The Downsizing Movement. Is it Right For You?

April 15, 2019

Top 5 sure-fire signs it might be time to make the move


Wonder whether a smaller home is right for you? Downsizing is a hot topic these days for a reason. Both the young and young-at-heart are inspired by the freedom a smaller residential footprint promises. From adventurous nomads who want to loosen the ties of unnecessary possessions to Baby Boomers who want to live a more active and maintenance-free lifestyle, many Calgarians are deciding now is the time to make their move.


The decision to scale down from a larger home to a smaller one can be hard, but University District is here to help!


No matter what your phase of life, identifying the tell-tale signs that it’s time to make the move – and understanding the freedom that comes with smaller-space living – can help make the decision.  Whether your goal is to travel more, put some extra money in your pocket or spend weekends with family and friends, here are five sure-fire signs that may point you in the right direction.


Are you ready to make the move from a house to a condo or are simply curious about the upside of condos and multi-family homes? Find out why making the right residential move is so important by exploring our Homeowner’s guide to buying: Moving from a house to a condo



1. Downsize your Maintenance


Keeping a well-maintained larger home has its rewards, but can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Whether it’s fixing broken roof shingles, shoveling snow, updating design, or other jobs outside and inside the home, the upkeep can leave the best of us exhausted. Or perhaps physical ailments mean you’re simply unable to do everyday household tasks.


Downsizing can be mentally and physically liberating! With fewer rooms and smaller spaces, you’ll spend less time, energy and effort cleaning and maintaining your home. That means you’ll be able to spend more time on hobbies, recreation, travel or just plain resting! With so many great activities to enjoy in the NW who doesn’t want to make the most of some free time.


The transition of moving into a new home requires plenty of thought from location to amenities, home design to costs and familiarity and change. Whether you’re empty nesters, working professionals or retirees, Maple is suitable for Calgarians at different stages in life. Click here to find your groove with life at Maple! 



2. Seismic life changes


Sometimes a major life change is a sign that it’s time to simplify and start fresh. From retirement to overcoming the loss of a loved one, unexpected changes in employment to a sudden desire to chase after that long-postponed dream, your lifestyle and surroundings may be impacted.


At University District, some of our residents may have made the move to a more suitable home size to reduce expenses, enabling them to experience life in a new way with more time, money and freedom. A common theme with residents has been that they wanted to live in a more walkable neighbourhood with easy access to amenities such as restaurants, boutique shops and green spaces to take their kids, grandkids or four-legged companions for some much-needed playtime. Whatever the reason, downsizing can help you refocus your needs to think about what suits you best.


Avi Urban’s August development in University District


Chic, sophisticated and all the amenities you could ask for at your fingertips. That’s August by Avi Urban! This 120-unit residential mixed-used development will be situated above a retail podium that will offer a range of shops and cafes, like Market Wines, Save-on-Foods, Analog Coffee and more! Interested in learning more? Come meet our team and check out the August show suite at our Discovery Centre


3. Too much house


Do you have multiple guest rooms collecting dust? Or a three-car garage with one car and bicycles that haven’t been used in years?


It’s a possibility that you’re starting to feel that your spacious home is too much for your current needs. Bought at a different time in your life, it may have accommodated for larger family gatherings, kids aplenty, steady routines with work life, or the family pet. If times have changed and you’re starting to realize that those extra bedrooms and living spaces have become dust-collectors or storage spaces, it’s usually a good indication that it’s time to move on and find a functional home that works with your current lifestyle.


So what really matters to you? It’s time to create a comfortable home environment where you can relax and live life the way you want to! A key reminder is that your home isn’t a storage space, but a living space, courtesy of Helen Youn, Calgary’s own KonMari organization consultant. Having a larger home doesn’t necessarily mean that its a better home; it really depends on your needs and how to live more joyfully.


Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with Helen as we explore the KonMari method and how it applies to everyday life.


