Empty nest syndrome and the homeowner

By Heather Rose

Empty nest syndrome is a term that describes the general sadness and depression that affects parents and households when the kids grow up, leave home and go off to college, university or just to live on their own. It’s a very real situation that can easily be felt every moment of the day when a once-full house is no longer brimming with the bustle of kids moving through it. However, just because they’re gone doesn’t mean you have to be left behind.

An empty nest is an opportunity for many homeowners to choose to move into a much smaller home. A large home doesn’t always scream luxury, and so a smaller home should not necessarily be considered less than what you’ve already got. A smaller home merely a more appropriate size and may suit your lifestyle that much more. You are also no longer need to be near family-friendly spaces or schools for the kids, allotting you the freedom to consider neighbourhoods or areas of the city you never considered before. Sometimes, a smaller home might also mean a smaller price tag, and the money gained from the sale of your current home can provide you with an opportunity to travel, buy a beach house or invest in a cottage.

A smaller home may be easier for empty nesters to manage as well. For example, a home with five bedrooms is no longer necessary for your situation and it might be far more space than you’ll ever use – or be able to maintain – now that there’s far fewer people in the house. Instead, consider the benefits a three bedroom home that has just enough space for you to have a guest bedroom for when the kids come back to visit along with a stylish study or quiet library.

Many parents who feel left behind can now find the time to travel or finally get to things they were unable to do before, as well as discover new hobbies and activities to enjoy as a couple. An empty nest doesn’t have to leave you with a house that feels too cold and not lived in, and it can serve as the perfect excuse to find a smaller house that will quickly become a home.

Heather Rose is a Toronto based Journalist, who is a regular contributor to the Muddy York Real Estate Blog.  Heather website is located at heatherroseportfolio.squarespace.com.

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