If you’re already thinking about downsizing to a condominium, you’ve probably begun comparing the pros and cons of doing so, even if only in your head. Once you get serious about downsizing, though, you should write down those pros and cons and study them. Quite often, the things you may list as cons now may actually become pros.
In this article, we’ve compiled some things you’ll want to consider about downsizing to a condo, as well as some tips for making it happen.
We’ll start with the objectively good. A smaller space means less to clean and maintain. Lawn, gardening, and snow-removal services immediately remove those dreaded chores from your list. Condo living comes with a unique sense of community with your neighbors, as well as several enticing amenities, which vary from community to community.
So, what about those cons that can become pros? First of all, many people are concerned they won’t have enough space. To be blunt, no;you won’t have as much space as you’re used to—but that’s why it’s called downsizing.
If, as you sift through your belongings trying to decide what you can and can’t live without, you realize there’s no possible way you can move into a smaller place, then downsizing isn’t for you.
For many others, though, de-cluttering their current home by getting rid of things they no longer need or want, is freeing. Often, they find the only reason they needed bigger homes was to store all these unnecessary possessions, and then they can’t wait to move into a condo.
Another reservation potential downsizers share is homeowners association (HOA) fees. Unless you’ve been paying HOA fees in your current home, this will be a new expense you need to factor into your decision. It’s important you do your homework on this and determine what amenities you’re getting in exchange for your fees.
Usually, HOA fees go right along with one of the greatest benefits of condo living: Fewer chores. Almost all HOAs will take care of your lawn, garden, pool, snow removal, and other basic services. This immediately frees up a significant amount of your time to do the things you want to do. However, some HOA regulations can be very specific regarding the appearance of your condominium, floor plans, appliances, and more, and these vary between associations. Make sure you understand every detail and that the amenities for which you’re paying fit with your lifestyle.
The undisputed most popular tip anyone who has downsized will give you is to begin getting rid of things now. Make a list of what you can’t live without, and set the rest aside. Donate the excess, sell it, recycle it—give it new life, as long as that new life isn’t in your new condo.
For most people, parting with possessions, especially those you’ve had for decades, is definitely not easy, so start as soon as you can. You’ll find yourself going through several rounds of deciding what to keep and what not to keep.
If you’re having trouble getting started eliminating some things, a good tip is to start in the garage or, if you have one, pool shed. As a condo owner, you will not need a lawnmower, snowblower, pool skimmer, or any of the many other bulky accessories that go along with lawn and pool care. Once you see your pile of things to get rid of grow, it will be easier to add to it.
In addition to de-cluttering your home, save yourself a huge hassle by planning your furniture arrangement before you move, especially if you’re taking your existing furniture with you. You don’t want to get into your new condominium, only to be trapped by too many tables, an extra chair, a too-large couch or anything else that gets in the way. Make sure you only move what you’re going to use.
Only you can answer that question. From our experience, most people who take an interest in downsizing end up being glad they did it. If you’re the type who thinks you have too much space in your home, or that you use less of it than you used to—if you wouldn’t mind parting with 1/3 or more of your possessions, and would love having less to clean and fewer chores to do—perhaps you’re ready to downsize.
If you’re curious about what downsizing might look like for you, let’s talk! Though condo life may come with downsizing, our condos feature spacious storage features and airy floor plans that will help your home feel anything but small. Browse our available condominium homes throughout West Michigan, and contact us to schedule a tour. A simplified, elevated lifestyle may be just around the corner!