Downsizing - Selling your home and buying a Condo

The kids have moved out, there are way too many bedrooms in the house and it’s just the two of you and maybe the family pet. The Husband is getting tired of mowing the lawn, doing the plumbing and fixing the roof, whereas the wife keeps complaining about having to clean a big house on her own and she’s getting tired of having to carry the groceries through the long hallway and passing three rooms before she gets to put them down on the countertop.

It’s time for a nice relaxing vacation, yet there is so much to think about before you leave. You have to go to your friend’s house and give him/her the keys, and maybe even leave the family pet there because you can’t possibly leave a pet and a house for a week or two on its own. Some concerns that come with owing a house are; What if the wind blows over all of your flower pots in the backyard, or it rains onto your garden furniture? Somebody needs to come by, pick up the mail for you, water the plants and make sure that you haven’t left the patio door open for someone to come in. The house is too big, the vacation takes more preparation than it really should, and you’re just sick and tired of it all.

Now more than ever, people are making the switch from living in a big house to moving to a much smaller condo. Here are some useful tips if you are interested in downsizing from a house to a condo.

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1. You can compile a list of things you “want/need” to hang on to and a list of items you “no longer need/haven’t used for a longer time period”. After this list has been composed, you can start by putting all the things you no longer need/haven’t used in boxes and then you label each box.

2. Now that you have created more space and cleaned up, you may want to decide what to do with those things. Some of the “old stuff” you can give away to charity, like Goodwill perhaps, and some things like books, electronics, appliances and even the still good nail polishes you could sell on Kijiji or by holding a garage sale in your front yard.

3. There is more room now, it’s neat and it will be easier to clean your house and it’s also easier to sell now. It proves to be a challenge selling a house that looks like the next episode of hoarders. Keep in mind that a presentable house, nicely decorated (put those pillows neatly on the bed) will sell faster, than a messy and unorganized home.

4. You should also see what furniture you can and can’t take with you. Keep in mind that you are moving from (example) a 2000 sq ft house into an 800 sq ft condo. The furniture that is in your family room, kid’s bedroom and guest room can be sold for a nice profit. It’s hard letting go, but in the end the rooms are no longer used and the things become dust collectors.

5. You should sketch out the new layout of your condo, write down measurements and pencil in how you wish to decorate and arrange your old furniture. If you notice that you still have things left over and you can’t squeeze that side table anywhere then you should really think about selling these items.

6. Some things that most people forget is that you don’t have room for your dining room table set of 6 in the new condo. Get rid of it! Invest in a smaller one if possible.

7. Space – closet space, storage space, basement space, and garage space all come with a nice big house, unfortunately the condo does not. This might seem like a headache, but in reality, for some, it’s a great thing. In the house you accumulate all kinds of things over the years, thinking “I will wear those boots next week, or I will use that treadmill tomorrow morning.” Reality: If it’s been in the basement space – you will never use it again, so you might as well get rid of it. The condo will make you hold on to only the things that you really need in your locker, storage or closet space.

8. Don’t stress so much! All this de-cluttering, selling and moving can be a stressful process but in the end imagine all that comes with a condo lifestyle. You are moving into a condo that comes with luxury living. The wife does not need to spend hours cleaning and the husband no longer needs to do another fixer upper. Now the family has more time, money and energy to do the things they love. The condo lifestyle allows you to experience more of what life has to offer.