Our team of Windsor real estate agents are approached weekly by clients wondering if now is the time to downsize. It’s such an emotional decision for the home seller but we can offer tips on if buying or renting a smaller house is right for you.
Quite simply, if you have too much house, and desire a simpler lifestyle, it is probably time to think about smaller quarters. If children are leaving the nest or if finances and budgets have decreased then less space with less expenses may sound very attractive at this point in time. What we have seen as Windsor Ontario real estate agents in the past several years is that the mini mansions are not on the top of most buyers list these days. Buyers are moving in homes they can comfortably afford as it appears the real estate fiasco of the past eight years has left an imprint on everyone. Many are still a bit nervous about the future of real estate, so they prefer to buy a home they know will fit their budget.
Many older home owners are selling their properties simply because they want an easier lifestyle. They are looking at condos in areas where there is plenty of nearby entertainment, shopping and access to their hobbies. Many like to travel and enjoy the idea of living in a condo where they don’t have to worry about maintenance or landscaping.
But for others, downsizing is a financial necessity. Maybe there has been a divorce or loss of job. Sometimes there is no other choice but to look for a smaller home because of financial reasons.
Ask yourself these questions when considering downsizing:
1. Does the size of home matter?
This is really a question that determines if you are mentally ready. We often tie how successful we are by the size of our home. The saying, “the bigger the better,” shows the world that we like our status in the community. What are your thoughts about moving into a home where you may think that “small is bad.”
2. Will I feel better or worse about a small home?
For many, moving into a smaller house makes them feel great! I have clients that love the fact that there is less to maintain, less “stuff” to own and financially, they feel better than ever! It really is a “freeing” type of feeling for the majority of people who downsize. One client recently mentioned that it now takes her only an hour or so a week to clean her home as opposed to one day a week it used to take her.
Of course, some people tell me that they miss certain luxuries of living in larger homes. There may be a lack of privacy due to living in smaller quarters and others miss one of a kind features they previously had with their homes. But overall, the majority feel that a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
3. Stay away from……
If you are downsizing, then you probably want a home that is easier to maintain and is kinder to your budget. Therefore, stay away from homes that can end up costing you more with renovations. For example, older homes, such as Victorians may require costly upkeep and major repairs. Same with Arts and Crafts or other style houses.
4. What neighbourhood do I want to live in?
If you are looking to downsize, consider areas where there are lots of condos or townhouses. Usually, these properties are closer to a downtown which means everything may be within walking distance, such as restaurants, shopping and such. Do you want to live in an area that is pedestrian-friendly? Is public transportation important (you can save on car expenses such as gas, insurance.) Would you like new construction? There are builders now who specialize in smaller homes. For many people who downsize, they want to move into an area that is completely different from what they had before.
Overall, I always tell my clients to look at downsizing as their next great adventure. Not to worry about the costs of maintaining an expensive home, or investing a good part of your time making repairs or other home owner responsibilities is a really freeing feeling that most people reach at some point in their lives. So if you want to take more time to travel, golf, or spend your weekends with your children doing other family things, then downsizing is a great opportunity to do just that.