older adults packing boxes into back of car

Relocating to a Smaller Home: The Silver Lining

When faced with moving from a large spacious house to a much smaller condo most people balk at the idea of losing the convenience of multiple bathrooms, the freedom of a huge backyard or the enjoyment of parties and family events in a grand dining and living area. Saying goodbye to the prestige of owning a house and property is extremely difficult. Then comes the enormous task of deciding what to keep and what to part with, sorting, packing, selling and relocating. All this is difficult for anyone, but for older adults who have lived in the same home for many years, the difficult can seem insurmountable.

The truth is, despite the bleak optics, the reality is much sunnier indeed. Moving to a condo could be the smartest thing you will do in years, and it will enrich your life in ways you may not have considered yet.

First and foremost, there are financial benefits galore. An excellent article for older adults in “MortgageLoan.com” cuts to the chase: “When it comes to real estate, it is crucial that seniors think about their financial future and not let a sentimental attachment to a home get in the way. One way to cut through the sentimental attachments to a home is to try to look at it purely as an investment. ‘Once you’ve been in a 4,000-square foot house for 30 years and that house is paid off and worth half a million dollars – that equity is just sitting there doing nothing’ (quote by Senior Living Realtor Armand Christopher).”

Here’s a hypothetical example. In Victoria, if a couple sells their house for $900K and purchases a condo for $500K, they can invest the difference and make money off the interest. In addition, they will reap the savings from lower costs of utilities and maintenance in a condominium. Lower monthly expenses will boost their quality of life by freeing up cash to travel, and to spend more time with family and friends. (Though they may have to deal with some jealous friends and family after sipping Pina Coladas on a beach in the Bahamas.

There are more urgent and practical considerations for older adults who may not realize that hanging on to the status of owning a house may be jeopardizing the enjoyment of their lives in the long run. Indeed, one of the biggest mistakes that the older seniors make is to stay in their homes for far longer than they should. As people age, they sometimes develop chronic conditions such as arthritis which is exacerbated in a large house with flights of stairs and a list of complicated maintenance chores. The longer a person stays in a home that is increasingly unsuited to his or her current needs, the more expensive, and physically and mentally draining a move will be when it comes.

Downsizing to a condominium eliminates these triggers for further injury or illness. The benefits to your physical and mental well being can be enormous.

Don’t be tied to your home. Sometimes less turns out to be much more.

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