Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Downsizing is when you buy a smaller home than the one your currently have. Usually this is done when people are struggling with the upkeep of the home because of the size/layout or when the costs of the home are too expensive. The second is especially prevalent in the GTA where housing prices are continuing to increase every year. This chart taken from Toronto.listing.ca shows how housing prices have more than quadrupled in the last 20 years. This is great if you were able to buy a home back in 2001 but for someone that purchased a home fairly recently the cost of buying a large home is immense and it may be more cost effective to buy a smaller home if you don’t need that much space.
Pros of Downsizing
1) Saving money
The more space you have the more costly the home will be. This doesn’t just mean bigger mortgage payments but a larger home means you spend more money on electronics, appliances and other items you need to fill up that space. 53% of Canadians live paycheck to paycheck and the biggest expensive most people must pay is rent/mortgage. By reducing this expense, you have more money to save, invest or spend on other things that are important to you.
2) Less upkeep
Having a larger house can lead to stress related to upkeep. Having a bigger home means you have to spend more time cleaning, furnishing and maintaining the house compared to a smaller home. By downsizing to a smaller home, you reduce the time spent doing daily chores and you have more time to relax.
3) Smaller homes often lead to closer family bonds
Smaller homes encourage more social interactions between family members. When you live in a smaller home it allows for your family to bond more because you see and interact with each other more often as opposed to larger homes where people are spread out all over the house. How many families only interact at dinner time and afterwards they just go back to their individual rooms? By downsizing to a smaller home where the family is closer and sharing things like closets, TV rooms etc, can make your family closer.
4) Smaller homes are easier to sell
Smaller homes are cheaper and therefore more affordable to a larger portion of the population than a larger home. This way if you want to get rid of your home for any reason you will be able to sell your home a lot easier than if had a larger more expensive home.
5) It’s easier for elderly family members
For elderly family members having to move around a large home, doing things like climbing stairs or just walking from one end of the house to another can be difficult. It’s much easier for them to live in a smaller home that is easier to navigate than a larger home where they’re going to have to move around a lot more, do more work to clean and maintain the place etc.
Many people dream of having a big house because of the outside appearance and how it’s advertised in media but it may not be the best situation for everyone. The cost alone can cause you to go into larger debt than you want, and the monthly payments will be larger, the bigger the home. Additionally, the time it takes to clean and maintain a larger home can be frustrating for some people that don’t enjoy cleaning or organizing. Also, the larger the home the less families tend to socialize and if you’re someone that really values those social interactions, you might be happy with a smaller home. If you have elderly family members they may find it much easier to live in a smaller home that will require less work for them to live and maintain if they’re living alone. There are many benefits in downsizing from a larger home to a smaller home depending on your situation and it’s definitely something to consider if you feel stuck or unhappy in your current living situation