When Rich and Barb had their first child, Tanner, they moved into their current Kelowna home, perfect for raising a family. 30 years later, all three of their children have moved out to live their own lives, and their home is beginning to feel too big for just the two of them. Rich and Barb decided it was time to downsize and contacted Sean Skuter Real Estate in Kelowna for representation. Before we began house hunting, we discussed key downsizing considerations to ensure they’d find the perfect Kelowna real estate.
Whether you’ve recently retired, want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle, want to cut down your day-to-day expenses, or you’re in a similar position to Rich and Barb, you’re certainly not alone! Consider these practical tips and downsizing considerations before you begin looking at Kelowna home listings.
Downsizing Considerations: Keep, Donate or Toss?
Downsizing your Kelowna home is an opportunity to cleanse your physical and emotional states before beginning the next chapter of your life. Homeowners often take the opportunity to reassess their needs vs. wants throughout the year and especially during spring cleaning season. The first thing Rich and Barb did when downsizing to a smaller Kelowna home, was sort through heirlooms, sentimental items, and all the possessions that have been living on their dark basement shelves, and in their storage shed for too long.
This is an integral downsizing consideration and part of the moving process. Rather than moving unnecessary items all over the Okanagan, consider the variety of donation options, including drop off points throughout Kelowna, schools, woman’s shelters, Inn From the Cold, the Kelowna Gospel Mission and many more.
Downsizing Considerations: Must-Have Features
Once you’ve successfully condensed your possessions, the next step of downsizing considerations is understanding the must-have features you’re looking for in your next Kelowna home. Think back to your reasons for moving and consider this as you make your list of must-haves for this chapter of your life.
Being clear with yourself and your agent about what you’re looking for will help streamline the house hunting process. Additionally, check out our previous blog on questions to ask your Kelowna real estate agent.
Defining these features will help narrow down the age-old question, is it better to buy a house? Or buy land and build a house?
Is it better to buy a house? Or buy land and build a house?
One of the biggest downsizing considerations we hear from clients is the question, “is it better to buy a house? or buy land and build a house?” This was one of the first questions that Rich and Barb asked us when they contacted our Kelowna real estate agents.
There are pros and cons to both, that should be carefully contemplated while making your downsizing considerations. Depending on your must-have features, finding an existing home on the Kelowna real estate market that has exactly what you want might be difficult. Additionally, depending on the home, you may be required to spend additional money on remodeling, repairs, decorating and landscaping. However, if you can find a home in the neighbourhood that you want, as well as a home that checks off all the boxes for your must-haves, it will make the entire downsizing process far easier. Plus, purchasing an existing home may offer you more options in established neighborhoods that are near friends and, or family.
However, buying land to build a house means you can get exactly what you want. For homebuyers, this factor is extremely appealing when they’re contemplating downsizing considerations and whether they should build or buy. When you build a new home, you have more control over energy efficiency features, and you can benefit from better energy codes. You have the option to install, sleeve and/or wire for future technology upgrades, such as home automation and solar. Better efficiency is good for the environment and can save you money on your utility bills each month.
The biggest downsizing consideration to contemplate before deciding to build a house are the higher costs and longer timeframe, both of which can increase throughout the home-building process. Limit the risk of going over budget or time by working with a reputable builder and having a good contract in place. A lump-sum contract, rather than a cost-plus contract, means you will have a fixed price for construction.