If you’ve been following along in the “Lisa’s Diary” section of my blog, then you already know that downsizing my parents’ living situation has been quite the prolonged process.

Before I dive into the pros and cons of my parents’ downsizing situation, I want to share a bit about the condo they found. It’s on the west side of Pine Valley drive, and it’s a west-facing 2nd floor unit backing onto the courtyard—and a courtyard view is a huge plus in condo living!

The 2-bedroom split plan includes standout features like a spacious master bedroom with a walk-in closet and 5-piece ensuite bath, a versatile 2nd bedroom (perfect for my mom to spend time in or convert into a bedroom when the grandkids stay over), and a walk-in laundry room off the kitchen with lots of storage. There’s a balcony, a convenient underground parking spot, and a storage locker, too. But it’s not all just about function—it’s a stylish place, too, with cornice moulding and fabulous 9-foot ceilings!

Needless to say, I’m quite excited for my mom and dad! Here are a few of the pros and cons that have come with their move:

The Pros

Savings From the Sale of Their Home

One of the big reasons why I wanted my parents to downsize was that I was feeling concerned about their financial preparedness for the future. My parents don’t have a pension (aside from their government pension), and they don’t have life insurance or RRSPs, although they do have a bit of cash saved up.

The financial side of downsizing is often a big reason why people make the transition to a smaller home with fewer expenses, and it’s one of the many practical things to consider. My parents are going to be able to bank about $300,000 after the sale of the home and the purchase of their condo (their home sold for $995,000, their condo purchase price was $649,800). I’m glad my parents will have a larger nest egg for emergencies and other needs that arise.

Community Atmosphere & Amenities

Their condo is in a close-knit community that will encourage them to be more social than they ever were in their single-family home (even though they have had the same neighbours for 30 years!). And onsite amenities like a party room and gym are there for them to take advantage of, too. Having a gym at their fingertips is going to be a big deal as well—I think my mom will have fun using the treadmill and seeing other people when she’s working out.  We already used the party room on July 1st for my dad’s 76th birthday.

Less Space to Maintain

My parents are both in their 70s, and it was getting harder and harder for them to properly maintain their 2,640-square-feet home, plus all of the work that comes along with having a yard. They just don’t need that much space anymore! Their new 1,064-square-foot condo is much more suited for just the two of them.

The Cons

Monthly Expense Increase by $100

If you compare the monthly expenses that my parents will have in their condo vs. their single-family home, their condo expenses will technically be higher. For them it’s worth it, because they’ll get so much for the increased monthly expense.

Condo Expenses

Property taxes = $232.09/month ($2,785.00 total for the year)
Condo fees (heat, water, central A/C, use of condo facilities including a gym, party room) = $536.38
(Cable, hydro, and telephone are extra.)
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$768.46 per month expenses here, plus hydro (I’m estimating $60 per month here)
so Estimated monthly expense: $828.46/month

Single-Family Home

Property taxes = $418.67/month ($5,024.04 total for the year)
Lawn maintenance in the summer = $480
Winter maintenance (snow shovelling) = $350.00
Heat: (Enbridge) December 29, 2017 – November 27, 2018 = $1,111.62
Hydro: $1,722.20
Ongoing upkeep/maintenance (varies, but over the years they’ve replaced 2 roofs, replace windows, had chimney sweeping done, caulking, and more.)
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Estimated monthly expense: $723.99/month

At the end of the day…

My parents will be spending about $100 more per month than they were before, but that $100 is worth so much to them (the community, onsite amenities, maintenance, etc.).

It’s really nice seeing how my parents have settled in. They’ve completely embraced this new phase of their lives, complete with new furniture. A new place, new furniture, new beginnings.

Do you have a question about downsizing? I’m happy to help however I can. You can count on me as your friend, your neighbor, and as your realtor. And I can’t wait to hear your story! Give me a call at 416-550-7555 or reach out at Lisa@LisaSinopoli.com.