It's an interesting feeling, isn't it? You've just dropped off your last child at university, you come home, and the house feels so... empty. Or maybe you're starting to have trouble with the stairs in your large home and you're looking for an alternative space where you don't have to deal with knee pain every time you want to get to the bedroom. Maybe you're hoping to turn one large home into two smaller ones: one in Toronto and one in Florida, or Muskoka, or the South of France.  

The verdict is in: you need to downsize. Here are two things you should think about.

 Think about how much space you really need - and about the layout of the space you're looking for. As we age, we often become less mobile and less able to navigate stairs; this is why condominiums and bungalows are very popular among downsizers. Even if you're still hale and hearty right now, if you're looking for a property into which you're planning to downsize on a long-term basis, remember to think long-term for your health as well. You'll also want to consider how the space is laid out in your new home: would you prefer an open-plan condominium with lots of openness but fewer noise barriers - especially if you have out-of-town children or other loved ones who come to stay occasionally? Or would you prefer the cozier, more private feel of separate rooms and narrower spaces?

 Think about the amenities you need - both in the neighbourhood and in your space. If you're used to living in a large detached home, the lack of privacy afforded by condo living can be off-putting, and it can be tempting to choose a bungalow. Remember, though, that you'll be stuck clearing your sidewalk and hauling the trash to the curb if you're in your own place, and that condos usually come with amenities like party rooms, pools, gyms and spas that may make up for having very close-by neighbours. If you're an avid gardener, though, or you put a high priority on having your own outdoor space, a bungalow or townhome may be for you - or a condo with a large private terrace.

 Ultimately, if you're looking to downsize, you'll want a good real estate agent to advise you, and to find you exactly the home you need. Give us a call any time if you'd like to discuss how we can help!

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