Downsizing in London Ontario


          When Rightsizing From Your Present Home - Keep it Simple

                Families downsizing in London Ontario                                             

 What’s involved?

  Relocating to a new home that’s more suitable to your current needs requires well-planned steps, including financial planning and paring down your possessions. Social and health considerations also play a role. Like any long-term commitment, consider the benefits and limitations a new home will provide.

  Calculating finances

  A realistic breakdown of expenses, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and transportation, is essential. Downsizing will reduce the housing costs, property taxes, and possibly future maintenance costs.

  And money saved by moving to a smaller home can be used elsewhere, such as supplementing retirement savings or creating a new active lifestyle. A smaller home will also help lower energy bills and home repair costs, and a smaller space means fewer furnishings to replace in the future.

 Maintaining a home that no longer meets your current needs and lifestyle can be a financial burden that may prevent you from saving for retirement, travelling, or doing any number of things you dream of doing. Ask yourself, “Is managing the family home holding [me] back from enjoying life?”

  Letting go

  Downsizing is an incredibly emotional experience for most. Although it can be difficult to let go of the many prized possessions we accumulate over time, it can be difficult to clear our closets, drawers, and basements of things we no longer need or use. One bonus: it’s easier to find what we’re looking for.

 “When you have loads of closets and storage, you tend to fill all that space,” says professional organizer Rowena List. A smaller space allows for a specific place for necessary things.

 being social

 Becoming more social

  Downsizing can create more time for doing the things we enjoy most. When we consider the amount of time many of us spend cleaning and maintaining our home, the opportunity to increase our leisure time is very appealing. My clients tell me that after rightsizing, they feel more relaxed and free, able to spend more time with friends and family.

 Renewing our attitude

 Downsizing can provide the chance to renew our perspective on life. Integrative physician Isaac Eliaz states, “Such life circumstances offer a great example of the holistic nature of detoxification, of creating new space for transformation. We can access hidden gems: renewed feelings of excitement, freshness, and inspiration.”

 Challenges

Where to move to can be a difficult decision when we factor in all the things we want, such as proximity to transportation, shopping, and medical facilities. Moving can also impact our family and social life.

 Sense of loss

 When we move from a family home, we may feel a sense of loss for the family connections and lifestyle it represents. Allow family members to help you with your move to help ease the transition to a new home.

 not this small

 Less space

 A smaller living space can present challenges when hosting family dinners, or it may prevent grown children from returning home,  (which for some may be a good thing!).  Downsizing may encourage our grown children to step up to the plate by taking over family dinners and making their own way in life.

  Like any change, downsizing takes adjusting to. Any type of major life change naturally creates stress. Although it is a “highly emotional and stressful” time, with careful planning, downsizing can be a positive life transition.

 Allow me to be your guide when downsizing, I have helped hundreds do it and have learned quite a few things during the years that I can share with you.

  Ty Lacroix Broker of Record

 Downsizing dos

These steps will help you make a smooth transition to a smaller residence.

 Plan a realistic timeframe.

Take your time, and work with a professional organizer if the process is too overwhelming. Take small steps. Give yourself plenty of time, but stick to a firm deadline, advises List.

 Determine your housing needs.

 Think about where you want to live, what amenities you require, and who you want to be near. Spend time researching the area and property.

 Don’t go bigger than you need. By contrast to downsizing too much, you can also not downsize enough. You can imagine the kids and grandkids will visit all you want, but don’t go for a home that’s bigger than you need, simply to accommodate potential visitors. One spare room and a fold-out sofa could probably adapt to most needs and will still keep your home manageable. The same goes for lot sizes. Take into consideration how much yard maintenance you will be able to do as you advance in years and what the costs will be if you have to hire someone to mow the grass and weed the garden.

 Planning for a quiet life outside the city might make sense on one hand, but it puts you further from essential services when you’re older and usually further from public transport if you’re unable to drive because of your health. The location considerations you had as a family or when you were younger may not be the same as you get older. Where ever you choose as a location, make sure you plan ahead so your future needs are met.

