January 16, 2024 | Downsizing

Are You on the Fence About Downsizing?

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Few events are as impactful and life-changing as downsizing your family home. Chances are, you’ve got years’ worth of memories residing within those walls, and they are far more precious than anything. Plus, the process of packing up your life can be anxiety-inducing and time-consuming.

If you’re on the fence about any of this, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Very few people ever feel ready, no matter how logical it is to move to a smaller place that costs less to maintain. 

It’s not a move you ever want to feel forced or rushed into, but you don’t want to procrastinate, either. In fact, it can be even more challenging the longer you put things off.

How do you know if now is the time or if you should wait a few more years? The tips and checklists in the following post will help you decide the right path for you.

The Pros and Cons of Downsizing

Downsizing can feel sad when the time comes, but it definitely has its upsides as well. Making a list of all of the benefits and comparing them with the disadvantages can help you approach the task with a positive outlook. When you think of all you have to look forward to, you may decide that you want to downsize even if you don’t need to. On the plus side:

  • Think of how much time and money you will save on maintaining a large family home. You can now have a lifestyle where you pick up and go, and those excess funds just might allow you to pursue that hobby or finally take that dream vacation.
  • You’ll spend less time cleaning a large house and doing yard work and more time doing what you want. Did 10 to 20 cm of snow fall overnight? Imagine relaxing on the couch with a blanket and hot chocolate while watching a movie instead of having to go outside to shovel.
  • Change can be a positive force in your life. You’ll have the chance to meet new people and enjoy fresh experiences in an unexplored neighbourhood. A favourite new restaurant or cafe might be just up the street.
  • You’ll have room to breathe. Downsizing involves getting rid of a lot of unnecessary clutter you’ve collected through the years. Now is your chance to eliminate it guilt-free so you can enjoy an organized environment. This can be beneficial for your mental and physical health.
  • By acting now while you are still healthy and mobile, you can move forward on your own terms instead of someone else making your decisions for you.

Does your downsizing plan include buying a new house? You may find the following posts helpful:

The Downsides of Downsizing

You are probably already aware of the disadvantages of downsizing. They are, after all, what’s keeping you awake at night. Here are a few of the most common concerns:

  • It’s a lot of work, especially if you try to tackle the project on your own.
  • You’ve got to clean, declutter, and prepare your house for sale, then find a new home within a short time frame. 
  • After that, there’s the process of packing up and moving your entire life.
  • Leaving your memories behind can make you homesick before you’ve even left. 

Often, the emotional aspect of moving can be more difficult than that actual task of moving. Even when you’re ready for the journey, saying goodbye to your home can feel bittersweet.

Your Downsizing Readiness Checklist

Identifying when you’re ready to downsize your home isn’t easy, but it can be simple. Remember that most people will feel conflicted to an extent. 

However, when the good outweighs the bad, it’s a sure sign that you’re ready to begin the process. The checklist below will help you to know when the time is right:

  • You find yourself complaining about features of your house that have never bothered you before.
  • Owning a house has become more stressful, physically and financially.
  • The thought of a new place in a different neighbourhood is intriguing, at least some of the time.
  • You’re not as young as you once were, and the daily treks up and down the stairs are starting to take their toll.
  • You are still young, but you’re tired of going up and down those stairs all the same.
  • You’d be happy to never see a rake, lawn mower, or snow blower again.
  • You would love to live closer to your close friends or family members.
  • The real estate market is in your favour, and the potential gains are too substantial to ignore. 

Start With Small Steps

Once you’ve made the decision to downsize, your next step is simply to begin. The process might be different depending on your timeline and what is happening in the current market. 

However, you cannot go wrong by contacting a local real estate agent who can guide you through it all. Even if you’ve just started, it doesn’t hurt to obtain expert advice as early as possible. Every journey is unique, but the overall process will usually involve the following:

  • Start organizing your belongings. Decluttering will be necessary at some point, but just sorting things into boxes feels less overwhelming.
  • Keep your eyes open for available homes in the neighbourhoods of your choice. Your real estate agent can help you spot even hard-to-find listings. 
  • Condo, townhouse, small bungalow, or other option? One of the first steps to a relatively stress-free downsizing process is to have an idea of where you want to go next. You don’t have to have it all planned to a T, but ironing out the most significant details in advance will help.

Looking for even more downsizing resources? Check out the related reading below:

A Hint of Joy?

We’ve saved the best sign of all that the time to downsize has come for last. That’s when the idea of a change makes you want to leap with joy, and you cannot wait to begin. 

While that may seem like an overly ideal level of enthusiasm, keep in mind that even your subtle feelings can be an excellent guide.

Along the way, there will be laughter, tears, and a few bumps as you navigate this unchartered territory. However, if there’s even a hint of joy about the end result, that is an undeniable indication that downsizing could be a positive experience.

Do you want to get a head start when planning your move? It doesn’t hurt to reach out for guidance early. Give us a call at 647-875-8000 or email info@teamrajpal.com with any questions you have.

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