For many parents whose children have grown up and moved out, they are left with a big house to themselves and are looking for a change.
Making the decision to downsize and leave the family home can be daunting for some, but local experts say it does not have to be with the right help and information.
“It’s just such a daunting process,” said Joanne Brodersen, realtor with DFH Real Estate. “[But] it’s not as scary as it seems. With the right people helping you, that transition can be made much more smoothly than it appears at first.”
Besides the physical aspect of moving, Brodersen said the emotional aspect is often a factor as well, in terms of memories associated with the home. She advises going through items in the home and deciding what can be given away and what should stay when looking to move to a smaller place.
“There’s so many people that can use those things that are sitting in your house that have been collecting dust for the last 20 years because no one’s used them.”
While retirees and downsizers have slotted themselves in to various parts of the West Shore, Brodersen says the phenomenon reaches across the Capital Region.
“I think what it is, is that there are so many baby boomers (reaching that stage),” she said.
Bill Ethier, managing broker president of Royal Lepage Coast Capital Realty, said one of the main challenges for many people who are downsizing is being used to the amount of space they had before.
He said most people who downsize are going from a single-family home to a condo.
“It’s easier to go up in space because you acquire more stuff as you move up, but going down it’s making the decision of what to eliminate from your life.”
Another challenge for some people is having unrealistic expectations of how much space they can get within their budget, said Ethier. He said people often wonder how they are going to live in a much smaller home.
“Get out there and look at properties and do comparisons and get an idea of what a square footage is,” said Ethier. He added buyers should measure the rooms in their own homes in order to be able to compare it to homes they are looking to move into.
Brodersen has led downsizing seminars the past couple of months for people looking for more information and advice. The events include multiple speakers, including herself, a mortgage specialist and a financial planner.
“We find so many people are thirsty for this information,” Brodersen said.
“If you know how it’s going to go, it’s not quite so frightening.”
For more information about upcoming downsizing seminars, visit joannebrodersen.com or call 250-477-7291.
Q: HOW WELL DID THE HOUSING MARKET PERFORM LAST MONTH?
November real estate sales have proven brisk.
The Victoria Real Estate Board announced 465 property sales in the Victoria region this November, surpassing 2013 sales of 412 by 12.9 per cent.
“This year has been great for Victoria real estate, we’ve seen a friendly market for buyers and sellers thanks to steady pricing and low mortgage rates,” said Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres. “By early last month, sales in the Victoria area met the number of total sales we saw for the entire year of 2013, and now we are 5.18 per cent over last year’s sales with another month to go.”
The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core was up to $489,000 from $482,300 last year, for an increase of 1.4 per cent.
“Another statistic to watch is the number of active and new listings,” Ayres continued. “682 properties were listed this November, and the total number of properties listed for sale including those newly listed was 3,631. That’s 9.6 per cent fewer properties for sale than November last year.”
GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » Month ending NOV. 30/14 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD
» 465 / 412 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES/ TOTAL, NOV. 2013
» 682 / 714 — NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, NOV. 2013
» 3,631 / 4,017 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, OCT. 2013