 Stay within your budget.

 Make sure your ideal home matches your current [and future] budget while having a vision of the lifestyle you want to keep.  

 With income reduced to your pension and other investments, you may have to adjust to a more modest lifestyle. A smaller home will cost you less, but there may be other costs you need to factor in. Are you overestimating the worth of the home you’re selling? What will the sale price buy you for a retirement home? Get a complete list of what you need to consider, and weigh it up against your income to get a balance that you’ll be happy with.

 Do your homework.

 If buying a condo in London Ontario, research the condo fees, building condition, management reputation or turnover, and décor and pet restrictions. A very important consideration is the mix of owner occupied vs tenant rentals and the age group of the other owners in the complex or building.

 Create a good support network.

 For a smooth transition, obtain input from a professional Realtor. You may also wish to consult financial advisors, planners, accountants, and lawyers.

 Sort through personal papers and photographs first.

These items take the most time to look over. Decide whether to keep them, save them for your children, or shred.

 Ask family members for help sorting through other possessions.

  Downsizing is a huge undertaking. An unbiased opinion is always welcome when we must decide what we want to keep and what we can donate, recycle, or sell. Don’t simply toss old items away. If in doubt about the value of an item, have it appraised.

 Focus on the positives.

 Moving to a smaller home may make it easier for you to travel, participate in interests and activities, and enjoy a new sense of freedom. Embrace downsizing as an adventure, an opportunity to meet new people and explore a new phase of your life.

The above was written by Cheryl Patterson

 

          Hidden Costs of Downsizing to a Smaller Home

 For older Canadians who have watched their retirement savings shrink over the past few years, downsizing seems like a no-brainer. Wouldn't moving to a smaller home mean lower mortgage payments and living costs? Well, maybe -- but experts agree that a number of factors, not all of them financial, make each case unique.

 "Your biggest expense is your home," says Steven A. Sass, program director at The Center for Retirement Research. "Our sense is that people who are retiring and are financially strapped should think hard about downsizing as a way to improve their income."

 According to the Center's research, downsizing from a $250,000 house to one that costs $150,000 could increase yearly income by $3,000 and reduce annual expenses by $3,250, saving the homeowner $6,250 a year.
 

 Here's the math behind the figures: Subtracting the price of the new home from that of the old adds $100,000 to your savings. From that, subtract the cost of moving.

 "Moving is expensive," Sass says. While every situation will be different, moving can cost 10 percent or more of the selling price of your home, he says.

 Ten percent of $250,000, or $25,000, brings the profit down to $75,000.

4% rule when downsizing in London Ontario

  Using the rule of 4 percent, a rule of thumb financial planners use to calculate how much retirees may safely withdraw from their savings annually, Sass says $75,000 in the bank could add $3,000 of income per year.

 The Center calculates the cost of taxes, insurance, utilities and upkeep at 3.25 percent of the home's value -- a figure that will also vary depending upon where you live, Sass says.

 At that rate, household expenses for the old home would be about $8,125 a year. For the new, smaller home, they drop to about $4,875 a year -- resulting in an additional gain of $3,250 a year for a total annual savings of $6,250.

 The cost of transportation and gas should also be considered.  "How far will they be from the places they need to go -- the grocery store, doctors, and hospitals? Will they be able to access public transportation?"

 Medical considerations

when downsizing in London Ontario, how far away is your doctor?

 "A lot of older adults move out of the city without thinking about what happens when they can't drive anymore," says Julie Gray, a certified geriatric care manager who is a principal of Aging Wisdom, a care management service. "It's human nature to think that things will stay the same, but as we get older, there are a lot of things we need to think about -- not only monthly expenditures but physical changes and how those needs will be met in the most cost-effective way."

 On the other hand, she says, changing medical needs may make staying in place too costly to be a practical option. 

