From a Woman's Perspective: Downsizing doesn’t have to be ‘Ruufff!’

Friday Dec 22nd, 2023


“Downsizing doesn’t have to be ‘Ruufff!’”

In a world with so much bad news, Marilyn, I thought I would take this opportunity to share with your listeners a good news story of recent clients.

What makes this particularly noteworthy is that their plan to downsize actually resulted in not downsizing.

Here’s a bit of the backstory:

My lovely clients, Cathy and Steve, had already moved once from a house with a large yard, with plenty of upkeep and responsibility, into a spacious 3-bedroom condo in a prime neighoubrhood in Thornhill. They loved the freedom, the amenities, and the location while they were both working, but just as they were both ready to retire, something very important occurred that completely changed their trajectory.

Oh, don’t worry, it’s a wonderful happening, because remember I said this was a “good news” story? The best news was that they were going to be grandparents. The not so great news was that said prince or princess would be about 200 kms out of town where Cathy and Steve’s adult kids live. 

They came to me with a three-part mandate:

  • Maximize the sale price of their beautiful condo - because after all this would be a major contributor to their retirement fund;
  • Find them a new property that met their current and future needs;
  • Get them closer to that grand baby!

Like so many of my clients, they asked, “Do we sell or buy first?” and my answer was, “Yes!” Considering the market conditions at the time, I suggested we take a “both/and” approach: We would work on readying the condo for market, while exploring various property options and locations to narrow down the search.

Our team sprang into action, and arranged for moving boxes and supplies to be delivered, so they could pack as they decluttered; scheduled our handyman to take care of a few repairs and paint touch-ups; and brought in our genius staging professional to give them a room-by-room checklist of small but important changes to be made.

Meanwhile, it was roadtrip time to go visit properties for sale together! We scuttled around southwestern Ontario, and made some very pleasant discoveries along the way. First: we quickly realized the many advantages of smaller town living: the proximity to shopping, restaurants, and medical centres. The more relaxed pace was also such a nice surprise. Where was all the traffic? And finally, and most importantly, their purchasing dollars went a lot farther in these towns than back in Thornhill.

They found a stunning, newly renovated condo bungalow that was arguably even nicer than their current condo, at a price that still left them with tens of thousands of dollars to put into their retirement funds. 

Back in the city, we took full advantage of the competition among GTA condo buyers to secure them a sale price that was $40,000 over asking price. We had multiple offers, and negotiated an excellent outcome for them.

So did we achieve their financial, lifestyle and relational goals in a downsize that was really an upside? Yes we did! And now that Cathy and Steve have a yard to enjoy that the condo corporation takes care of for them, they decided that all that was missing from their perfect retirement was a fur baby of their own. Now that grandbaby is nearby, puppy play time is extra fun!

Congratulations to Cathy and Steve for creating their ideal retirement by the downsizing that wasn’t. 


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