Understanding the real estate market can be challenging for everyone. That said, some buyers are at a distinct advantage. For example, a family who is upgrading to a larger home has a mountain of information readily available, plus they have been through the process at least once before. Even first-time buyers can access valuable guidance and tips through various online real estate websites. 

For seniors, however, finding the right path can be more complex. Moving away from the family home, which you may have been in for years, is a highly emotional experience. In addition, your needs are more involved, and the housing market keeps changing. The goal of this post is to help you understand the current market and how to make the most of your unique situation.

Reframing the Process

Downsizing is often associated with negative emotions and stress. It no longer feels like new beginnings. That’s one of the reasons we like to use the word “smartsizing” or “rightsizing” instead. With this slight tweak in our approach, we can bring joy and excitement back to your transition. You may even start to feel like a young buyer who just got the keys to their brand-new home!

The truth is that moving away from your current house into something more suitable has nothing to do with downgrading your life. When you “rightsize,” you have less maintenance to worry about, and possibly a lot more money for travel and to indulge your hobbies. You can enjoy a rich, fulfilling life with more time for your loved ones and more freedom to do what you want to do. 

If selling your family home is the first step in your downsizing journey, the posts below will help:

Declutter Your Stuff, Keep Your Memories

One of the hardest things to do when preparing for a new home is to declutter your belongings before moving. Suddenly, it seems that everything you own has a story to tell, and getting rid of it feels like throwing away part of your soul. 

Fortunately, decluttering is one more emotional aspect that is easy to reframe. Think of it this way: Even if you discard every picture, every keepsake, every meaningful souvenir you’ve collected over the years, your memories stay with you. 

Even fading memories carry the love and connection you’ve created with your friends and family over the years. Soon, you realize that it was never the physical things that held such meaning in your life, but rather what they represent. 

The practical aspect of decluttering may not be the most fun part of the transition. You just have to get moving and sorting. However, once completed, many people swear that they feel lighter and happier, and even their house seems more spacious. As an added benefit, getting rid of everything you no longer use or need means fewer boxes to pack, move, and then unpack later. 

Live for Today, Plan for Tomorrow

Finding the right home as a senior means keeping your current lifestyle in mind while also planning for the future. You have much to think about that wouldn’t even cross the mind of a first-time buyer just trying to break into the market. 

For example, a strategic location becomes even more critical as we age. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin to assess your choices:

  • Consider how your health and mobility may change over the years. Will you be able to access the care you need?
  • Research any neighbourhood you’re looking at to see what healthcare facilities, family, and social networks may be available.
  • Factor in what home features you may appreciate more as you age, such as a no-step entranceway or having everything all on one floor. 

You Have More Options Than Ever

Downsizing once meant two choices: either move to a small condo or into a senior’s home. However, today’s empty-nesters have access to a wealth of options that give you everything you need for a high quality of life. These could include (but are not limited to): 

  • Adult-only condo buildings 
  • Modern bungalows in retirement communities
  • Luxurious retirement residences with elegant suites and views of the lake 

An experienced real estate professional can help you narrow down the best housing options to support an elevated lifestyle now and into the future. 

Determining Your Budget

If you are a long-time homeowner, you have one massive advantage as you venture back into the real estate market. Over the years, the equity in your home has grown, which gives you substantial purchasing power for your next steps. 

However, just because you can spend it doesn’t mean you must, or even that you should. Before choosing your new home, think of the lifestyle you want to enjoy. 

  • Would a smaller, less expensive house that leaves you with more discretionary income make you happiest? 
  • Or do you prefer to lounge at home in relative luxury? 

Another consideration is how much your new home will cost over and above the purchase price. Your real estate agent can work with you to determine a comfortable budget that factors in any maintenance costs, closing fees, and other living expenses. 

Do you still have unanswered questions about your next steps to downsizing your home? The resources below can help you get unstuck:

Location, Location, Location

Now that you have an idea of the lifestyle you want to enjoy and the housing structure that might suit you best, it’s time for another critical decision. Where do you want your new home to be? 

Southern Ontario has gone through an incredible amount of development over the last few years. This means you can enjoy a level of convenience and access to healthcare and other support even further away from the major urban centres. Your options are almost endless:

  • If you’re dreaming of rural life but don’t want to sacrifice weekend brunches and shopping trips, your retirement dreams could come true in Port Perry. 
  • Is the thought of city life appealing but you don’t want the stress of living in a crowded or noisy neighbourhood? A city like Peterborough might be an ideal choice, where you can spend hours strolling along the waterfront and through the many beautiful parks while enjoying all of the perks of metropolitan life.
  • Have you always wanted to retire on or near the waterfront? One of the charming and vibrant towns of Kawartha Lakes might be calling your name. 

Today’s real estate market may seem hectic, but you will be surprised at how many options you have to begin your new life. Your first step to rightsizing to a house you love is connecting with an experienced real estate professional who will guide you through every turn. 

Are you ready to begin exploring your options in the beautiful Durham region? We are happy to provide you with the supportive and compassionate guidance you need to take your first steps. Reach out to team@willowsgroup.ca or call 1.888.926.2066 to connect with us today.