If your 3,000 square foot home with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a big yard and finished basement is too much property for you, it’s likely time to downsize. It may have been a great space for your family, but if your children have moved out and you’re ready to retire, downsizing can transform your life in amazing ways. Here’s what you need to know about downsizing when you retire!
4 Reasons for Downsizing
When you hit the age of retirement, it’s important to plan for a lifestyle transition, which usually includes changing up your home. Your children have moved out and you likely don’t need as much space as you once did. Homeowners downsize for a number of different reasons. Here are some main reasons below:
1. Oversized Property
Your family property may very likely be too big if you and your partner are now empty nesters. It’s important to consider whether you can maintain and afford a large home anymore. A large property requires lots of cleaning, gardening and upkeep around the home, and if you have children that have left, this may mean taking care of spaces that aren’t even used anymore.
2. Reduced Costs
A smaller home also means reduced day-to-day living costs, such as energy and utility bills. And many homeowners that downsize are able to live mortgage-free. This frees up money to put into savings or to be enjoyed now!
3. Less Environmental Impact
Larger properties have a higher carbon footprint and use more energy. With a growing number of people worried about their impact on the environment, downsizing offers a way for homeowners to do their part.
4. Simplified Lifestyle
Less house means less to maintain. Downsizing forces you to get rid of clutter and personal belongings you’ve been holding on to. You can spend less time cleaning and maintaining the property, and more time taking up hobbies, traveling, spending time with family and doing more of the things you love!
3 Downsizing Options
When you choose to downsize, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and the lifestyle you want to live. Here are 3 options for downsizing.
1. Lifestyle Community
Lifestyle communities are a great option for many people. They’ve become a huge trend in housing for various reasons and are ideal for empty-nesters who are looking to downsize. Homes in lifestyle communities can be single-family abodes, condo style, mobile or manufactured homes, cluster housing or subdivisions and can be leased or purchased. The communities offer features and activities ranging from swimming pools, to golf courses to onsite shopping, and allow people to live independently in a tight-knit community.
2. Condo Living
Another option is to downsize to a condo. With a condo, you have less to clean and maintain, and chores like shoveling and gardening are also done for you. Most condos have very high security, making it less likely for strangers to enter the property, and many come equipped with amenities like swimming pools, squash courts, gyms, coffee shops and bars.
3. Rent/Buy A Home Down South
Some retirees choose to rent or buy homes down south when it’s time to downsize. Ontario winters are freezing cold, so what could be better than a sunny getaway? Some homeowners choose to downsize to a small condo and spend half the year down south in the sun!
How to Prepare for Downsizing
Downsizing is not an easy task. When you’ve lived in your home for 20, 30, or even 40 years, you’re going to have a lot of items to either pack up or get rid of. One of the best things you can do is plan ahead. Start decluttering and purging your home before you make the move.
Take time each month to go through your cluttered closet and basement, and donate or throw out everything you can. There are also services like the Downsizing Diva and Estate Concierge that will make the downsizing process a lot easier!
If you’re ready to downsize, get prepared with these tips! It’s an exciting process, but also takes a lot of time, so make sure you’re ready for the transition!