 Particularly in older homes, Gray says, a remodel to widen doorways for walkers, make bathrooms more wheelchair-accessible or accommodate a live-in helper could be very pricey. "Seventy percent of those over 65 will need some kind of long-term care service eventually," she says, "so it's a good idea for older adults to take a look at their homes and see if it can meet those needs."
 

 

 

 


Real Estate Done The Old Fashion Way?


  Has the trading of real estate changed over the years either than the prices? Considering the internet, cell phones, faxes and virtual offices, I’m sure we all agree it has.

  Real estate however is still a personal business, a face to face meeting and mutual agreement of 2 parties to purchase and sell a property. That being said, let’s overhear a conversation about changes.

                                    changes in real estate

  One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general. The Grandfather replied,

  'Well, let me think a minute, I was born before: Television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox contact lenses 'Frisbees and the pill.

  There were no: credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens.

  Man had not invented: pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.

  Your Grandmother and I got married first. And then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother.

  Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, 'Sir'. And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

  We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

 Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

 We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. 

 Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. 

 Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. 

 Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

 We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. 

   I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Buddy Holly.

 If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan ' on it, it was junk. The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.

 We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

 You could buy a new Chevy for $1600, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 21 cents a gallon! Our first house was $18,900 and taxes were $183.00.

 In my day: ''grass' was mowed, ''coke' was a cold drink, ''pot' was something your mother cooked in and ''rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby. ''Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office, '' chip' meant a piece of wood, ''hardware' was found in a hardware store and ''software' wasn't even a word.

 And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us 'old and confused' and say there is a generation gap... And how old do you think I am?

 How old do you think this person is? Is he your father? Is he your grandfather?

  I bet you have this old man in mind...you are in for a shock! Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.

                 still vibrant

 This man would be only 66 years old! Real estate may be the second oldest profession in the world and business is still done the same way, trying to reach an agreement. The tools may be different but the results are the same.

 So when it is time to purchase or sell a property in London Ontario and you want old fashioned morals but modern day technology, now you know who to call!


A Very Important Decision Before Rightsizing


  "We’re thinking about downsizing to a smaller home. Having been out of the real estate market for many years, how do we find a representative to help us buy and sell?"

Senior couple in front of home.

 When it comes to buying or selling a home in London Ontario, one of the first steps many people take is choosing a real estate professional to work with. Much like you’ll be searching for a home to meet your needs, you’ll want to take a few steps to choose the real estate professional who is right for you.

Regardless of how you find the real estate professional, it’s always a good idea to meet with at least a few different representatives before selecting the one you’d like to work with. When you have your short list and are ready to meet with a few candidates, consider asking these questions:

1. What is your experience? Experience is about more than how many years someone has been in business. Take the time to learn about the types of properties they typically work with, which neighbourhoods they work in and how many homes in the type you are looking for they helped buy or sell in the past year or two.

2. What is your approach to the buying or selling process?For the buying side of things, how will the representative search for suitable properties and what is their approach to negotiations? When selling, how will your home be marketed to help attract the right prospective buyers? By understanding their approach, you’ll know what to expect and will be able to determine which representative’s philosophy and methods align with your preferences.

3. What services will be included? Discuss your particular needs and expectations with prospective representatives to ensure they are able to provide the services you want. For example, when selling, will the representative have professional photos taken of your home or prepare multimedia promotional materials? How will they promote and market your home? Understanding exactly what services will be provided, and later documenting them in your written contract, will help avoid misunderstandings later on.

4. What are the commissions or fees that I will need to pay? Commissions and fees can vary between brokerages and the services provided, so be sure to understand what will be provided and what it will cost. Keep in mind that, as with most things, the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best one.

5. Do you have references? As with most job interviews, getting in touch with references is an important step before hiring someone. Speaking with past clients is a great way to learn more. Were past clients pleased with their experience? Was the representative responsive and easy to get in touch with? Would they recommend them to others?

Buying and selling a home is a major decision, so it’s key to take the time to find the right representative for you. Whether it’s homes within a certain price range, in a specific neighbourhood, income properties or condos, it’s smart to find a representative experienced in buying and selling your kind of place.

