One of the rewards of working in real estate for more than 30 years is that I’ve had the pleasure of helping many clients through the selling and buying process at different stages in their lives.
In some cases, I’ve helped couples with two or three young children find a big family home. Then, years later, as their children have grown and moved out to study and begin careers, I’ve worked with those same couples in selling their large properties and finding something that’s smaller and better suited to them at this new phase of their lives. Sometimes I’ve also helped their grown children find their first condo or home.
If you’ve reached the stage when the children have left home, it’s possible you’re questioning whether you want to stay in that large suburban house, and you may be thinking about downsizing.
This is a very personal decision. Some people want to stay in the family home they’ve worked hard at making their own, because they love the location and want that home available whenever their children and grandchildren come back for visits.
Others decide that it makes more sense to sell the larger property and move into something smaller and more manageable.
Depending on where you are now and where you move, a smaller home can mean lower property taxes and also simply a lot less work than is involved in the maintenance of a larger home with a big yard and garden.
One major reason many decide to sell is to move to a place that’s less expensive and then have extra funds from the sale to supplement their pensions or retirement savings.
If your home happens to be in a particularly in-demand area of the city, such as the Glebe, New Edinburgh, Westboro or Island Park, and if you’ve been there for many years, you know that your home sell for a much higher price than what you paid for it. People who bought in Westboro more than 20 years ago, for example, when prices were still modest and before the neighbourhood became so hot, know that when they sell they will in some cases make several times what they paid and can use their sales proceeds to fund their retirements.
Wherever you live, especially if your mortgage has been paid off for some time, you can invest your proceeds and use it to supplement your retirement funds, travel to countries you’ve long wanted to visit or perhaps enjoy spending your winter months in a warmer climate.
I have worked with many couples who are at this stage in their lives, and I’d be happy to meet with you and show you some options based on your situation.
You might decide, for example, to buy a smaller, more modest home in an area of our region where prices are lower than where you are currently living. I’d be happy to show you the sale price you could expect to ask in your neighbourhood, and then show you some less expensive options in other parts of our region.
If you’ve spent years living in the suburbs, you might decide, as many of my clients have, to buy a one-bedroom or two-bedroom condo in downtown Ottawa, or at least somewhere that’s within a short transit ride to downtown.
I’ve worked with many couples who have re-located to the downtown area. As a result they are able to walk everywhere they want to go, including the Byward Market, the Rideau Centre, the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Canada and downtown restaurants. These clients have told me they love the car-free lifestyle and saying goodbye to those daily traffic jams on the Queensway.
I have lived in several condos myself, and long before the condo boom that Ottawa has seen over the past 10 to 15 years, I was helping many clients buy and sell condo units in the central areas of the city.
So I’m able to share with you some of the ins and outs of condo life and how it differs from traditional home ownership, to help you decide if a condo would feel right for you.
Clients who are retired or are approaching retirement tell me they love the convenience of condo life, of knowing that they never have to shovel snow from the driveway, mow a lawn or rake leaves again. Others might choose a townhome condo that allows them to still do some modest gardening, if they enjoy that.
Others might decide that condo life isn’t for them, but with a more modest home, they are able to pay others to do that yard work through the year or clear that snow from the driveway.
Deciding to downsize is a personal decision. I’m happy to meet with you and show you some possibilities, to at least help you decide if it’s an appealing option in your case.
You can reach me through my website, at www.nancybenson.com, or give me a call at 613-747-4747. On my website, if you click on the Listings tab of the main page, you can also have a look at some of the photos of the properties, and get an idea of the sophisticated presentation, staging and photography we offer for all of our seller clients at Nancy Benson and Associates. We also offer professional home staging to all of our seller clients, and many clients have told us they never dreamed their home could look so beautiful.