit at your kitchen table with a pen and paper:
- Make a list of reasons why you are considering downsizing.
- Make a list of the best things about where you currently live.
- Make a list of the things you would like to change.
- Make a list of ‘needs’ (these are concrete things like the number of bathrooms, stairs vs. no stairs, yard size, accessibility, etc.).
- Make a list of ‘wants’ (these are nice to have, but not deal breakers i.e., fireplace, landscaping, deck or pool, hardwood vs. carpeting, etc.)
The idea is to get you to imagine living somewhere new and to start thinking about the kind of lifestyle you want to live within that smaller space. This will also give you an idea of what you want your new residence to provide for you at this stage, and going forward, in your life.
Amazing smaller home options:
- Condominium where you can come and go as you please; may offer amenities like gym, swimming pool, rooftop decks/gardens
- Townhouse where snow removal and lawn care are done for you
- Small detached or semi-detached home where you can garden and barbecue and have the grandchildren for a sleepover
Make a financial plan
Talk to your banker, financial adviser or other knowledgeable source about your desire to downsize. Discuss the impact this change will have on your finances. Prepare now, so that you understand the financial processes that will occur when you sell, buy and move to your new home. Some things to discuss:
- Will you need a mortgage? How will that impact your income/savings into your retirement years?
- Get help creating a budget to handle the following move-related expenses:
- Closing costs
- Moving expenses (you may need a professional to help you sort through your belongings and/or hire a company to pack and transport)
- Minor renovations to your new home before you move (painting, hardwood refinish, minor repairs, etc.)
- Create a budget based on your new home’s current fixed costs (i.e. utilities, property tax, etc.) so you know what your monthly expenses will look like BEFORE you buy.
Call a Realtor ®
And make an appointment to discuss your plan. If you haven’t purchased property in many years, it might feel like you’re doing it again for the very first time. A lot of rules, fees and regulations have changed. Your Realtor ® will help you with the following:
- Assessing the current value of your home and giving you a realistic approximation of what you can expect to receive upon selling. Your home may be worth significantly more than you think at this time!
- Informing you of closing costs you will incur including, but not limited to: Home inspection fees, Land transfer tax, Legal fees and related expenses, HST, Home insurance
- Showing you a variety of properties that best represent your ‘must haves’ and ‘needs’ and negotiating your new home purchase.
- Selling your current home.
- Walking you through the process step-by- step.
Call The Mitra Moves You Team
Thriving communities offer an incredible range of dwellings from which to choose. If you’re downsizing, it’s possible to remain within – or close to – your current neighbourhood. Start by finding a Realtor who cares for you and knows the area. The Mitra Moves You Team takes pride in serving Thornhill and other communities. And we’re just a phone call away.