 Ask these 11 Questions Before You Hire Any Realtor


Selling a House in London Ontario? Who Wins? Who Loses?


 

  Over 99% of transactions done in real estate in London Ontario & area is done the Contingent Fee Model. Risk & reward is contingent on results, in other words, if your home sells, you and the Realtor get rewarded, if it does not sell, you both lose! That's a fact in the real world!

     London Ontario Real Estate Sales, Not all are happy!

   The only guarantee a Realtor has is the listing agreement, that means he or she has exclusive rights  and guarantees the Realtor has 60 or 90 days or as long as six months to sell your home. ( 6 months? I also have swamp land for sale in the desert)

   A professional listing Realtor will invest considerable time & money gaining the experience and the skills to effectively perform his or her's fiduciary duty to you, the home seller.

  You the seller, entrust the marketing and the sale of your home, which in most cases is the most significant asset you have, to the Realtor.

  If the effort put forth by both of you get a result (a sale) then both win, the home sells and the Realtor earns a fee. If the home does not sell, again you both lose, not only time, but money and in most cases, lost opportunities!

  What amazes me the most about this business is the amount of home sellers who entrust their most valuable asset to just anybody,( a family friend, niece or nephew, or good old Bob, who sold your parents house 14 years ago), or the lowest price (cheapest) person who charges the lowest commission fee.

 house not selling in London Ontario

  You see, you both lose. Whether the home sells or not!

 Why?

  How much time and money did you leave on the table? Most home sellers never know!

  If you want to win, work with a winner. Does the NHL, NFL OR FIFA champions have a team of losers? Were their top players paid less than the losers? Yes, some did, because they rose to the occasion or they love the last game of a championship, the pressure, the win or lose motivation, you win, you get paid, you lose, you lose.

  As a famous oil rig fire fighter said "If you think a professional is expensive, wait till' you use an amateur."


A Refreshing Downsizing Story


I will call this couple Bill and Mary to protect their identity and their 'keeping up with the Jone's ' previous lifestyle.

      unhappy house owners

They were referred to me by their accountant who asked me if I could help them out. Here is the outline:

  • $460,000 house with a $370,000 mortgage
  • two car loans $37,800
  • $21,500 credit card debt
  • $18,000 line of credit
  • two chidren under 10
  • $102,000 combined salary income
  • $31,000 in RSP's
  • $900 in savings!

 

A very nice hard working couple in their 30's who realized they were getting deeper in debt, working hard to keep afloat and if something happen to one of them such as a lay-off or sickness, they were in trouble!

They finally came to the reality that though they had a beautiful home and on that on the outside looking prosperous and happy, the reality was that they were treading water, just keeping afloat was a chore. 

I asked them how serious they were to re-invent their lifestyle, build for their future and if they could discipline their ego and self-worth by not doing what their friends were all doing.

It took a few months of soul searching and to get to the end of the story, here is what happen after two years and one month.

  • I sold their home for $466,000
  • Paid off the credit card debt & line of credit
  • Bought a $149,000 townhouse with a $125,000 mortgage
  • one car loan at $11,500 left
  • $55,000 in RSP's
  • $11,000 in a TFSA
  • $87,800 combined salary income
  • Two family vacations
  • A plan to pay off their mortgage in 4 years

        happy real estate clients

  I got them to subscribe to a few financial freedom blogs that would show them that there were other people living  with financial freedom and it was not income that was the biggest reason, it was focusing on expenses and putting a true value on 'keeping up with the Jones'! Here is one of the best financial freedom blogs out there.

  Are they happier? Have less stress? Lose any friends? How is their ego's and self-esteem?

Yes to very happy and no stress,  new appreciation of true friends and their new found self-esteem of being financially disciplined.

 Was it easy? Was it hard?

 Fear of the unknown is one of the strongest fears we can have so facing reality and knowing that in this case, 'what could be the worst thing that could have happened to this couple when they downsized'? 

 Their ego would get bruised?