The majority of Toronto condominiums are built with first time buyers in mind. Most of the units are under 1000 square feet, are located downtown and are surrounded by similar buildings. Empty nesters in established neighbourhoods such as Rosedale, Forest Hill or Lawrence Park are not interested in this kind of development. They want apartments larger than 1500 square feet, they want to stay in their neighbourhood and they want all their living space on one level.
A scan of the number of units available for sale that meet these criteria reveals a supply crunch. As of the beginning of November, 2015, Multiple Listing Service shows 14 such condos for sale in the Rosedale area; in Forest Hill, 5; in Lawrence Park, 1.
Once you have decided you are ready to move, there are a few steps you can take to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Find a real estate Agent you are comfortable working with. Select an Agent who follows your guidelines and is willing to work at your pace.
2. Evaluate your home. Your Agent can create a Comparative Market Analysis showing the value of your current property from recent sales of similar houses in your area.
3. Educate yourself. Your Agent can send you listings and sales of apartments that match your criteria, giving you a sense of what the market is doing.
4. Declutter and clean. Go through your belongings and discard what is no longer being used. Get the windows washed, the garden trimmed and that leaky faucet repaired. Everything you do now means less to worry about when you find the right condo and want to sell your house immediately!
5. When you find the right apartment, your Agent will not be selling it to you. You will be buying it with confidence.
For Toronto’s empty nesters, downsizing is an opportunity-driven exercise. With the right Agent, an accurate home evaluation and the education to make you confident, you will be ready to act when the perfect condo in your neighbourhood comes along!