Realty vs Expectation
I have seen a recent increase in buyers who are on the verge of downsizing or becoming empty-nesters. The come by my open houses or contact me on a regular basis and seem to come in two main types.
First are those in the contemplative stage. “We’re seeing our kids moving out and and we will be needing less space.” They have begun to see what is available if they sell their family home and move into a condo in the same neighbourhood.
The second type are those that seeing moving closer to the city from their suburban homes as their down-sizing step. They often say “we have to much home and need something smaller and closer to things.”
What both seem to have in common is a reluctance to not only reduce their square footage but also reduce the type and size of their furnishings. They see the move as reducing space but not reducing their stuff.
From a psychological perspective (I was a therapist for 20 years) this is a tough spot and requires a great deal of learning to let go rid of our stuff. Downsizing is almost a starting over with ones belongings and need to haves.
Many I have talked to are moving from large homes (over4000 square feet) and expect to find 2000-2500 square foot condos, with views, with at least 2 parking spots, in a prime location. Most don’t want to spend their nest egg on this and expect this need to be filled for under one million dollars. Often this is the first myth to get busted – a reality check in the GTA housing market.
In Toronto, this is a harsh reality to face. That space and the luxury one is accustomed to comes at a price. For instance, I have a couple wanting a newer building (under five years old) with “a Ravine view” of at least 1500-2000 square feet. They are more reasonable on their price point, as this type of unit in the area they are searching will run in excess of two million dollars.
Recently a couple stopped by an open house and they are concerned about all the big towers going in around their boutique condo building. They have over 2500 square feet, Three (yes 3) parking spots and great storage lockers. They are wanting to keep the size and extras but were shocked to find that type of space (with a view) will run them 1.5 to over 3 million in their area. This is above what they see they would be capable of securing from the sale of their (by neighbourhood standards) huge unit.
Bottomline. Downsizing is a process, a re-evaluation of needs and priorities, in order to find the best fit within what the market has to offer. Few newer condo construction projects have anything close to the demands of size, parking and amenities that many have grown accustomed to living in the suburbs and raising families.
Take your time, assess your real needs and realize that the change in ownership from home to condo has many advantages that are often overlooked. Contact me if you are beginning this process and let me help you plan to make your next move.