6 Ways to Tell It’s Time to Downsize
When you buy a family home, you’re buying for the benefit of everyone in your family. But when you downsize, you want a home specifically for your own dreams and ambitions. Downsizing doesn’t mean getting a less quality home, it just means getting a better-suited home for your current needs. Needs that are different from what you had the last time you bought a house.
So is it time for you to downsize? Let’s explore some common signs you’re ready to trade your old house in for a new, low-maintenance home that can give you the freedom and features you’re looking for.
Congratulations! You’ve decided to retire and live out your retirement dreams! Whether you’re looking to travel, spend more time with family or pick up a few new hobbies, now is the perfect time to consider how you can free up time and income (or even make more!). In this case, downsizing makes perfect sense as you can look forward to lower property taxes, fewer bills, and smaller mortgage payments.
Downsizing doesn’t mean sacrificing on comfort either. Home models for downsizers are intentionally designed to provide the same great features like spacious master bedrooms with an ensuite, an impressive kitchen area, and so much more.
You Want to Take Advantage of Your Existing Equity
The neighbourhood in which you’ve raised your children is more established and has likely increased in value since the time you purchased. This means your house has also increased in value – not just because of the community but because of how long you’ve been making mortgage payments.
The equity you’ve built up during this time is sure to help you make an easy transition into a home more suitable to your current lifestyle. Downsizing gives you the freedom to travel and do more of what you want without worrying about maintaining an older home that you’re ready to move on from.
Speaking of Travelling…
If your current house has you worried about heading south for the winter, it could be time to sell. Not only are you likely to get back far more than what you paid initially, but you can use the extra income to put towards that amazing holiday getaway. Another option to consider is buying a home with an income suite in the basement. An income suite has the additional benefits of supplementing monthly mortgage payments through rental income and also provides a lock-and leave-style home, ensuring you’ll have less to worry about whenever you go travelling.
You Have an Empty Nest
If your kids have all up and flown the nest, it’s likely you’re now in a position where you’re paying utility bills for spaces that are no longer being used (not to mention, still need to be cleaned!).
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to this. With your kids gone, do you know have three guest bedrooms instead of one? If the last time you walked into one of those rooms was to remove a layer of dust, do you really still need that space?
Now might be the time to consider moving into something new and easier to maintain. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t downsize to a home style that keeps your family connected. There are plenty of townhome, duplex, laned, and bungalow options available that will still give your kids a place to come home to.
Enough For Two Homes?
This one isn’t really a sign. It’s more of an opportunity that comes with downsizing if you’ve paid off your current home and want to help your family out.
If your kids are going to a College or University in the city, it can make sense to have them live in a place that still feels like a home. After the sale of your current home, you could find yourself with enough for two homes – one for you and one for your kids to use! You can give them a great deal on rent and they get the freedom they’re looking for in return while they finish their studies.
When they’re ready to move out, you can turn it into a full-time rental property that will make you money each and every month, funding your retirement passions along the way.
Maintenance Has Got You Down
There comes a point where you no longer want to have to deal with routine maintenance of a large home – especially if the kids are gone and there’s no one to help! Taking care of a large yard (not to mention the property taxes) may no longer make sense. When we talk about maintenance, we’re talking about cleaning as well as keeping up with repairs – a big deal, especially if your house is getting older.
This is where a motion to downsize can be especially helpful as you a) can look forward to significantly less maintenance and b) capitalize on new home warranty that comes mandatory with all new home builds in Alberta.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, we’re here to help match you with the right home in a great new Edmonton community. We have many wonderful quick possession options available, making it even easier and faster to downsize.
Putting it all into perspective, when it comes to moving to a new home better suited to your lifestyle, you’re not downsizing at all – you’re actually upgrading in time and financial freedom! So, if any of the above points sound familiar, it’s a good sign that it’s time to make your downsizing dreams a reality.
Originally published Aug 30, 2017, updated May 20 2019.