One day, whether it’s now or years from now, many of us will find ourselves in a certain–maybe even unexpected–season of life. One where we’re trying to balance parenting our own children with the new responsibility of caring for our parents. We’re sandwiched in the middle–but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck!
According to Stats Canada, approximately two million Canadians are considered a part of this “sandwich generation”, including myself! If you’re in the same boat, then let me tell you, I understand what you’re going through. As a mother and a daughter I’ve felt that same weight of responsibility, and after helping my parents downsize (or as I like to call it, right-size), I want to help lift that weight off your shoulders, too.
So why should you start this process with me?
I’ve been helping seniors downsize for many, many years; I’ve always had a passion for helping the mature market, but it wasn’t until I helped my parents right-size that I experienced the emotional side of it first-hand. I learned just how important it is for them to find a place they love, and not just a place to live.
At the end of the day, this is about you, not me. But like any cornerstone moment in life, you want to make sure that you’re surrounded by people who have the knowledge, skill set, and care to help you achieve your goals with ease.
- My Passion: Like many others who are helping their parents downsize, I’m the first-born child to two parents who I’ve recently helped transition from our long-time family home to a better-sized condo. My passion for this specific process was really sparked through my relationship with my Nonna, who helped raise me; our connection gave me a huge appreciation and respect for the older generation and I naturally found myself drawn to helping them find happiness in real estate, no matter their stage in life.
- My Experience: I’ve been in the real estate industry since I was 14–can you believe it? It’s truly been my lifelong career! I went from answering the phones in a real estate office as a teenager to getting licensed in 1991, and have been helping my buyers and sellers ever since.
- My Designations: As a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) and Master Accredited Senior Agent (Master ASA), I’ve kept myself educated on the latest and most effective strategies for working with seniors to provide the best experience and results possible.
- My Team: With connections to lawyers, professional organizers, auctioneers, packers, movers, estate planners, tax specialists, and others, every single aspect of this sale, purchase, and move is taken care of with an expert’s touch.
- My Approach: I customize every plan and schedule for every client since everyone has different needs. But my end goal is always the same: to provide you with a smooth process, amazing service and representation, and to maximize the sale price.
This generation has taken care of so much over the years–now, let me and my team take care of this move.
Let’s Take it One Step at a Time
The process isn’t always easy, but I bring ease into the process. You might be thinking, where do I even begin? So let’s take a step back and get a clear look at the process of rightsizing, from start to finish:
Starting the Conversation
It all starts with a conversation–whether it’s with your parents, your partner, or other loved ones. Ease into this discussion, focusing on the positive aspects of rightsizing, identifying what does and doesn’t work for the current home, and talking financials. I walk you through each of these steps in my blog post How to Talk to Your Senior Parents About Downsizing.
You have a home full of memories to work with, which means a whole lot of memorabilia, furniture, and belongings to go through–but you don’t have to do it alone. I’ll not only provide you with the help you need to declutter and organize what’s there, but I’ll also coordinate donations, item pick-up, auctioning, and more, so you don’t have to lift a finger!
Smaller Home, Smaller Budget
Buying less than what you can afford is one of the best moves you can make when downsizing, especially when you’re retired and have a fixed income. Keep in mind insurance, lawyer fees, moving costs, closing costs, and more–don’t worry, I’ll walk you through every dollar so you understand where each cent is going.
It’s important to check in throughout the process, especially at this pre-home search stage, which tends to be the most difficult. This life change is huge, and finding a new home can feel a bit overwhelming. Take some time to talk with your family and your REALTOR ® about how everyone is feeling, decide if you need to slow things down, and make sure everyone asks any questions they need to so we can enter this next stage with confidence, peace of mind, and excitement!
The Lifestyle Location
Downsizers, picture your ideal neighbourhood: Are you close to family? Do you have easy access to public transportation or your doctor’s office? Will you go the urban, suburban, or rural route? Whether you want to maintain your current lifestyle or are looking for something completely different, I’ll provide you with a local’s insight into the Vaughan neighbourhoods that will work best for your current and future needs.
Finding the Right Fit
Nowadays, there are more right-sized real estate options than ever! Condo or detached home? Lifestyle community or specialized residence? I know, I know, it can all be a bit much. Let’s take a look at each option, which I talk more about it in my post Downsizing? Think Right-Sizing Instead.
- Condo: Offers turn-key amenities and convenience, allowing you to continue your lifestyle in a better-suited space.
- Single-Family Home: Gives you independence and space to host family gatherings and entertain guests.
- Adult Lifestyle Community: You’ll have a like-minded community that offers events and social activities to keep active and maintain your lifestyle.
- Assisted Living Centre: Allows you to maintain your independence while accessing nursing care and health services.
- Upscale Retirement Residence: Offers an independent lifestyle for active seniors who don’t have any serious health problems.
- In-Law Suite: You’ll have a wing or unit of a home that allows you to be close to family while also having your own space.
- Life-Lease: With this arrangement, you purchase the right to live in a high-rise or townhouse community for the rest of your life, with security, amenities, and more.
Planning for the future looks a bit different when you’re searching for a right-sized space. Will the stairs cause mobility issues down the road? Will you need space to host the annual holiday dinners? Is there room for a caregiver to move in if needed? You’ll have your own set of questions just like this depending on your lifestyle and personal needs, and I’ll make sure the home you choose has the answers to each of them.
Yes, things are about to get emotional.
A few tears–okay, a lot of tears–are to be expected. Because your current house will never be just a house; it’s the kitchen where you’ve lit candles on cake after cake. It’s the backyard where you’ve watched your family grow and play, soaking up each second of summer. It’s the living room where you’ve spent the holidays and achieved milestones with your loved ones. It’s full of memories, and it’s hard. So let’s celebrate every moment you’ve had in that home, and start looking forward to the new ones you’ll create in a brand new space, together.
“You couldn’t find anyone more knowledgeable who’s going to be there for you during one of the most important events of your life.” – Dorothy Silver, Vaughan
If you or a loved have been considering rightsizing, I’d love to take a few minutes and talk. Whether you have questions or are ready to take the first step, I’m here. Give me a call at 416-550-7555 or reach out at Lisa@LisaSinopoli.com.