As parents age and their children find it more and more difficult to enter the real estate market, many baby boomers are choosing to downsize. In turn, parents use the equity in their home to buy or rent a smaller dwelling while giving their children the much needed finances to become first-time home buyers.

“Condo king” Bob Rennie predicts this is becoming more and more prevalent throughout greater Vancouver for baby boomers with mortgage-free, single detached homes.

Downsizing from the large family home by choice, makes for an easier transition for the entire family. The care and comfort of our loved ones, at any age, are always two fundamental issues in all stages of life.

No one wants to be told they must leave their home, but with unexpected health issues and gradual deterioration over time it often becomes difficult for a loved one to carry on independently.

Downsizing with help
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Realistic Conversations Begin Earlier

Talk openly as a family about financial planning and housing options. It’s much better to do it while aging individuals can make decisions for themselves.  One’s belonging are just as sentimental as the family home, so be sure to include them in the discussions.

When downsizing by choice earlier, than later when independent living is no longer an option, allows everyone to adjust and plan for the coming months. Help from experts in this area can help families come to realistic expectations and make the transition smoother.

Downsizing in words
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Make Informed Decisions Comes With Planning & Research

Some suggestions to make the exercise of downsizing go smoothly, but possibly a liberating experience or eliminating clutter, includes:

Slow & Steady

A little every day can make the most overwhelming task more manageable.

Help Wanted

Friends, family and hired help are a welcome suggestion.

Decide What To Keep

Make a list of what you need and want to keep.

Do The Easy Rooms First

Tackle the rooms and areas not in your everyday view such as the garage, crawl space and attic.

Sort Your Possessions

Assign to all your possessions what you want to do with it. This includes: keep; sell; give; donate and discard. Immediately do what you’ve assigned to each pile – call the organizations to arrange pick up of items you want to donate or discard. Post items in the paper or online on craigslist to sell or announce your garage sale.

Some questions to ask yourself during the process, if you’re pondering whether to keep or get rid of something:

• Will it fit in my new space?

• Am I currently using this item?

• Do I get joy from having this possession?

• Do I already have this item?

• Does this item have financial value?


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