The “empty-nest” syndrome is amplified by an empty house, where you find yourself using less and less of your home and find it more and more difficult to maintain it. As you get older, the responsibility of mowing your lawn or climbing a ladder to clean the roof is a hindrance to the life you envisioned for yourself. This could be a sign that downsizing could simplify your life. So should you move into a condo?

This is part two of a three part article on condo-living.

To start from the beginning read the first part here

Where do I begin?

  • Review the condo association's financials to ensure it is financially healthy.
  • Review the association’s rules, regulations, and bylaws well before making an offer.
  • Try to see what kind of people you would be living with by looking over the community newsletter to see if the activities and stories appeal to you. If they don’t have one, ask why.
  • Find yourself a condo where you will use and appreciate the amenities since you will be spending a considerable amount on HOA fees.>

Now that we have those out in the open, you have some big decision-making to do.

The Tips to Remember

And on the days that the move feels more daunting than exciting, here are 5 reminders to keep you optimistic about what the future holds.

  • Taking on new challenges will force you to grow. Think ‘new house, new me’.
  • Expect the change to be more difficult than you think it will be. Plan ahead. Prepare yourself for plans to fail. You will get through it and be glad you did it.
  • Downsizing is daunting but also rewarding. If you see a move in your future, start sifting through possessions early. Be brutal. If you love it but don’t use it, consider taking a photo of it and then letting the item go.
  • Moving at age 50-something can test and reinvent your marriage. New places offer new opportunities and make the most of them. Romanticize the little things.
  • There are infinite possibilities awaiting you on the other side. Jobs, hobbies, activities, sports, and friends are all on the other side of fear.

On a more personal note, I think it’s worth sharing that when people ask me, “Was it worth it?” I always reply with “Yes, infinitely worth it,” and then add, “But I’m really happy I don’t have to do it again any time soon.” When trying to discuss and decide if downsizing is the way forward for you, consider each of the factors and weigh what’s most important to you. If your biggest concerns are space and saying goodbye to a home you’ve loved for years, think of it as creating a space for new memories rather than giving anything up. While standing still is always the easier option, moving forward will be an opportunity for a fresh start in the next chapter of your life story.