Downsizing to a Condo

Downton Toronto is filled with condominium towers that make ideal places to live, especially for those who are done raising their kids and looking forward to retirement. If you are thinking of downsizing from a single-family home to a condo, here are a few things you should know.

Letting Go of Responsibilities

One of the benefits of downsizing is many of the maintenance responsibilities are no longer your concern. When you live in a condo, someone else will take care of the lawns, road, gym, pool and other common areas. Some maintenance within your home may also be covered by the maintenance fee. You are free to sit back and enjoy.

Understandings Reserve Fund Fees

The Condominium Act requires developers to deposit 10 percent of their first year's estimated budget into a reserve fund to cover maintenance expenses that are not paid for out of the normal budget. If this is not enough, the homeowners in the condo will have to pay the difference. You should plan to put $1,000 to $1,300 per year into the reserve fund for your reserve fund amount. This may seem like a lot, but remember that the money is going toward maintaining your home, something you would have paid for out of your own pocket before.

Learning to Live in a Smaller Space

Before you downsize, take a careful inventory of your belongings. What do you own that you really use regularly? Anything that is not adding value to your life, you should sell or donate before you move. You will have less space in your condo, so only bring the things you truly love.

Making Use of Amenities

Many Ontario condo towers have resort-like amenities that you can use. Concierge desks, pools and gyms, for example, are all part of the condo life. Your maintenance fee goes towards keeping these items functional, so plan time into your busy schedule to utilize them.

If these seem like changes you are willing to make, and you no longer need the space you have in your single-family home, then you are ready to start shopping and begin the downsizing process!