5 Stages of The Hardest Move


Moving is never easy. Buying your first home, sizing up, and moving to a different region all come with their own challenges. What’s the hardest move though? Well, after working with many buyers over the past few years, I can quite confidently say that the most difficult change is going from the family home to the lock-and-leave lifestyle that a condo offers.

Most often, this is the move that happens once parents become empty nesters and maintaining a big house becomes far too large of a chore. Everyone looks forward to the idea of not having a lawn to mow or moss to clean from the gutters, but once it comes down to deciding how and where to downsize, that’s where it becomes most difficult. Having experienced walking through this process a number of times with clients, I’ve noticed a trend of the five stages that down-sizers inevitably go through.

  1. Size Shock

    Without fail, the reduction in square footage hits just about everyone aiming to go from a house to an attached property. Typically house owners end up looking at condominiums or townhouses that are as little as half, one third, or even one quarter of the size of what they have been living in.

  2. Decluttering Down

    As down-sizers are determining how much space they’ll be adapting to, the daunting task of decluttering takes over. I’ve seen this process take as little as a couple of weeks to as much as a year to complete. Approaching this challenge with some form of system in place can go a long way to easing the burden, whether it be sorting things into: keep, dispose, or donate piles, or tackling the home room by room.

  3. Exploring Communities

    One of the most significant factors in deciding where to go revolves around what type of community amenities are within the new home’s vicinity. For some, that’s getting away from it all and settling in a quiet area where evening noise is minimal. Others give up the house to land right in the thick of the action. Having amenities close by that make sense for your lifestyle is of utmost importance as time in your surroundings will be what replaces the time that was spent on the seemingly endless house upkeep.

  4. Picking the Perfect Size

    The decluttering is done, you know where you want to live, and now you are ready to make the main decision: what you want to live in. Once you’ve narrowed down your belongings and have your top choice of a community, part of the decision of what you’re moving into may be already made for you. Certain communities have focused on densified housing in the form of condos only, while others offer midway solutions such as townhouses or row homes.

  5. Making the Move

    At last, you’ve picked the home that will carry you through the next phase of life. The search has come to an end after much deliberation of whether or not one layout makes more sense than another, or if having a small yard in front has more merit than a view, and so on. This is where the true fun starts, as you’ll now have less to take care of and more free time to enjoy your surroundings!

Less is Truly More

In almost every case, despite the difficulty of downsizing, those who have done so are both better for it and happy with the decision. Less housework means significantly more time to take advantage of the community you’ve selected. As well, the ability to simply lock the door and head for a holiday is very appealing to those who have opted for a condo. Some of the square footage that is part of your home but often forgotten includes your development’s amenities. Down-sizers can add things like a hot tub, lap pool, games room, gym, and more to their home by ending up in a site that includes these as amenities.

If you've been thinking about a move, downsizing or otherwise, let’s get in touch! You can email me anytime at adil@adilkhimani.com.

Thank you for reading,