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03.31.2022 | Homeowners

Signs it Might be Time to Downsize – How to Know You’re Ready & What to Keep in Mind

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Every homeowner, at some point, will ask the question, “Am I ready to downsize?” If you’re facing wasted space or spending an abundant amount of your free time on maintenance, maybe it’s time for a change.  

Moving to a smaller home can be an incredibly freeing and exciting time! Maybe you travel a lot and are barely home, or perhaps you’re ready to put your savings into something other than a large mortgage, maintenance, and utility bills. A smaller home means less expense, less work, and a fresh start to design a perfect space for how you live now.

Let’s face it – downsizing can be a challenging time for many of us. It often comes with significant life transitions, like kids growing up and heading out independently. But with all major life changes, there’s a balance of good and bad, and you can choose to focus your energy on the wonderful things that come with downsizing!

Because it can be a challenging time, many people get stuck in a place of indecision. If you’re flip-flopping and feeling stuck, these signs might mean it’s time to take the plunge.

Signs it Might be Time to Downsize

You’re spending too much time on maintenance

Big homes require BIG work. If you’re spending more time or money maintaining your home than you would like, maybe it’s time to look for something smaller that requires less maintenance.

Your current home doesn’t fit your lifestyle

What’s important to you right now, and how do you want to spend your time? Have your lifestyle, interest, and priorities shifted? Maybe you’d like to be in a quieter location, closer to family and friends, or within walking distance to more amenities?

You just don’t use the space

If you have extra rooms or unnecessary square footage you’re not using, why not move to a smaller home? You can start fresh in a new space and customize it to fit exactly what you need.

It makes sense financially

Not only will you make money on the sale, but generally speaking, a smaller home equals lower monthly expenses. Instead of continuing to put all those funds into your home, you can put it towards savings, family or travel.

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What to Consider in Your New Space

1. Available amenities

What are your hobbies and interests right now? Make a list of places you would like close by and rank how important they are to you. Maybe you want to be within walking distance of your favourite café, a quick jaunt from the grocery store, or be able to take an evening stroll down by the lake.

2. The type of home

Do you want a detached home, a condo, or a townhouse? If you like a little distance from your neighbours, a smaller detached house will work best, while if you’re looking to free yourself of home maintenance altogether, maybe a condominium might be a good fit.

3. Location

Is this an opportunity to move into a neighbourhood or area you’ve always loved? Do you want to be closer to family or friends? If you’ve been in the suburbs, do you want to move to a condo in the city? Or would you prefer a quieter area?

4. Community

What type of neighbourhood do you want to be in? Think about whether you like an active community or a quieter space.

5. Square footage

While downsizing is a nice change, you don’t want to go from spacious to cramped. Keep in mind how many people will live in the space, how often you’ll entertain, and whether you may end up with older children moving back in.

6. Home office needs

As working from home becomes increasingly common, people are now factoring in-home office needs more than ever. If you are working from home, make sure you have a quiet corner to set up a workspace.

7. Your current lifestyle

When seeking out your new home, keep your hobbies, interests, and lifestyle in mind. Maybe a condo with a pool, sauna, and gym is just the right fit for you, or perhaps you still want a yard big enough for a beautiful garden. This is the perfect time to choose a place that perfectly suits your current lifestyle.

8. Your financial goals

Does downsizing help get you closer to your financial goals? For many homeowners, one of the most significant incentives for moving to a smaller home is the money it will save.

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How to Prepare for a Smaller Home

To make the transition as easy as possible, you’ll want to mentally prepare for a smaller living space. Often downsizing comes with leaving your family home, which can be challenging for many. But shifting your perspective can do wonders. Celebrate the past while looking forward to an exciting future! Focus your thoughts and energy on all the good things that come with a smaller home (fewer expenses, less maintenance, and less cleaning mean more time for things like fun and travel.

Start Purging. There is nothing more cathartic than a good purge of items you no longer want or need! Look closely at things you haven’t used recently and decide if they bring value to your life. Toss, donate or sell anything that doesn’t need to come with you on your new adventure.

Think about how you’ll design and decorate your new space. Starting fresh comes with a chance to update your décor. If you’re sick of staring at the same furniture, maybe it’s time for a change.

Look at downsizing as an opportunity to find a home that fits exactly what you need right now. You can move into a new community, meet new people, and spend more time enjoying your life!