In the real estate field, downsizing refers to the act of moving into a smaller home due to one or more changes in lifestyle, location or family. Sometimes, people simply want a more convenient abode that does not require as much upkeep and maintenance, particularly as they grow older. Whatever the reason, downsizing is a fairly common practice with no particular mystery attached.
However, those who are thinking about downsizing within the Greater Toronto Area should do their research before making a move, particularly given the average house prices in the current Toronto market. Today, we’re going to talk specifically about downsizing as it relates to the real estate sector, and the steps you should take when planning your transition.
WHY DO PEOPLE DOWNSIZE?
First, it’s important to understand the specific reasons why individuals or couples make the decision to downsize. Every situation is different, and there are a myriad of factors that play into the overall decision. The most common are as follows:
1) Empty Nesters
Like it or not, the kids are going to move out at some point, and once that happens, that big house may feel a lot more empty. In this case, downsizing means moving into a smaller home that is more appropriate to their specific needs and lifestyles. Plus, it can mean selling the house and turning a profit by investing in a smaller, less expensive space.
When retirement age approaches, many people opt for a smaller house, apartment or condo for the sake of convenience. There’s less work to be done, less maintenance required, and a more manageable space overall.
3) Financial Padding
Selling a large house in an era when average house prices are increasing per year can be a huge advantage for those who want to wipe out existing debts, while simultaneously investing in a more cost-effective space.
4) A Simpler Life
Some people love their large houses, while others become less and less enthusiastic about maintaining them as the years go by. Some prefer the simpler and more convenient life of a condo owner where yard work and snow shoveling become a distant fading memory.
HOW DO I DOWNSIZE?
Downsizing isn’t just the process of selling a larger home in exchange for a smaller one. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic tips so that you’re getting the best value for your dollar, while finding a property that suits your newfound life choices and needs. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:
1) Do Your Homework
Before diving down the rabbit hole of property listings, your first act should be to research real estate trends in both your current area, and the one you wish to move to. Ask yourself the pertinent questions, such as whether smaller homes are higher in demand, what the average price range is for downsized homes, and whether you should sell and move now, or wait a bit longer.
2) Choose The Right Home
It’s not enough to move into just any new home. Rather, you’ll want to examine the benefits and compromises attached to each property type. For instance, condos and townhomes offer low maintenance options with shared amenities, while small homes take up less space, and require far less work to maintain. If you’re close to retirement age, you may choose to buy a home in an active retirement community that offers social benefits and leisure activities. In other words, the home you choose should reflect the future you wish to live in.
3) Work With A Real Estate Firm
Collaborating with an experienced real estate firm or agent can simplify the downsizing process in ways you may not fully realize. These are the experts who can help you find the right property you seek, while negotiating deals, and guiding you through the transaction from start to finish. Plus, real estate firms have access to a much wider range of information and contacts than yourself, which means they can expedite the process of selling your condo or home, while showing you a wide range of new properties you may otherwise have missed.
4) Downsize With Peace Of Mind
When you’ve successfully completed your downsizing, you may feel overwhelmed by the process, especially if you’ve lived in your previous home for many years. There will be memories, some happy and some bittersweet, but the important thing is to realize that you are embarking on a new chapter in your life. Downsizing can be a liberating experience, so make sure to take the time required to adjust, and embrace the positive aspects of simplifying your life.
Are you thinking about downsizing? If so, we highly recommend contacting a Toronto area real estate broker – Fine Homes Real Estate, so we can help you through the process. We’ll identify the reasons you have for downsizing so that we can help you make the right decisions on everything from marketing your house sale, to choosing a new home to hang your hat. Our promise is to make it as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Contact us today!