The downsizer’s dilemma

As baby boomers age and the nests empty, many individuals look toward down-sizing or “right-sizing” to suit their needs. An article in today’s Globe and Mail looks at the process several couples have gone through to find the home that suits their current needs.

Source: Globe and Mail – Real Estate, July 23, 2010

In 2007, my wife and I sold our 2,300-square-foot Ottawa home, opted for the world of self-employment and moved to a smart new condo on a charming small-town harbour an hour east of Toronto. Soon, we learned that we had been so mesmerized by the sparkling waters of Lake Ontario, we had overlooked the perils of living in a space half the size of our single-family house while trying to work from home.

Beware, all fiftysomething baby boomers preparing for retirement: There is a world of enticing downsizing options out there and somewhere there is one that fits your needs. But look beyond the convenience and the view. Think long and hard before you choose, and make sure the choice you make offers ample space to live the life you plan.

Originally, we intended to rent out our condo until we retired, but its magnificent location seduced us to move in while we worked from home as freelance editors and writers.

Our rude awakening came the first Saturday morning in our “dream home.” My wife stepped out to the balcony in her bathrobe to enjoy the activity in the bustling marina. All seemed well with the world until a neighbour shouted from the other side of the courtyard: “Oh, I see you’re just getting up!”

Welcome to life in a 1,165-square-foot condo: There’s often no private space to escape.

That’s not to say you should put off selling the family home, the empty nest that is too large for just the two of you. Maybe there are too many rooms, the yard is too big or you don’t want to bother with maintenance.

Read full article here…

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