A Guide to Downsizing
by Diane Laflamme
It’s easy to see the appeal of moving from a big home into a small space that requires less maintenance and cost. This moving process involves careful planning. Here is some information to make sure you make the right decision.
Don’t underestimate The Emotional Part of Moving
Moving from a family home and leaving behind years of memories can be difficult. Try to have help and tackle each room separately. This way the decluttering and removal of furniture and personal items will be less painful.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
The biggest misconception is that people equate downsizing with paying less for property #2. That being said, many bungalows and condominiums are pricey. If you need to sell your family home to provide a nest egg, you may consider searching for properties in a less expensive location or even renting.
Prepare a spreadsheet showing the money earned from the proceeds of the sale and the expenses you are about to incur. There are many costs associated with purchasing a property such as home inspection, bank appraisal fee, land transfer tax, moving costs etc. When selling, you’ll have to calculate the real estate service fee and speak to your mortgage specialist regarding the terms of your mortgage. Should your home requires “sprucing up” you’ll need to make necessary repairs so that your home is in good condition when it goes on the market. You’ll need to factor in monthly condo fees if you’re buying a condo and keep a small amount of money aside for unexpected expenses.
Think Wisely Regarding House #2
Even if you’re purchasing at 55-60, think of what your body will be able to manage at 80. That might mean searching for a residence that doesn’t have stairs or scoping out locations that have amenities within walking distance. Another option is to consider a condo or a townhouse where monthly fees buy you snow removal, repairs and the maintenance of common areas.
Start With the End In Mind
Many people won’t buy a property if their furniture doesn’t fit. Buy the place that’s right for your lifestyle – even if it means selling your stuff and purchasing smaller size furniture after, or renting a storage locker to house furniture and personal items.
Schedule a Date and Time to Declutter
Before you move, you must sort through your stuff. Try to tackle the project in 2 to 3 hour chunks. That’s enough to get one task done – like cleaning out the kitchen cupboards or your closet – but not so much that you’ll be overwhelmed.
Take Your Time
Not every decision needs to be made immediately. If you can’t choose between two lamps, pack them both or revisit the decision in a week. Sometimes you won’t be 100% sure about a choice you need to make, knowing you can change your mind afterwards can allow you to move forward.
A New Adventure
There are a lot of feelings tied up in leaving a home – especially one you’ve lived in for a long time. It’s important to be positive in order to move forward! Try to think about your new lifestyle once you move. It’s emotional but an exciting adventure!
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