Road to new beginnings: Five things to keep in mind when downsizing to a smaller home
Buying a house represents the first step towards a new life, whether you are purchasing your first house, trading up to a bigger place or downsizing to a smaller property. In this blog series, we help you start this exciting new chapter in your life with some helpful information about the homebuying process.
For our last post in this series, we look at what downsizing to a smaller house could mean for you.
What are the benefits of downsizing to a smaller home?
Downsizing to a smaller home could be a good opportunity to save on the costs of maintaining a larger house. This means you could see long-term savings from lower hydro and home repair bills, insurance premiums and property taxes. And this, in turn, can offset some of the costs of buying a new home, such as transfer taxes and real estate fees.
A recent Royal LePage survey of Canadians born between 1946 and 1965 found that less home maintenance is indeed the most popular reason for downsizing. Another popular reason is the ability to free up money for retirement and travel.
Whatever your reasons are, here are some essential things to consider if you are thinking of downsizing to a smaller house.
1. Think about how the type of house you choose will fit your lifestyle.
While having a smaller house may seem practical, it is important to think about how your lifestyle will be impacted by the type of house you choose. If you enjoy entertaining guests, for instance, you might find the space of a townhouse to be more suitable for your needs than a smaller condominium apartment.
2. Determine your preferred area and budget.
When choosing your next home, consider what kind of area you want to live in and how it lines up with your needs. You may want to be within walking distance of amenities such as groceries and restaurants, which would make a downtown condo apartment ideal. Or a small cottage in a quiet rural community with plenty of hiking trails might be more to your liking.
Just remember that the house you are eying could be worth more than your current home, depending on the local housing market conditions of the location you choose.
3. Make an inventory before throwing anything out.
While downsizing to a smaller house is a good occasion to offload things you feel you no longer need, it’s still a good idea to take a full record of your belongings before throwing anything out. This way, you will be able to establish exactly what to keep and what can be donated or put into long-term storage.
4. Work with experienced professionals.
Skilled and experienced real estate professionals have a wealth of information that can give you insight into the downsizing process. A real estate agent, for instance, can help you find a house in your desired area and negotiate a fair purchase price. Meanwhile, a good mortgage broker can provide financing options, such as those offered by Home Trust, around your unique financial background.
5. Don’t rush the process.
Downsizing to a smaller house is a big change, so don’t feel pressured to move right away. Take a step back to look through your options and discuss them with your family so you are comfortable with your decision.
Saying “yes” to downsizing can be a chance to start an exciting new lifestyle. Learn more about what else is possible when you say “yes” with our interactive road map.
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