A U/D hello! Long-time NW resident and passionate community member Sam Lau calls U/D home. As one of the first residents of our vibrant community, Sam offers his views on downsizing and starting fresh and what he loves most about living in our age-inclusive community. See what he had to say as part of our Block Talk series


University District - A Northwest Hello: Roots and Reasons to love NW Calgary with Teresa Woo Paw


4. Wanderlust dreams


If you find yourself mesmerized by travel commercials or dreaming of exploring exotic locales, chances are you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and downsizing may be the right choice for you! Traveling the world is easier when you downsize to a maintenance free property.


Whether that means taking a trip to the Maldives, packing up on a whim for a local day adventure in the mountains, or a much-needed and long overdue visit with distant grandchildren, the lock-and-go lifestyle makes it easier to indulge wanderlust. There’s no need to ask a neighbour to collect the mail, check for leaks or mow the lawn while you’re away. You can travel without the worry of who is caring for your home. Now that’s a vacation we’re on board with!



5. Harder to get around


As you grow older, your needs change. The time may come where high-maintenance landscaping, a steep driveway and climbing the stairs in your two-storey home may become too much, especially if you have limited mobility or are at risk for falls.  It may be harder to move around the home the way you used to.


Downsizing will give you the opportunity to choose a home with greater accessibility. That means you’ll be able to live in your home longer, aging in place with ease. Whether you choose to move to a smaller, one-level property, an apartment-style condo, or a townhome, downsizing can make daily life easier!


Have you heard of Capella? It’s Brookfield’s newest addition to U/D’s housing line up and is the next big thing on the home front. Drawing inspiration from southern California, Capella features a collection of contemporary condos and a luxurious selection of single-level residences. Interested in learning more? Take a look here


Top tips before you downsize


Empty nesters, retirees, seniors or people moving from a suburban home to an urban dwelling all face the challenge of creating a new living space with limited room for furniture, accessories, clothes and items that are near and dear to our hearts.


Downsizing, while bittersweet, doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Our recommendations will keep your stress levels down, your focus up and downsizing a snap! Let’s take a look.



Ask yourself the right questions


If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself: does size matter? Will moving into a smaller home feel like a step forward because you’re simplifying your life? Will you miss some important features in a more spacious home? How will life events affect your living in a smaller home?


Tip: As you look for a new home, make sure it and the community suit your needs for today and well into the future.  After all, if you’re going to take this important step, make sure it’s the right time to “rightsize” your home!


Plan ahead


If a downsize is definitely in your future, it’s important to plan ahead. Trying to squeeze the move into a week can be overwhelming, emotionally and physically. A better plan: start the paring-down process six months to a year before your move!


Don’t be afraid to start over. Be bold! A new space is an opportunity to start fresh by trying out a different look than your last home.


Tip: Pre-plan the layout! Look carefully at the floor plan of your new space to really get a feel for where you can place your furniture. This will avoid wasting time and energy moving belongings and items that won’t fit.



Whittle away the clutter


Downsizing a lifetime’s worth of belongings for a move can be a difficult task that will cause a gamut of emotions. It will force you to prioritize your possessions and hang on only to what’s most meaningful and what you really need. There will be many moments of indecisiveness, but it can be a very freeing experience!


Tip: Plan a monthly declutter session or spend 15 minutes a day going through belongings so the task is less daunting. It makes a big difference when it comes to organizing your possessions.


With spring comes fresh warm air, morning birds singing and spring cleaning! Need help? Stay tuned for our piece on spring cleaning tips and trends and what to do with all that stuff. Coming to you soon!


No matter what sort of property you’re sitting on, there comes a point when you need to take a step back and decide if downsizing is the right step for you. Be honest with yourself and you may come to realize that downsizing means you can age-in-place and finally enjoy the freedom you seek when the time is right.


Looking to downsize from the family home to a breathe-easy, smaller abode? Visit our Discovery Centre and get answers to your burning questions. Our team is here to help you find the home that best suits your needs.

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