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5 Things to Consider Before Downsizing

Considering making the move into a smaller home? Here’s what you need to know.

After months (or even years) spent scouring the real estate market, you were probably elated when you finally become a homeowner. But fast-forward to today, and you may be questioning whether or not your “forever” home still meets your needs.

Whether your family or economic situation has changed, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to consider downsizing. Although it may require some tweaks to your lifestyle, the downsizing process can be relatively easily with the right amount of preparation. Here are five common concerns that homeowners have when moving into a more compact space, as well as a few helpful tips to make the transition easier for everyone.

1. Reduced Storage Space

Once you’ve filled your home with cherished possessions, it can be hard to come to terms with letting some of them go. Rather than struggling to decide which items will fit into your new downsized home, keep a few things you’re undecided on in a storage locker or with someone you trust. Once the stress of moving has passed and you’ve had time to settle into your new home, you’ll have a clearer idea of what can stay and what can be donated or sold. Many multi-unit buildings offer storage space for residents, too; be sure to ask if this is included with your unit or if you need to register in advance.

2. No Backyard

If you’re used to having a big yard with a private patio, moving into a multi-unit building could take some getting used to. But not having a backyard also means not having to mow the lawn, shovel the walk or weed the flowerbeds; one of the biggest perks of living in a shared building is having all of that outdoor upkeep done for you.

Condos and townhomes also tend to be in more densely populated areas, so you’ll have easier access to parks, community gardens and public spaces than you did before—which means the world becomes your new backyard!

Downsizing your home doesn’t mean downsizing your lifestyle – it’s all about using space wisely and finding a building with the right amenities.

3. Less Room for Entertaining

Downsizing means giving up space, not sacrificing the activities that mean the most to you. If you enjoy hosting family and friends, look into the amenities offered by the complexes you’re considering moving into. Many multi-unit buildings have shared outdoor seating areas and rentable event rooms, so you can still fulfill your entertaining needs. Plus, a smaller home means less space to heat, furnish and clean, so you’ll have more money and time to put towards the things (and people) you love.

4. Putting Your Current Home on the Market

Selling your home can be a lengthy and stressful process, especially when you aren’t sure what it’s worth. To help you get a better idea of your home’s value, you can use RE/MAX’s B.C. Home Estimate Tool. The only tool of its kind in Canada, it gives accurate and up-to-date estimates in seconds for properties that aren’t currently listed by a realtor. Estimates are generated based on historical home price trends, recently sold comparable homes and tax assessments in the same area. You can even view your neighbourhood value range. It’s worth noting that this tool doesn’t serve as an official appraisal of a home and cannot be used to obtain a loan. To have your home legally appraised, contact a RE/MAX agent.

5. Finding an Affordable New Home

Don’t let the size of a property fool you. Regardless of where you plan on relocating to, it’s important that you check the average property value of that area first. Smaller properties in high demand areas can run the gamut when it comes to pricing—and you don’t want to overpay. Use the B.C. Home Estimate Tool to determine the average cost of a home in the area you’re interested in moving to and make sure you’re getting a good deal.

As nerve-wracking as downsizing may be, the long-term benefits certainly outweigh the short-term sacrifices. If you’re interested in downsizing but aren’t sure where to begin, consider using RE/MAX’s B.C. Home Estimate Tool to kickstart the process. From less time spent on upkeep to saving money, energy and resources, you’ll be amazed to see how much easier living in a smaller home can be.

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