July 10, 2023 | Downsizing

The Art of Downsizing & Simplifying Your Life

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For many people,“downsizing” is a taboo subject, one that gets shoved aside until you can put it off no longer. Even uttering the word can make you feel sad and old before your time. That’s because there’s a prevalent misconception that downsizing is something you only do when you’re forced to and never because you want to. However, more and more, the topic is coming up in our younger years. We are now having these conversations with people in their 50s and sometimes even in their early 40s.

Downsizing isn’t just for the “elderly” anymore! Sometimes it’s about simply needing a change where you can carve out new experiences in a different community. But whether it’s about exploring unchartered territory or getting rid of the headaches of a large family house, downsizing is becoming a joyful and celebrated occasion that allows many people to take back their lives. Will you be one of them? The decision is yours, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to begin the conversation today.

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The New Downsizing

This just in: Downsizing is now trendy! Gone are the days of the 85 and 95 years olds sadly saying goodbye to a home they can no longer care for. These days, 75 is the new 50, and people are beginning to live life on their own terms. By selling your family home, you potentially free up massive amounts of money that you can use for any goal you can imagine.

Have you always wanted to travel to Europe? Or have you always dreamed of opening your own gift shop after retiring from your full-time job? Perhaps you’ll return to school and show all these teenagers and twenty-somethings what you’re made of. The reality is that you may do all or none of these things, but it is fun to consider the unlimited possibilities! 

When selling your home, chances are your buyer could be a Millennial or even Gen Zer! Here’s How to Make Your House Appeal to the Next Generation.

Decide to Think About It

One of the most difficult aspects of downsizing is just making the decision to do it. However, that’s the beauty of beginning the process early. Considering the possibility of downsizing today does not mean the “For Sale” sign has to appear on your house tomorrow. 

There is no pressure and no rush to do anything at all. You can simply explore your options and dream a little. One thing is for sure: It’s far better to make the choice when you’re still the one in charge of your life and not when someone else is telling you “it’s time.”

While you remain in the driver’s seat, you can make a plan to downsize a year from now, five years from now, or perhaps not at all. One option many homeowners are going for is to “smart size,” where they stay in place and renovate their existing home to suit their changing needs. With so many avenues before you, it’s easy to start to feel more excited about the idea. What comes next?

Decide to Plan

Downsizing is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Think of it another way. If you were planning a wedding, you wouldn’t rush into it or consider it a necessary evil. You might plan the big event more than a year in advance while excitedly exploring your options for a venue, a D.J., and a colour scheme. You’d visit one shop after another until you found your perfect wedding dress or tuxedo. There might be some stress and inconvenience along the way, but the end result is worth it.

Why not approach downsizing the same way? You’re not moving tomorrow, but you can still begin the planning stages. Take your time and enjoy it! And by the way, the best time to reach out to a real estate agent is as soon as possible, as in a year before, not two days before your house hits the market. The earlier you reach out, the easier it will be to prepare your house for the market and achieve the best possible outcome from your sale.

You can also take your time and explore your many options of where you will go. A lot of this will come down to what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Consider how far you want to commute to visit family and friends and enjoy your hobbies and entertainment options. Do you want to drive, or do you prefer a neighbourhood that’s highly walkable and close to transit? The decision may seem overwhelming now, but you can turn it into an adventure. Start by exploring some neighbourhoods by driving through, visiting local community centres, parks, and stores. You might even consider renting an Airbnb for a week to get a feel for the community!

Do you like the idea of downsizing but feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless “to-do” list? Many real estate teams offer complete, done-for-you packages. If you want to know more, email us today.

A Bird’s Eye View of the Process

You have spent a lifetime living for your family, helping them and guiding them into the adults they have become. Now it’s your turn to live for you, and downsizing is a great way to simplify your life. One of the best ways to enjoy a seamless and stress-free transition is to create a roadmap of what the process will look like. If you get off course, simply review the steps and get back on track. The following checklist will help:

Pre-Planning

  • Reach out to a local real estate agent well in advance to guide you through each step.
  • Make a plan to declutter your home. The longer you’ve lived there, the more stuff you have. Some items you will keep. Others you can discard, sell, or donate. Start thinking about which is which right now, and decluttering will be easier to execute when the time comes.
  • Research what your home is worth in the current market. Your agent can help by performing a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). However, real estate values fluctuate, and conditions might change by the time you’re ready to list your home for sale.
  • Decide whether you will sell your house at all. Some downsizers keep theirs as an investment property!
  • Create a vision for what your life will look like after you move. Do you live a carefree lifestyle in a condo where you’re free to come and go as you please? Or do you have a townhouse with a gazebo in the backyard where you can entertain your friends? Your vision can change, but having a goal in mind will help keep you feeling enthusiastic about the process.
  • Start thinking about what upgrades and renovations can help you earn more money from your home. You don’t have to plan anything drastic. Sometimes, a few minor changes can make your house stand out in a hectic market.

During

  • Decide what renovations will help you get the best results when selling your home. If you prefer, your real estate agent can recommend trustworthy contractors to handle everything for you.
  • Clean, declutter, and prepare your house for the market. Don’t forget to spruce up your outside curb appeal to wow buyers from the start.
  • Begin searching available listings for your next home. In an exceptionally busy market, your real estate agent might recommend finding your new place even before selling your existing house.
  • Work with your real estate agent to price and promote your house effectively.
  • Assemble your downsizing team to help you pack and organize. This may include helpful friends or family members or even a professional moving company.

After

  • Take your time to unpack and find a new home for all of your belongings.
  • Get out and explore your new neighbourhood. It’s time to find your new favourite restaurants, cafes, and other hot spots where you can create lasting memories with friends and loved ones.

With the right approach, downsizing can be an exciting experience where you feel like this next stage in your life is just beginning. When all is said and done, it’s a time to celebrate and enjoy the next grand adventure.

Whether you’re planning your move in the next couple of months or in the next few years, Team Rajpal is here to help. Reach out today at info@teamrajpal.com or call 647-875-8000 with any questions or to get started.

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