Five Ways to Downsize Your Home
When it comes to downsizing, many people naturally associate it with retirees or empty nesters. While there is no argument that that is a great time in life to look at the downsizing options available, in actuality, people of all ages and various lifestyles are choosing to downsize for a multitude of reasons, with all sorts of goals in mind. Whether you are looking to free up extra capital, lower monthly expenses, or reduce the amount of space in the home to fit your current needs, it’s important to remember that this is not a one size fits all project, and there are many downsizing solutions for everyone. There is no clear-cut guide on how your family should downsize, however, it is important to understand your motivations behind the decision to know the options available to you. With a reasonable end game in sight, downsizing appropriately will be a refreshing journey into the next chapter of your life. To get you started, here are some of the ways and reasons that residents in Ottawa and the surrounding areas are looking at downsizing today:
Typically, when many of us think of downsizing, we see an image of “empty-nesters” saying goodbye to a large home in search of a new, smaller home to reside and pocketing the extra cash that the homes sale generates to fluff up any retirement savings. You do not need to be an empty-nester to choose this option though. In fact, many small families are enjoying smaller spaces to grow and enjoy life together. When choosing this option it is important to consider your needs, as sacrificing space may mean sacrificing possessions you will no longer be able to store. It is important to ensure you know what you are looking for before you begin your journey to find a smaller, more manageable home that meets your lifestyle needs.
REDUCING COST OF LIVING
Reducing everyday expenses and spending more economically are great strategies when it comes to saving money. Many people in recent years have ditched their home phones as cellular devices have become the new norm, cut television services in the wake of streaming apps, are more conscious about how they use energy, and mindfully cut back on their waste. All of these ways are excellent in terms of reducing costs in the home, but have you ever considered cutting back on your mortgage payments? One of the reasons people are looking to downsize today is to trim off the excess when it comes to the cost of housing. Selling your home to move into a smaller or less expensive house means putting more into your down payment and lowering your monthly mortgage payments. Depending on how far into your mortgage you are, and the cost of the home you choose to relocate to, you may even be able to pay in cash and rid yourself of a mortgage payment altogether.
Retirement or lifestyle communities for those aged 50+ are gaining much traction in Ottawa. They offer many different types of housing options including bungalows, townhouses, or apartments to choose from. These downsizing options are smaller in size, with enough space to accommodate couples. They also lack the more typical features of a suburban neighbourhood, including playgrounds and other amenities geared towards younger families. The neighbourhoods are generally quieter, but the social atmosphere among neighbours is robust. This is a great choice if you are looking to trade in the hustle and bustle of a family neighbourhood for a sense of community and belonging with a 50+ crowd.
BUYING A CONDOMINIUM
Many downsizers are looking to trade in the workload of owning a single-family home for the maintenance-free lifestyle and the many other conveniences that come with condo living. Downsizers are drawn to this option of homeownership because it offers a taste of luxury that single-family homes do not. With amenities such as swimming pools and saunas, theatres, security, and white-glove service, enjoying life at home will take on a completely new meaning. This option also works well for people who travel a lot for work or for pleasure. Locking up for extended periods of time will be no worry as many condominiums in Ottawa are turn-key, and regularly monitored by groundskeepers and security services.
RENTING A CONDO OR APARTMENT
Selling your home to rent might feel strange, especially after being a homeowner for so long, but for those looking to downsize it is a viable option. Choosing not to purchase after selling frees up the equity in your home, and may make more sense financially for some people. Having this money in your pocket allows you to make other investments, achieve financial fitness, and live off of the income your investments generate in the meantime. This option also allows a maintenance-free lifestyle as major repairs and renovations will be covered by the landlord. Depending on where you want to live, there may be rental units that offer an array of amenities similar to those found in upscale condominium communities at no extra cost.
Before making the move to downsize, create a list of your concrete needs, and understand why it’s important to make this move. This is essential to ensure you don’t downsize into something that doesn’t meet your needs. For assistance, reach out to me. With my expertise, navigating this next adventure will be a walk in the park – hopefully the park of your new neighbourhood!
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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