Times change. While some still cling tenaciously to their family homes, according to a recent CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) report—Housing for Older Canadians—the current trend for retiring baby boomers and empty-nesters is to sell the house, opting instead for a condo or apartment.
Have you found yourself wondering about whether you’re ready to move to a smaller home, apartment, or condo?
Here are four key things to consider before you take the plunge:
Do you need all the space you currently have?
Be honest. Do you have rooms in your house you don’t go into anymore? Are you and your spouse or partner living in a house built to accommodate five or six? Do you even know what is in some of those less-travelled spots of your house?
Unless you have family and friends who visit often or your offspring still come home regularly (and you want them to!), it’s time to think about whether or not you still need that big house. Do those extra rooms add value to your life?
Likewise, think about your property. Is your garage a storage space for things you hardly ever use? Do you still use your backyard or do you only walk around your property when you are behind the lawnmower?
Do you still need all this space? What about in the next five or ten years?
How do you want to live your life?
Do you love having family and friends visit? Do you have hobbies you love, like playing an instrument or painting, that require extra space? Do you enjoy gardening? Do you feel good after a weekend of deep cleaning, or does it feel like a chore?
Think carefully about how you spend your time and what, if you had more of it, you would like to do with those extra hours. If you find yourself thinking wistfully of pursuing new activities out in your community, or of travelling, then perhaps you’re ready to leave property maintenance behind.
On the other hand, if more free time has you thinking of painting the fence or another home project, such as expanding your backyard garden or putting in paving stones, maybe you aren’t ready to leave your house just yet. Maybe this is the time to start clearing out some clutter and reinvigorating your living space.
Will this be a good financial move?
Whether you go for a full-scale purge and move to a smaller place or just get rid of some of your belongings, downsizing can make a lot of financial sense. Selling household items, especially if you have high-value pieces or collections, can pay surprisingly well. Moving to a smaller place can also mean smaller bills as your energy costs decrease, along with monthly mortgage and property taxes.
Take the time to look carefully at the numbers though as there may be hidden costs in downsizing. If you decide to move and buy new furniture, or move to an area with a higher cost of living, you may be in for a surprise. Do your homework and crunch the numbers, before you commit.
What does your spouse/family want?
If one homeowner is ready to downsize, but their spouse or another family member is not, it can lead to turmoil.
Our lives and memories are often wrapped up in our homes. Many people feel a sense of accomplishment in maintaining their home, and the idea of purging their possessions and going minimal is painful.
Everyone involved has to be committed to the process or it simply won’t work. Talk about downsizing with your significant others and discuss what it could mean. Is it just clearing out some clutter and making your living space brighter, or is it time for a major purge and move?
By broaching the subject with all family members who still live in the house—and consider it home—you’ll find your way to a plan that works for all, and a much more peaceful household, wherever that happens to be!
People who read this post also read:
Top 7 Benefits Of Downsizing
Getting Your House Ready To Sell