As baby boomers retire, downsizing the family home becomes an important discussion to fund retirement, to help adult children acquire their own home, or just to reduce maintenance costs and property upkeep.
Since we’re not ready to leave the big city excitement, culture, and conveniences, and friends and family in Toronto we’re looking for options to transition within the City.
Torontonians live in one of the most expensive markets in the country, so when we’re about to sell our property we have many options at our disposal. We could move to a different less expensive area and buy a smaller home, or we could downsize to a condominium, typically a less expensive option than a house, but not always. Let’s look at the options.
Toronto is the condo capital of Canada, so there is lots of choice.
Condo living is quite different than living in a house – there are obvious advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include no outside maintenance, no snow shovelling, no grass cutting – although these come at a price in the form of monthly maintenance fees.
There are often shared amenities that add value and convenience but require sharing. How do I feel about sharing and lack of privacy after owning my own home for many years? Remember though, condo living is about convenience and location. Lock it and leave it!
Living in a House
A smaller house is also an option if you’re more partial to ground level living, perhaps a small yard or patio, and having your car nearby.
There are many up and coming neighbourhoods that might not be on your radar. Typically, they are beyond the downtown core, and are now attracting younger families, bringing a new vibrancy to tired areas. With some renovations, a diamond in the rough could be your next home.
What else to Consider
Costs can be reduced by selling a second car or going carless. The city has many kms of new transit nearing completion, with many more in the planning stages. More and more neighbourhoods have amenities within walking distance or a short transit ride away.
Car sharing and bike share options are numerous. The network of bicycle lanes and the trail system are being expanded.
Rethinking our errands can also reduce unnecessary and time consuming trips. The pandemic has made us rethink doing errands in person. Banking can be done online for example. Groceries can be ordered online and delivered to our home.
Parking spaces in many new condos cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, and are often only available with the most expensive units. Yet another reason for reducing our car dependence.
Laneway homes are a fact in Toronto and soon coach houses or garden suites will be as well. More options! But that’s a topic for another time.
As always I invite you to call for a free personal consultation. See you here next time. Let’s talk Downsizing!