As your life progresses you may find yourself entertaining the idea of downsizing from your house into a condo. On one hand it seems like a logical move, but on the other it can be intimidating. There are so many things to consider! The thought of going from a full-sized house to a unit with neighbours pretty close by can be daunting, but it just might be the change you need.
If you’re realizing you’ve been using less and less of your home as the years progress condo living might be the answer. Not only will you have less space to worry about cleaning and furnishing, you’ll also be able to say goodbye to some dreaded chores like lawn care and snow shoveling.
Regardless of why you might be feeling the urge to downsize, it’s hard not to recognize that there are some great benefits to doing so. Though, there are also a few things to keep in mind before making an offer.
Benefits to downsizing to a condo
Moving into a condo means you won’t have to worry about shoveling your walks, mowing your lawn, putting the garbage to the curb and weeding your gardens. Your condos yearly maintenance fee will cover all of these, leaving you with more time to do the things you really want to do.
It probably goes without saying that when you have less space in your home, naturally there will be less cleaning to do. Downsizing the number of rooms in your home as well as the amount of ‘stuff’ you own will overall make your life less cluttered.
Access to Onsite Amenities
These will vary from community to community, but generally speaking you will have access to a variety of on-site amenities that you didn’t have when you owned a full-sized home. Things like fitness centers, outdoor areas, swimming pools and meeting rooms are often included in your condo fees, which can ultimately help you save money elsewhere.
Joining a Community
Condo communities usually mean people live closer together than they do in regular neighbourhoods, so the residents tend to form stronger bonds than they would elsewhere. Being a part of this community helps to make the transition smoother and offers a group of ready-made friends when you move in.
Built in Security
Whether your building has a stationed security guard, a gated entrance, key scanning entrances or security cameras, often the quality of security you will get from living in a condo community is greater than that of a single-family home. Plus, thanks to the sense of community, residents tend to look out for each other.
Housing Expenses are Lowered
When you downsize your home, you are also downsizing your housing expenses. A smaller house means that expenses like taxes, maintenance fees, utilities and the cost to furnish it will be lower than your current house.
There are several things to consider when choosing a condo
If downsizing your home by buying a condo has been on your mind lately, you may already know there are a few things to consider when looking for the condo that is right for you.
- Find out the HOA fees. These fees go to cover expenses around the community like snow removal, law cutting and pool maintenance. Make sure that the condo amenities these fees cover are ones you will use. If you don’t like swimming but your HOA fees take care of a huge pool, you might want to look at some different communities.
- Ask to view their financials. You want to feel comfortable with how the condo association spends its reserves, so that you trust your condo fees are going to good use.
- Read through the condo association’s bylaws, rules and regulations. Make sure that these are ones that you can happily abide by, and that you won’t be surprised down the road. Maybe they have a rule against having a garden on your patio but this is a passion of yours. Consider whether this is something you can adapt to and live with before making an offer.
- Walk around the neighbourhood/complex. Keep an eye out for how well the property is maintained, noise levels near your unit, whether there are kids on site, and how close your parking spot is to your unit.
Moving to a condo means downsizing, not downgrading
Making the move to a condo unit shouldn’t feel like a downgrade from your current home. Condo living can be an amazing choice to make for yourself, with many benefits along the way. Perks like having a crew to take care of your yard maintenance and a pool in your backyard might just make the transition easier to handle. If you’re considering a condo, contact your real estate agent to see what’s available so you can make a more informed decision!