The Benefits of Downsizing Your Home


Taking care of big homes may prove to be an uphill task when a person gets older. For this reason, some senior citizens as well as young people consider downsizing, Even though there are usually mixed feelings when it comes to downsizing, the idea has quite some benefits, which we will discuss in this article.

  1. Less Clutter hence higher control: downsizing forces a person to get rid of some possessions hence making a person lighter, and more on top of things. Having fewer belongings makes it easier to locate your stuff hence minimising on time wasted while searching for certain stuff on end.
  2. Increased wealth: it is possible to save a significant amount of money when you live in a smaller house than a big one. Electricity and water bills, taxes, and home insurance cost much less when you live in a small house. Downsizing can also help in maintaining your debts by reducing your mortgage.
  3. Fewer chores hence more leisure: cleaning a smaller home takes less time than it takes to clean a bigger home. Many older people often find it an easier option since they do not have to worry about too much work maintaining their homes. It also makes it easier for one to plan a vacation free from home maintenance problems.
  4. A Higher level of investment: by downsizing you can sell off your big home, pay off your mortgage, buy a smaller house, and save the remainder of the money to generate more income for the future.

If you are the kind of a person who loves living a simple life while saving money for the future, then downsizing is the way to go. You can start by consulting a realtor to know the worth of your home and get better options for reducing your costs. This will enable you to get the best deal for both your houses.

 

Is Working From Home A Good Idea?

You’ve been thinking about it for a while now; dropping that 9-5 job, getting out of the rat race, finally having some freedom.  Your spare bedroom is all set up, Ikea desk, some file folders, and your lap top all set to work.  You saunter in at around 9:30, after all, who’s your boss? You look through your Facebook, then the phone rings, it’s your best friend Sally, you chat and all of a sudden, it’s 11:00.  Quickly you get off the phone, make a cup of coffee, and decide that before you hunker down, you must put in a load of laundry.  Ahh the all too familiar work from home scenario.

 

I have enormous respect t for people that work from their homes.  It takes a great amount of discipline to focus on work, when every day feels like a Saturday.  When you go to an office, there are no distractions and you quickly set out to do your job.  At home, it’s a different story.  By the time you’ve made pots of coffee, cleaned up from breakfast, then lunch, its early afternoon before you really start to work.  Here comes the good part, you can work well into the night.  You can stay in your PJ’s if you want; you can get up in the middle of the night if inspired.  You are FREE.  Best of all, no office rent, and that empty spare bedroom is a tax write off!

 

Home based businesses are on the rise.  Several of my friends even have virtual assistants.  No need to hire full time staff.  You can use a service like upwork.com, post the job requirement, find the freelancer, and pay Upwork who then pays the freelancer.  Voila, no commitments, no employee benefits, no layoffs if you’re slow, it’s a win, win situation. One friend, who makes jewelry, has 10 employees working for her that she rarely sees.  Their supplies are sent, the finished pieces are picked up, and that’s it.  Great for stay at home moms, people with agoraphobia, seniors etc.!  Is working from home for everyone?  No.  But it’s great that we can now have this option, without the stigma of only a few years ago.

 

Thanks to Julie at Applecreek Bookkeeping for inspiring me to write this story.

Condos, Where Is This Market going?

It’s incredible what is happening with real estate after what seems like years of constant incline with seemingly no end in sight. No doubt population concentration is one of the factors. As immigration continues to rise, new home building is required but it seems that it cannot keep up with the influx of immigrants and the naturally occurring population growth through birth. So what is the next trend? Will there be a shortfall of housing or will there be a glut when certain events could happen such as a rise in interest rates or a reduction in immigration to our great country?

One of the front-running trends of recent years is the proliferation of condominiums. Cities finding themselves inundated with condos that are rising farther into the sky than ever before and taking on beautiful architectural design with beautiful facades and interesting roof designs. Today’s condos are usually well equipped with amenities including the shared conference rooms, work-out rooms and cooking/relaxing areas among well thought-out gardens and patios.  Heavily populated cities in the eastern part of the world and parts of Europe and India thought of the condo long before North America did, especially the sizing of the units themselves.  I remember when I rented my first apartment with my wife back in the day we struggled with size, (having moved from a comfortable home), and the square footage was probably nearly twice as big as today’s norm of say 800 sq. ft.

One of the other glaring differences is the amenities, of course.  We were required to use a communal washing machine and dryer room which you would usually find in the basement. I think you will find most condo’s today come equipped with the washing machine / dryer compliment as well as state of the art kitchen hardware. Another noticeable difference is the welcoming areas.  Most ‘apartments’ we visited when we were younger were minimalist when it came to reception areas if there was one at all. Now, when I find myself in a modern condo, it is such a pleasure to look at and at least the one’s I have been to have architecturally designed gardens and rockery visible from anywhere in the reception areas.

It’s true that the color scheme of these buildings tends to remain on the neutral side of whites, beiges and grays which, by the way is a painting contractor’s dream.   But that doesn’t seem to matter as many of the architects have found ways to introduce so much of the exterior grounds and views (always the good views) into the ambiance of the towers. Of course it depends on the rules and whether you are renting or buying as to what you can do with the interiors of the individual condos. Back when we were able to introduce any color into our unit without reprimand as long as it was returned to a neutral color.

I think today the issue is that more people own and re-rent than actually buy and move in. That factor may change in the near future as incoming buying slows down but it seems the need for rental units will continue to grow.  But there are reports that concern is growing for the continued rapid building of condos. In fact, Huffington Post reports Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has sounded a distress call about the state of Canadian condo building; the amount of units that are currently in construction versus the amount that have been sold.  The inventory may be too high.

Green Acres is the place for me. Moving from city to the country.

Finding a house should be one of the most enjoyable journeys we experience as a family. But we should speak of the fears and trepidation first.  If you have children the specter of a move can be traumatic. They take their friends very seriously and may have traumatic thoughts like ‘I will never find anyone like Meagan again ‘! How can I change schools now?, and so on. It’s not just kids, anyone can suffer this fear, which actually has a name: tropophobia; fear of moving.  The thought of packing and knowing all of the things you have to do to get ready to move.  It can be a frightening time, but it shouldn’t take away from the thrill of seeking a new home and starting what is really a new life.  New friends, new home or at least remaking the home like new are exciting prospects. We all know that you and the kids will get over the change and embrace the new digs and all the area will have to offer, otherwise why would you have moved in the first place.

Now, we were considering the factors and some tips for finding the new dream home and area. What is it that is driving you to even consider a new home along with the packing and move and remodeling if only a coat of paint? When that is figured out, the things that will define your search and help you to target exactly what you are looking for will become clear.  Is it the schools? Is it the current size of your home?  Is it the neighborhood, or the overall services?  Maybe you are considering a move from city to country or country to city.  Here are some tips:

If you are moving to the country from the city because you are seeking some quiet and solitude from the revved up pace of the city, then there some serious issues you need to consider.  Anywhere you are living in the city provides all of the amenities directly to your home and it is something you have taken for granted, trust me.  When you begin to shop in a rural area, the first thing you will find is that most places you will look at have septic tanks, which rely on periodic care and service and must be treated with care so that they continue to operate at peak performance. Often you will come across properties that are heated electrically, not a great option with today’s prices, but if the price is right, then you can consider conversion to oil, gas or renewable energy systems.