Canadians love familiarity. They love spending quality time with family and friends, and many find it difficult to let go of the places such as the family home where those cherished memories were made.

If you’re at a time in your life when the starlings have fled the nest and you’re finding that your voice echoes in many of the rooms in which all those memories were made, you may consider downsizing.

Just thinking about it can be daunting and emotionally charged. But if you’re seriously considering moving into a smaller place, you may want to use these as a measure to make your final decision:

You’re finding the upkeep to be too much.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of work in the upkeep of a home. Winters can be especially rough since most parts of Canada get a lot of snow and it’s up to you to keep your walkways clear. In addition to all that yard work, there always seems to be something to do inside. Household maintenance can also put a pretty hefty dent in your pocketbook. Downsizing will give you more time to enjoy planning those trips to the sunshine using all those funds you’ve saved.

You’re retired or planning on retiring in the near future.
This is probably the single most prevalent reason people decide to move out of their homes. Selling a larger home will give you more funds to put toward your retirement and to pursue all those things for which you didn’t have time when you were working and taking care of kids.

Moving into a smaller home will likely mean paying fewer taxes, having a smaller mortgage (if you have one at all) and shelling out less for home insurance. Use the capital that’s tied up in your home for your retirement nest egg.

There’s just too much extra space.
Are there unused rooms that have to be cleaned? Or doors to certain rooms constantly shut since the space isn’t being used? When your home has just too much square footage for you, maybe it’s time to call a REALTOR®.

Having a larger home means added expenses. And if those four bedrooms aren’t always being used, why not sell to a young couple who is raising a family and would benefit from all those unused areas? It would be a win-win situation.

You’ve been bitten by the travel bug.
If you’re thinking of downsizing, you may be feeling the pangs of wanderlust. If you’ve always wanted to travel to the four corners of the world and scratch those marvelous, exotic places off your bucket list, now is the time to do it.

Think about being the carefree Canadian snowbird you’ve always dreamed of being and use the capital in your home to get on a plane, train or automobile and do some serious sightseeing.