Downsizing in Vancouver? Do It in 5 Steps!

May 1, 2020 | Buying, Downsizing, Selling, Vancouver

For many of us, the dream of a big family home is enough motivation to get out of bed every morning. But after the family leaves the nest, it’s not uncommon to find yourself with too much space and an ever-increasing list of costs and maintenance. Downsizing in Vancouver can be the perfect solution, giving you back the time and money to enjoy your new home, and it’s location.

Why Downsizing in Vancouver Can Be the Right Move

There are a lot of reasons that people choose to downsize their properties in Vancouver. Being able to reduce your living and maintenance costs and unlocking capital in your property to name a few. But more typically, we see people looking to downsize when their children have left home, or in a move to a different neighbourhood to be closer to amenities and other lifestyle benefits.

Downsizing could also be the right choice for you if you travel a lot for work, or are looking to travel more permanently. Rather than paying expensive utility bills and property taxes for rooms that aren’t being used, moving into a smaller property or condo may free up some much-needed capital, as well.

As the boomer generation continues to exit the workforce, we most often see retirees looking to downsize in Vancouver. Considerations like comfort, the difficulty of living in multi-storey housing as you age, and being closer to family and friends are all reasons to consider downsizing. But other unforeseen events such as relationship breakdowns, employment circumstances, or global pandemics can also become aggravating factors.

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Make Downsizing Easy With These 5 Steps

1. Define Your Goals

Before you can downsize, you need to determine the necessities, and which things you are happy to compromise on. Room is a given, but you need to consider things like:

  • how much room do you actually need to live comfortably?

  • Do you need a guest room or can you sacrifice it to minimise costs?

  • Which neighbourhoods would you be happy to live in?

  • How long do you plan to live there? Will stairs become an issue?

  • Are you trying to avoid maintenance?

All of these questions and more will help you to make decisions on the type and size of property that suits your needs.

2. Buy or Sell

When it comes to property, the decision to buy or sell first comes down to personal circumstances. There are a number of factors that come into play, such as:

  •  the current state of the market

  • The specific properties involved. Are they unique? Will they be an ‘easy’ sell?

  • The risks involved with either option

  • Flexibility with your time, finances or options

For more information, see our detailed write-up. Using an experienced realtor can help to streamline this process for you, and give you advice specific to your circumstances.

Then it’s time to make some tough decisions.

3. Pack and Sort

Downsizing in Vancouver can mean a much smaller space than you’re used to. You’ll need to decide which pieces of furniture you might donate, which items you consider essential and which ones you do not. In short, what are you taking, and what are you saying goodbye to?

It can be an emotional process, and we suggest starting as early as possible. Some people prefer to start in unemotional rooms, like the laundry or garage, before moving into the main parts of the home.

When you begin to pack, it’s important to consider whether the items you’re keeping serve your plan for the new property and its uses. Does it help you meet your goals? Have they actually been used recently? In many cases, a lot of possessions can be passed down to family or friends, who can enjoy them as much as you did.

4. Call in the Favours

Moving day means all hands on deck. Depending on your circumstances you may be able to rely on friends and family, or paying for a moving company may suit you better. Either way, it can be an emotional and stressful experience, so remember to breathe, and take your time.

5. Acclimatise

Spend time in your new property, arrange and re-arrange. But don’t forget to enjoy all the great things about moving to a new place! Get outdoors and explore, get to know the street names and how to find your way, meet the neighbours. Often it lets you appreciate a neighbourhood while you get to know it, and it’s a great way to find it’s quirks and rhythm.

Thinking About Downsizing in Vancouver?

The process of buying or selling your home is a big task in and of itself. But downsizing has a more specific set of challenges that can make it a difficult process. At the West Haven Group, our dedicated team can assist from start to finish. Whether it be determining your goals or helping you to sell or find your new dream property, we are always here for you.

To find out if now’s a good time to downsize, or for any other information, please reach out and connect!

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