Downsizing Do's And Don'ts



  • Take your time.
  • Talk to friends and neighbours about their experience.
  • Work with an experienced Realtor.
  • Explore your downsizing options early. Get out and look at properties. Once you have a size goal to work towards, you know how much you have to downsize to accomplish your goal. You now know the size of home you have to adjust to both physically and emotionally.
  • Start downsizing your possessions well in advance. Make a list of "must take with you items". Be flexible, this list may have to change.
  • Do the math. Work out the numbers to make sure it all makes financial sense.
  • Be sure to check out and clearly understand pet policies where you are going if you have pets.
  • Know your options. Sell first or buy first? An experienced Realtor can advise about the timing of the sale and purchase to make sure you sell AND get the property you want.
  • Consult your financial advisor or bank. Can you afford to buy before you sell if the right property comes along. This can make things easier when you see exactly what you want before you have sold.
  • Take possession of your new home a few days or weeks prior to having to be out of your current home. This way you can take your time moving in and it will be lot less stressful. You may need to arrange bridge financing with the bank but the minimal cost of this these days far outweighs the stress it can take off your move. 


  • Don’t make a move just because your family or friends think you should. Be sure it’s what you really want and you are ready.
  • Don’t make a move too quickly after the death of a spouse.
  • Don’t work with a Realtor who is looking for a quick sale (it may take a few months, or for some, even a few years for this transition)
  • Don’t buy in a smaller town or resort area if you are not sure you will like it. It may be hard to sell if you decide to move back and real estate price increases in larger centres may not allow you to move back. Will a small town work if you get sick and require large metropolitan hospitals and doctors?
  • Don’t limit your options just to accommodate a large piece of furniture such as a dining room table. Realistically, some furniture may have to be replaced (downsized) with smaller options.

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