What To Know About The Real Estate Downsizing Wave

The six steps to an easy downsizing transition.

We’ve covered everything from the hottest real estate markets of 2021, tips for first-time homebuyers to what you need to know when selling & when buying a cottage.

Now it’s time to talk Downsizing! With the aging population, some seniors are making the move to cash in and sell their forever homes for big bucks to downsize and buy perhaps smaller homes where they can live the rest of their lives with ease & comfort…Our Real Estate Expert Monique is here to tell us more.

According to the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation, over nine million seniors, age 65 and over, own their homes across this nation.Some of these folks are on the verge of retirement, have raised their families for decades in their family homes, and now, their nests now empty. Combine that with physical challenges that come with aging … some feel their family home no longer meet their needs.For example, there may be too many stairs to climb, the house may be too large & expensive to upkeep on retiree income, or there are too many empty unused rooms. Some are choosing to make the move to downsize, while others opt to age in place and perhaps retrofit their homes to live there for the rest of their lives.

Regardless, downsizing can be a grueling and emotionally taxing process because of the sheer volume of hard work it takes to pull it off smoothly. Many of us who have parents or relatives in this age group will have to go through this eventually with our loved ones.
We must be prepared and not underestimate the process.

Where do you start when it comes to downsizing? So, what’s first on the list to start…

#1:  Hire a trusted realtor 

We are in a seller’s market in many parts of the country, so securing your home in a sea of competition will be more challenging than to actually sell your home in this market.
Your realtor should be thinking ahead … and facilitating the process to get your home ready while looking for your next one.

#2: Get Your Home Ready 

If someone has lived in the same home for 5, 10, 15, 20+ years, I can guarantee one thing you’ve accumulated stuff and a lot of it! Downsizing means you’re moving into a smaller home, so that means the stuff you have in your three to five-bedroom house, is not going to fit into your new condo, quaint bungalow or smaller home. Often, people are deeply tied emotionally to their belongings and hold significant sentimental value.

It’s important to get rid of things old kitchenware, collections, unused-large furniture that won’t fit into your next home; old electronics like VCR & appliances; clothing you haven’t worn in years; those numerous boxes in the basement storing your now adult kid’s childhood books & toys.

#3: Get Support

Your realtor should align you with professional help to get organized and decluttered. Hire professional declutterers or organiser who will assist you. They have tried systems that work! Decluttering experts will work with you closely to systematically sort through years of stuff & they’ll do so with empathy, patience & be mindful of your feelings.

#4: Set A Timeline

One month to two months is typical for an average family-sized 4bedroom home to be decluttered if you’re tackling a little every day. Tackle one room at a time and understand that it’s easy to cross into the feeling of overwhelm.

#5 Enhance Your Property
Next, your realtor will advise what areas may need some cosmetic work to elevate the presentation & condition of your property, so you get top dollar for your sale.

#6: Pack for the Move
Then we have the packing for the move. While in the decluttering phase when you have the manpower assistance, use that time wisely and have your support team pack your non-essentials or items you’re taking to the next home you won’t need access to when your home is listed. Strategically packing for your move as you declutter, will further reduce the burden of having to do this when it’s actually time to move. Packed boxes can be stored in the basement, garage or at a storage facility until the home is sold.

Renting a disposal bin is a cost-efficient way to discard items. Donating your items to families in need; or Habitat for Humanity is a way of giving back & receive tax write offs; or sell your items to help pay for moving expenses. Hire reputable professional movers to get you from point A to B.

How can Seniors further be empowered going through this process?

Seniors can be empowered by knowing they took control of their own life, while they still could and physically able to. By taking control now, your family won’t be forced to make decisions for you, if something happens to you down the road. If downsizing is something you truly want to do you must be fully invested and feel positive about it. Accept this is going to be a challenging process and you may panic due to resistance to it.
You may even experience grief or sadness, as you start to see your belongings slowly disappear from your living spaces. Let’s remember you’ve spent a good chunk of your life in this home raising your family. There’s going to be an impact of these drastic changes.
Invite loved ones over to assist & support you through this process. You’re going to need it.

Where are these seniors are relocating too with all of their riches Monique? 

Seniors are moving to affordable areas compared to major city centres and suburbs.
We’ve seen seniors move out to Atlantic Canada where they enjoy reasonable seaside, small-town living, and thrive in retiree communities. In Ontario, places like the Niagara region, Kingston & Wasaga Beach are popular destinations too. In the Midwest, Sylvan Lake, and Lake Winnipeg. Out west they go to Okanagan, Kelowna, and other spots in British Columbia.

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