Whether you’ve reached retirement, or are an empty nester, there comes a time when downsizing just seems to make sense. If you’re thinking about downsizing, here are a few things to consider before taking on this next chapter in your life.
The Amount of Space You Need
Are you currently living in a 5-bedroom home with a finished basement and big yard that you never use? Your forever home might have been the perfect size when the kids were at home, but now with them gone, it can feel rather empty and lonely. Plus, the cost to operate and maintain a big home can be expensive. And with the kids out, you now have to do everything yourself. When your property has become a big burden, it’s time to downsize into something that fits your new empty nester lifestyle.
If you’re on the fence between staying in your family home or downsizing to a smaller place, the first thing you should consider is your financial situation. Downsizing often means lower utility bills, property taxes, and insurance payments. If you’re looking to save money for retirement, get rid of your current mortgage, or help your kids buy their first home, then downsizing can be a great way to put more money back in your pocket.
Distance from Family
Moving up north to live lakeside sounds like the perfect way to spend your retirement. But if you move too far, you could end up completely isolating yourself from friends and family. Consider what would happen if you moved five hours away and your children work 9-5 jobs. They likely would only be able to visit during the holidays. If you have young grandkids who you enjoy spending time with, distance can also impact your connection with them. So before you make any big decision, make sure you consider how far you are willing to move away from friends and family and adjust your home search in that radius.
Amenities and Services
If that lakeside dream is still calling your name, don’t forget to consider the distance to amenities and services. If your health is on the decline, being an hour away from a doctor or hospital might be an issue. If you’re a social butterfly, you might prefer to look for a new home in an area that has a vibrant community of like-minded individuals and a location with easy and accessible recreational activities and amenities. Imagine how much more fulfilling your life would be if you had access to everything you need within minutes from your home – grocery stores, restaurants, museums, theatres, swimming pools, club houses, beaches.
Moving from a big home to a smaller one also means you’ll have less space to store all of your belongings. To ensure everything will fit, take measurements of your new place. In most cases, you’ll have a number of items that you just won’t have room for anymore. This will leave you with some decisions to make about what should stay and what should go. But just because you have items that won’t fit doesn’t mean you need to sell or throw those out. Alternatively, you could rent storage space and keep these items safely stored until they are needed. Any items that you don’t need on a day-to-day basis such as antiques, art, collectibles, documents (previous tax years), and any furniture and appliances that your kids would like to have when they buy a house should be kept in storage.
Your Future Needs
Are you planning to downsize to a home that you plan to grow old in? If so, then you might want to consider if it’s equipped for aging in place. A property with numerous staircases or a big yard can become problematic as you grow older. Opting for a bungalow or condo would be a better option.
Your Dream Lifestyle
Something else to consider when thinking about downsizing is the lifestyle you want to have. If you want to get out more and enjoy life but are living paycheque to paycheque, you need to ask yourself whether it’s time to sell your home for something smaller so that you can live more freely on that income. If you want to travel more often, or spend more time out with friends, downsizing is a great way to get the money to do that.
Are you looking for the perfect place to downsize to? Valecraft offers the perfect selection of new homes in Ottawa that will provide you with a better lifestyle without sacrificing on space. Explore all the different options we have today from single homes, bungalows, townhomes and condos! Contact us today to learn more about our Valecraft homes and community.