There are many life stages that prompt us to reconsider our living arrangements and wonder whether it’s time to make a change. One of the biggest, and often most difficult, is the one an increasing number of baby boomers face: Is it time to let go of the family home, perhaps relocating to another community outside the GTA?
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t – it really depends on whether you’re looking forward to what comes next and are ready to transition to a new lifestyle. And if you’re not sure, that’s the perfect time to consult with us.
Yes, we’re real estate agents, which means we help you to buy and sell homes. But, ultimately, we’re more concerned with helping you make the decision that’s right for you. And that could mean staying right where you are. There can be a lot of unknowns when you contemplate moving, and the satisfaction for us comes in helping you talk through the process to determine your next step.
Should I stay or should I go?
You’re at a crossroads. You’ve been in your family home for a long time, but the kids are gone and you can start to see a new and potentially exciting phase on the horizon. Or maybe your circumstances have changed, either for better or for worse. Does that mean you should downsize or right-size? That depends on whether you’re really ready to make a change.
Why it’s hard to go
The biggest reason empty nesters will avoid making a decision to transition is because change is uncomfortable. You’ve been in your home a long time, it’s comfortable, it’s what you know. And changing that brings with it many unknowns. Will you be happy in a new home or will you just miss your old one? Will you like a new community? What will the future hold for you in terms of health, family needs and your personal desires?
And the choices can be overwhelming. Figuring out where to start and what you might want can seem daunting, as can the thought of the whole process of preparing for a sale, hunting for a new home, coordinating both and the disruption it all brings.
Why it’s hard to stay
While you may be comfortable in your family home, once the kids have gone you no longer need all that space. And the idea of new opportunities can be exciting. A family home can be a necessary and safe anchor when your family is growing. But letting it go afterwards can be like lifting a weight that gives you the freedom – financially, emotionally and mentally – to make new choices.
What are the options?
The first thing to determine is whether you should “move or improve”. Sometimes the best option is to stay put. Moving carries with it the costs of disposition and acquisition, costs that could instead be invested into renovations so that you can enjoy your home the way you want longer. In this case, it becomes a question of do you like your neighbourhood and your neighbours?
But not everyone wants to renovate. If you decide you do want to move, then the question becomes where? You could relocate in the city, but maybe this is your chance to get away from urban congestion and find more relaxed living, where you can have access to the hobbies you like, such as golf or boating or even hobby farming.
You may want to become a snowbird, living here during the warmer months and following the sun in winter. You could have a home base here and enjoy rental experiences around the world. Maybe you want waterfront living, or the freedom to volunteer locally or abroad whenever you want. Or maybe you’re still transitioning to retirement and want to tele-commute or work from any home base.
There are many choices. What’s best for you depends on what’s important to you in your situation. Helping you navigate those choices and make the best decision for today is what’s key for us.
Exploring the options
So, how do you know whether you’re making the right choice? Well, how about a test drive?
Maybe you think the Golden Horseshoe or Prince Edward County might be right for you – still close enough to family that you can regularly see the grandkids, but far enough away from the big city to escape the congestion. Or perhaps the natural beauty of the Muskokas or Kawarthas is calling you. Or maybe you want to consider relocating as far away as Vancouver or Halifax.
Why not try before you buy? You could rent for a time in the area, or simply try a bed and breakfast stay to start. While you’re there, check out some of the community events, meet some locals, shop and dine in local stores and restaurants and get a feel for the lifestyle.
And, if you like what you see, we can connect you with a trusted real estate professional from among our extensive network to help you begin to explore the area real estate.
All of these things can help to make the transition easier. And by connecting with us at the beginning of the process, you can be assured of impartial guidance to first make the right choice for you, and then help you navigate through the process.