Downsizing your home can be a big decision, especially for seniors. There are a lot of things to consider before making the move, from practicalities like where you'll live and how much money you'll save, to emotional factors like saying goodbye to your current home. Are you a senior citizen thinking about downsizing your home? You're not alone. According to a recent study, 67% of seniors aged 65 and older say they would like to downsize but only 10% have actually done so. If you're considering making the move to a smaller home, here are the top 10 things you should take into consideration before making any decisions. From finances and family considerations, to your future health and happiness, this list will help you begin the process of understanding many of the key issues. So read on and start planning your next chapter with confidence!
1. Finances: Downsizing can be a great way to free up capital that you can use for investments, retirement planning or other goals. Before making the move, it's important to carefully consider your finances and budget to make sure you won't be putting yourself in a difficult financial situation.
2. Location: Where will you be moving to? Is it close enough to family and friends that you can stay in touch easily, or is it far away that you'll need to make special trips to visit them? Look for communities with amenities like grocery stores and medical facilities nearby.
3. Community: Check out the local community before deciding on a place to move. Are there activities, clubs and groups that interest you? Do the neighbours seem friendly and welcoming? Is the location easily walkable? Is there parking which is easily accessible? Is there visitor's parking? How do they gain access?
4. Size: Think about the size of your new home. Are you comfortable with a studio apartment or smaller space, or would you prefer something larger? Consider your furniture and belongings as well; will they all fit in the new space?
5. Maintenance: If you're moving to an apartment or condo, many maintenance tasks will be taken care of for you by the property manager or landlord. For other homes, however, it's important to consider how much time and money you'll need to put into upkeep each month.
6. Storage: Downsizing often means giving up some storage space, but there are still ways to maximize storage in a smaller home. Look for furniture that doubles as storage and declutter your belongings to make the most of the space you have.
7. Safety: Your safety is paramount, so make sure your new home meets all the requirements for being a safe and secure place to live. Consider whether there are balconies or stairs that could be a hazard, and if you need to add any extra safety features like handrails.
8. Comfort: Will your new home be comfortable and inviting? Look for things like natural lighting, good air circulation, and ample space to move around.
9. Future Needs: Think about how your needs may change in the future, and if the new home can accommodate them. For example, if you have mobility issues or are likely to in the future, look for a space that has single-level living with no stairs. Will you be able to use the amenities provided by any common area facilities, or will you just be paying your share for others to enjoy? Do you even need any of the common amenities provided like swimming pools, rooftop decks etc...?
10. Happiness: Above all, consider how happy and fulfilled you'll be in your new home. Will it provide you with the peace of mind and contentment you're looking for?
Downsizing your home can be a big decision, but if you consider all the above factors and make an informed decision, you'll be sure to find a new home that's perfect for your needs.
Blatantly missing from the above list is the selection of a top notch Realtor who might easily be able to expand the above list to "Top 20". And, to be realistic, no "Top 10, or Top 20" list off the internet can replace competent and well considered professional advice. This is probably the most important decision of any you will make. Have I got the wheels turning yet? Feel free to pick up the phone and give me a call at 778-227-7325. We can explore what is important to you, including all of the possibly hidden rules in the strata dealing with those precious grandchildren and visitation and sleepover rights.
For more interesting content dealing with downsizing, visit our downsizing site at: https://shuchatgroup.com/downsize-my-property.html
Author's note: I am a Realtor in British Columbia and a former lawyer. My practice focusses on senior's housing, foreclosures, estate sales, family disputes, all other complicated and intimidating real estate matters and generally, making the experience actually pleasant, more profitable, easier and hopefully more fun for all involved.
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