Downsizing in Niagara

Aging boomers are a primary real estate demographic throughout North America. This important market segment has an even greater impact in Niagara because our Niagara census metropolitan area currently has the fourth largest percentage of seniors in all of Canada.

According to the recent Seniors in Niagara: Creating Age-Friendly Communities policy brief published by Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory “Niagara is not currently a strong magnet for seniors moving from other areas although we probably could be if we chose to emphasize certain characteristics of our area.”

While the Niagara area does attract some seniors to move in from outside of the region the majority of seniors are long term residents who are aging in place.  The study further concludes that “it is this stay at home idea that drives our large population of seniors more than a large influx from outside.”

Searching for retirement housing in Niagara can be a complex process for older seniors.  While there are many types of private sector housing options, seniors who rely on publicly funded long term care facilities can expect to be placed on a waiting list for an extended period of time.

Many baby boomers are opting to trade down from their family home at the earlier “empty nester” stage while they still enjoy an active adult lifestyle. Downsizing offers many advantages from less time spent cleaning and maintaining leaving more time for leisure activities to reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills.

Some even manage to sell their family home for more money than what it costs to buy their new home. From my experience as a local Realtor this is the exception rather than the rule. While many begin their downsizing home buying journey with this goal in mind ultimately the appeal of the architectural elements and lifestyle amenities associated with newer, more expensive (although smaller!) housing ultimately takes priority.

"Cathy Berkhout-Bosse, H.B.A. is a real estate broker and writer living in Pelham. She has assisted over 200 local buyers downsize into adult lifestyle townhomes & bungalows. You may read past columns at www.niagararealtysource.com”

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