Be realistic about your budget
“The biggest misperception is that people equate downsizing with paying less,” says Barb Sukkau, the president-elect of the Canadian Real Estate Association and a realtor in the Niagara region. “But a lot of new bungalows and condominiums are quite pricey.” If you need your house to provide a nest egg, consider other ways you can make your budget work, such as looking for homes in a less expensive location.
Don’t get caught by unexpected costs
Even if you make money off the sale of your home, moving will take a bite out of your profits. Closing costs—which include things like a home inspector fee, bank appraisal fee and, in many provinces, land transfer tax—range from 1.5 to 4 per cent of the selling price. If you’re buying a condo, factor in monthly maintenance fees and keep a small reserve for unforeseen expenses.
Check out these tips from Canadian home inspectors before moving.
Buy a place your future self will thank you for
Even if you’re purchasing at 60, think of what your body will be able to manage at 80. That might mean searching for a residence that doesn’t have stairs or scoping out locations that have amenities within walking distance. Another option is to consider a condo or a townhouse, where monthly fees buy you snow removal, repairs and the maintenance of common areas.