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Home Downsizing London Ontario

Downsizing Your Home In or To London Ontario

What’s involved?

Downsizing to a one-floor house, a one-floor townhome or townhouse, or an apartment condo in London Ontario 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

To break down expenses, such as mortgage payments ( if needed), property taxes, condo fees, utilities, and transportation. Downsizing will reduce housing, 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.

happy couple downsizing in London Ontario

 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, weed the garden and shovel snow.

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 may not be the same as you get older. Wherever you choose a location, make sure you plan to meet your future needs.

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.

downsizing to a smaller house

 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 to explore a new phase of your life.

Ask yourself, “Is managing the family home holding [me] back from enjoying life?”

Letting go

Downsizing from a larger house to a one-floor bungalow or apartment is an incredibly emotional experience for most. Although it can be challenging 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.

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 downsizing their homes, 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 can be difficult 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 long-term 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.

Less space

A smaller living space can present challenges when hosting family dinners or prevent grown children from returning home, which was given in a more spacious house. Downsizing may encourage our grown children to step up to the plate by taking over family dinners and making their way in life.

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

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.

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 purchasing a condo, research the condo fees, building condition, management reputation or turnover, and décor and pet restrictions. An essential 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 family and significant others, property appraisers, and real estate agents. 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 them.

Ask family members for help sorting through other possessions.

Downsizing is a huge undertaking. An unbiased opinion is always welcome when we 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.

Cheryl Patterson wrote the above; I have edited a few sentences or added some of my take on downsizing.

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Hidden Costs of Downsizing to a Smaller Home

stop wasting money

Downsizing seems like a no-brainer for older Canadians who have watched their retirement savings shrink over the past few years. 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.”

4% rule

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.

Consider the cost of transportation and fuel.  “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?”

The rules of 4 percent have been challenged recently by financial experts, complicating the issue further. A retiree can withdraw from savings without risk per year may be smaller. At the same time, the retiree’s need may be growing, rendering the decision to downsize questionably.

For someone downsizing from a home they own, there are many hidden costs to consider.

First, many factors could lead to higher property taxes, even though the house is smaller. Perhaps the prior home was subject to limitations. Or the fair market value of the new home could be higher.

The timing of the closings of the two homes could also result in unexpected costs.

Ideally, someone who is moving should close on their purchase after they close on the sale of their old home; otherwise, they may not have enough cash flow to carry them through the transition.”

Some people will cash out on the house and go into a rental, but that’s a risky proposition, says CFP professional Artie Green, founder of Cognizant Wealth Advisors. “A fixed-cost mortgage does not increase over time,” he points out, while rental rates are unpredictable. “In the majority of cases, owning a home is a better financial model than renting.”

 Medical considerations

medical considerations when downsizing in London Ontario

“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 costs associated with ageing!

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.”

Alternative strategies

The most common strategy is to sell the home to your children and rent it back from them, but you still run the risk of them evicting you unless you are very careful with legal documentation.

Another consideration: Your children would lose the ability to step up the home’s basis to fair market value at your death, a tax break that kicks in if they inherit, rather than purchase, the house.

Get help with the decision

Moving to a new home is not the kind of decision seniors should make in a vacuum.

First, the whole family needs to put together a retirement plan. Make a list of all things the person or family wants to do for the rest of their lives, prioritize them and assign costs. Now they can begin to back into the decision to sell or downsize.

Finally, if downsizing does make sense, don’t put it off. Moving becomes more difficult with age, both physically and socially. If you put it off till tomorrow, when tomorrow comes, you’ll put it off again.

Choosing a Realtor To Sell a Home In London Ontario

When selling your home in London Ontario, be it a house, apartment or townhouse condo, you have a choice of 1,900 + Realtors. Yet, we sell more homes than the average Realtor, and one of the many reasons is we have designed and implemented a 122 step process that we use every time. Getting a thorough understanding of these points will give you 100% confidence in your decision to sell your home, with whom, what to expect, how to maximize your bottom line and minimize the hiccups!

How Much Is My Home Worth in London Ontario?

how much is my home worth in London Ontario? Get the right value now

We’ve all seen the boring, plain, everyday marketing that offers free valuations without even seeing your home! Or “Free Home Valuation Reports” cards in our mailboxes or the dreaded cold call “I have a buyer who is interested in buying your home.” A Comparative Market Analysis is a report supposed to provide an anticipated sales price or price range for the subject property.

Really?

How can anyone value your home accurately without physically seeing your home and doing the two to three hours of research necessary? Have you ever bought anything “at ” ballpark price’? “general price range?” “The market price?” After advising & guiding hundreds of sellers to sell their homes over the years, every house or condo sold was a price we agreed on. Semantics aside, you deserve a price that many willing, qualified buyers will pay.

Getting a property valuation in London Ontario takes more than 5 to 10 minutes, our property valuations are 2-3 hours.

A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a process Realtors use to determine the market value by comparing it to similar properties that have recently been sold and those currently listed for sale. A CMA is a crucial tool for listing Realtors as they determine the price that a seller will list their house or condo for sale, and it’s also a tool for buyers agents advising their clients to make competitive offers. Conducting accurate, consistent CMAs isn’t easy. Most Realtors are not taught this skill in their pre-license real estate classes, so many enter the business without this vital skill or lack the patience to dedicate the time to learn how to price a home correctly.

Why Our Exclusive London Ontario Home Value Analysis Is Effective

It’s a complete top-to-bottom room-by-room analysis not just of the value but every aspect of your home to identify items that may affect your sales price. Our analysis enables us to identify the selling features or what you can do to help sell quicker or receive a higher price.

       Our Process For Selling Your Home In London Ontario

the best is yet to come after we meet and we explain how to sell your house or condo in London Ontario
  • You let us know that you would like a no obligation, no cost valuation of your house or condo.
  • Arrange a mutual time to meet.
  • We will prepare for our meeting with research of prices, demographics and current market conditions.
  • You will not have to sign anything or listen to blah blah blah stuff , malarky, posturing, showcasing or bs.
  • When we get to your home,a quick introduction and a tour of your home where we will perform a room by room review.
  • When completed, sit down with you and adress your concerns, fears or the anxiety you may have about moving.
  • Have a conversation about:
  • If Necessary, a few minor things you can do a minimal expense to show your home in the best light.
  • Why pricing your home correctly the first time will 9 out of 10 times give you a better returm.
  • Why, when and where to market your home asserively to attract qualified buyers who are excited to buy your home!
  • Understanding that there are four types of buyers in this market and why three of them you want to avoid!
  • Understand the difference between Market Value ,Perceived Value & Appraised Value and what effects those 3 will have on your asking price.
  • What are your legal obligations? To your lender?  To the buyer?
  • How being in a Sellers Market in London Ontario affects your asking price & do negotiating skills matter?
  • How to handle showings & offers to yield the best results.( My last listing I had 119 showings and 37 offers!)
  • Leave with you our research and market reports and best practises to sell a home.
  • Within 24 hours get back to you with “The Price”. And why!
  • You then decide to allow us to sell your home or not.
Contact us Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc

P.S.

We find selling a house or a condo the easiest part of the selling process, it is after the offer is signed by both parties that we truly earn our money!

  • Ensuring the lawyers on both sides of the transaction are informed and followed up with during the process.
  • Cooperating with appraisers, inspections, mortgage lenders
  • In some cases, keeping the transaction on pace and solving challenges.
  • Ensuring our 81 point checklist for closing a sale is completed sequentially.