A well-paying, secure job and the dream of a big family home was what drove the housing decisions for many Baby Boomers in the 1980s and 1990s. Wall-to-wall carpet, cozy furniture, a backyard, and space for large family gatherings led to a lifetime of memories. Even though these memories can be hard to part with, now is the time to start asking if your home is right for your future.
“We work with people all the time who waited too long, and now their home is too big to manage, there’s too much maintenance, and not enough time or money in their pockets to enjoy life,” said Keisha Telfer, President and Broker or Record at Transitions Realty.
Avoiding talking about or thinking about moving from the place you’ve grown roots can lead to any number of unwanted circumstances. Acute health emergencies, financial losses, the loss of a loved one can suddenly take the control away from homeowners when they least expect it. This is the dark side of downsizing, when a lack of lifestyle planning forces a decision that might not be ideal.
So where do you start?
Planning and asking the right questions now, allows a homeowner to ease into the transition, rather than rely on a rushed transaction later.
“Understanding if your home is still right for you is the first step,” explained Keisha Telfer, President and Broker of Record, Transitions Realty and downsizingexperts.ca. “Is the house manageable now and will it be manageable even when physical limits start to arise as someone ages? In our cold climate, for example, it means shoveling snow year after year or worrying about water damage from ice melting.”
Baby boomers are also extremely social and have close ties to neighbours, so a question that Telfer urges people to ask is “Am I the last one left here?”. She explained that even if you aren’t the last one left, having those conversations with friends can help you start planning to rightsize your life and maintain your social circle, rather than downsize when you least expect it.
At Transitions Realty, the team has developed a process that helps uncertain home owners to ‘rightsize’ their lives, helping them plan a lifestyle by design and overcome the obstacles they might be facing. The first step is to determine, what’s not working in their current situation and start thinking about their ideal lifestyle.
Our Rightsizing Workbook helps people get started in 4 steps
- Discover what’s not working – an assessment of where someone is struggling
- Understand what’s holding you back – what are the hurdles you’re facing mentally and physically to making the decision to transition
- Envision your future – Mindset is everything! What is it that you really want for your future?
- Identify rightsizing opportunities – start designing your lifestyle to match the future you envision, through planning and support from the Transitions support team
If you’re interested in auditing your own home and lifestyle, download our FREE Rightsizing Workbook to take you through the steps you need to start planning your transition.