Home Downsizing London Ontario
Downsizing in London Ontario To a Smaller House, Apartment or Townhouse/Townhome
Downsizing a one-floor house, a one-floor townhome or townhouse, or an apartment condo requires well-thought-out steps, including financial planning and paring down your possessions. Social and health considerations also play a role. Maintaining and staying in a home that no longer meets your needs and lifestyle can be a financial burden or mobility issue. It prevents you from travelling or doing any number of things you have ever dreamed of doing.
You’ve got this far in your life and have managed to handle the good and the not so good; here are a few ideas that may help.
Calculating Finances & Staying Within a Budget
A breakdown of expenses, such as mortgage payments ( if needed), property taxes, condo fees, utilities, and transportation, is essential. Downsizing will reduce housing costs, property taxes, and possibly future maintenance costs. Ensure 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 additional 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.
Plan a realistic timeframe and 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 more significant than you need. In contrast to downsizing too much, you can also not reduce 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 to accommodate potential visitors. One spare room and a fold-out sofa could probably adapt to most needs and still keep your home manageable.
The same goes for lot sizes. Consider how much yard maintenance you will be able to do as you advance in years and the costs 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 the 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 younger may not be the same as you get older. Where ever you choose a location, make sure you plan so your future needs are met.
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 they feel more relaxed and free after rightsizing and spend more time with friends and family.
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.
Ask yourself, “Is managing the family home holding [me] back from enjoying life?”
Thinking of Selling? Home Evaluations Made Simpler
Once you provide the property information, we will:
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 several 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. “We sense that people who are retiring and financially strapped should think hard about downsizing as a way to improve their income.”
Using the rule of 4 percent is a rule of thumb a financial planner uses 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.
The cost of transportation and gas should 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?”
“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 most cost-effectively.”
On the other hand, she says, changing medical needs may make staying in a 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 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.”