MVL - Should you Downsize Your Home? 5 Things to Consider

May 20, 2024

 

Introduction

Downsizing your home is a major life decision. If you’re reading this, more than likely you’ve been thinking about making a change for a while and now you’re ready to see if it makes sense.

While downsizing can be exciting as you look at what the next chapter will bring, it’s also a lot of work if you choose to go through with it.

So, it’s important you take the time to really assess if downsizing right now is right for you, things to keep in mind, and if you need downsizing real estate services. Here are five major areas to consider when downsizing, so you make the right choice and move.

Assess Why You Need to Downsize

There are a few major areas you’ll need to consider when you’re even thinking about downsizing in the first place. There are a ton of great reasons to downsize when the timing’s right.

Too Much Space

When you were younger, maybe had a family, having a large house with 5 bedrooms was perfect. Maybe even at the time, a bit small. But now, if the kids have fled the next, it’s easy for the home to feel like it’s just too much space.

Take some time to assess your space. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, and other living spaces do you still use? Maybe you can use those spaces for craft rooms, home gyms, etc. But if you’re not finding any use, it’s probably time to consider a smaller home.

Additionally, with a lot of space comes the required cleaning and maintenance costs associated. If you need to heat or cool the home, that also adds up.

Downsizing doesn’t always mean going from a big house to a studio condo, either. Maybe you only reduce your square footage needs by 20%-30%.

Need to Adjust Finances

If you’re looking to work less, retire, or you simply want to adjust your finances, downsizing is a great solution to help free up additional cash flow from equity you’ve built up in your home.

Not only will a smaller home have a smaller mortgage payment, you may even be able to purchase your home without a mortgage if you have enough current home equity.

Home bills like utilities are cut down when you downsize, too. Regular home maintenance and those related costs can then be saved and put into other areas of your life.

And while you will have to pay real estate agent commissions as a seller, if you’re working with the right agent, they’ll be able to handle all the nitty gritty that comes with downsizing. Things like movers, garbage removal, alternative accommodations, address changes, etc.

Want to be Closer to Family

Another common reason we see when people downsize homes is that they want to be closer to family. Maybe your other family members live in a different province or region and it’s more of a priority to be close with them.

Living closer to family also means you may have more resources and support. For example, family dinners, coordinated child care, joint purchases, etc, can all be more beneficial for families when you live closer.

Or, if you yourself are worried that you’ll need future support with family help, then moving closer is also a great way to give you peace of mind.

If you resonate with any of these, it’s definitely time to consider downsizing and moving to a new home.

Make Sure You’re Emotionally Ready

The emotional part of downsizing, having to pack up years and years worth of stuff, and move away from a home that you’ve developed so many memories in is truly the hardest part.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you’ll lose these memories or you have to let go of sentimental possessions. While you may have to sell some things, it’s important to remember that you can keep the things that bring you joy.

Take time to discuss these changes and how you’re feeling with loved ones. They’ll be able to support you during this major life process so you’re confident and happy with whatever decision you make next.

What Does the Future Look Like?

When you’re considering if you should downsize or not, it’s important to consider what the future looks like if you do. This includes things like your budgeting and financial situation, where you’ll live, and the type of home you’ll live in.

Budgets

A major consideration for downsizing is usually finance related. The benefit to downsizing is you’ll usually have some money left over between the sale of your current place and buying a new home, since less square footage usually costs less (depending on location).

Or, you’ll have a great down payment, as properties in major cities like Vancouver, BC, are high! So, you can better set yourself up for retirement, take that vacation you’ve always dreamed of, or pay down your mortgage debt.

Sometimes there are unexpected expenses, too. It’s important to crunch the numbers and find out what exactly you’re looking at when it comes to finances.

Location

Take some time to consider where you’ll want to move to. It’s quite common to downsize and stay in the same city, or to head to a different city with a slower pace of life. For instance, some people who live in Metro Vancouver have gone to Vancouver Island or Chilliwack to downsize and get out of the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

Let’s say you’re considering living in Burnaby, BC, you’ll want to consider the different neighbourhoods, your future needs for proximity to certain amenities, etc. It’s recommended to take some time to discover each city.

Home Type & Square Footage

When downsizing, it can sometimes be hard to find small detached homes. That’s why it’s important to consider other home types that typically accommodate smaller square footage. This could include:

  • Townhouse;
  • Condo;
  • Duplex;
  • Tiny house
  • Community Living.

While there are usually other considerations to make, these are three major ones you’ll want to consider before moving forward with help selling your current home.

Final Thoughts

Downsizing is a major life decision and with it comes some very exciting decisions, things to think about, and future life plans that you can look forward to.

Make sure you take some time to assess why you’d want to downsize, you’re ready emotionally, and you’ve thought about some of the major changes like finances, location, and future home type.

Once you’ve spent some time thinking about that, you’ll feel confident to downsize your home.

 

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