Investing in a Rental Property

4 Adjustments Seniors May Experience When Downsizing From A House To A Condo

When the time comes to sell the home you raised your family in and move into something smaller, you might want to consider buying a condominium. Condos are ideal for seniors, and they come in many sizes, locations, and price ranges. As you plan for this big change in your life, there are some differences in homes and condos you should be aware of. Because of these differences, you may have some adjustments you will need to make, and here are four of them.

Small Living Quarters

While there are times when people move from small homes to large condos, most of the time it is the other way around. People that move from family homes often move into condos as a way of downsizing.

If you have lived in your home for many years, it is likely you will have to get rid of some of the things you have. This is especially true if you are planning on moving into a condo that is smaller than your home. Living in smaller living quarters is certainly not a bad thing, though. In fact, it might be exactly what you need now that your children have grown up and moved out.

Moving from a house to a condo can require some adjusting, though, and this will include keeping only the things you really need. Fortunately, making a move like this is a benefit for you and your kids. It offers the opportunity to sort through everything you own, which will relieve some of the responsibility placed on your kids when you eventually pass away. As you go through your things, you could offer your unwanted things to your kids. If they do not want them, you could sell them, donate them, or throw them away.

Close Neighbors

A second adjustment you may have to make involves your neighbors. Condos are typically grouped together, which means you may have neighbors in the same building as you are living in. If you are not used to this, it might take some time to get adjusted; however, this can be a great benefit of living in a condo.

If you are retired and have extra time on your hands, having close neighbors could be a great opportunity for you. It could offer a way to make close friends, and it could give you something to do with your spare time.

Differences In Maintenance

A third adjustment you may have to make relates to the maintenance required at a condo versus at a single-family home. When you move into a condo, you will no longer have to do yard work. All other types of outdoor maintenance may also be eliminated from your to-do list.

Most condos offer these services to the homeowners that live there. You will have to pay a monthly fee to the condo association, but the fee will cover all these duties and services. This is a great feature for people that are no longer physically able to complete yard tasks they could once do.

Changes In Amenities

Finally, you may have to adjust to the changes in amenities at your new condo. As you search for the right condo to purchase, you may have certain amenities you would like to find with a unit. This might include finding one that has a swimming pool or workout room in the community, or you might want one that offers certain types of security.

Moving to a condo is a great way to downsize when you retire, and there are plenty to choose from. To begin searching for the right one for you, contact a real estate agent to schedule some condo showings. 

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Six Suggestions For Staying Sane While Sharing Small Spaces

There are several reasons why you may share an apartment, like those at Wynn Residential Apartments in Toronto, with someone else. Perhaps it has the perfect location, is in a wonderful building, or allows you to save your money to purchase a larger property later on. Whatever the reason, you should be aware that while sharing small spaces with other people can cause tension, there are also many ways that you can ease that tension. To keep your relationship with your housemate healthy, make sure you follow these six tips. 

Discuss Your Needs

When you and your housemate first move in together, it is important to set up clear expectations of how much privacy and space you each need. You may want to outline a rough schedule of quiet hours and social hours as well as create guidelines for inviting guests over.

If you are friends or romantically involved with your roommate, then make sure that you are on the same page about how much affection and interaction is desirable. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust this if you change your work or school schedule or have other major life changes. 

Spend Time Outside of the Home 

If both you and your roommate are always in the apartment that you share, you may begin to feel cramped. When you feel frustrated, go for a walk and enjoy the space of the area around your home. In bad weather you can go to a coffee shop or a gallery to experience more space. Again, you may want to schedule times when each of you will be out of the apartment so the other one can take advantage of some alone time. 

Organize Your Space

If your space is already limited, having clutter around the house can quickly frustrate you. This can lead to more conflict with your roommate about cleaning duties and whether or not you actually need certain items. To prevent this, take a few days to organize your space. You may be surprised by the extra space that can be created with clever storage techniques. 

Keep Your Home Tidy

Once everything has a specific place, it is important that you return them to that place when they are not in use. Keeping shared areas tidy will allow you and your roommate to begin new activities without having to clean the other’s mess.

In a small apartment, you may need to keep private areas tidy as well as common areas. This is because the visual impact of clutter can be negative, and in small apartments it can be more difficult to fully separate private areas. 

Define Common and Personal Spaces

Even if you have a studio apartment, it is important to define common and personal spaces. You may designate a certain chair as a quiet place where you or your roommate can read, think, or watch television without being interrupted. If you have a bit more space, designating a room or a curtained area as the private space can also work well. 

Give Emotional Space When Physical Space Is Unavailable

Even if you feel like you are stepping over each other, it is possible to give emotional space to your roommate. You may want to try not filling silence with small talk and avoiding eye contact to make it feel like you have a bit more privacy. This can feel rude at first, but if you discuss it with your roommate, you may find that you settle into a pattern of engagement and disengagement after a few days.

If you are sharing a small space with someone, communication is the key to a healthy relationship. However, you may also consider whether you and your roommate want to start looking for a larger apartment.

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Beyond the Basics: What to Look for When House-Hunting

Looking at homes for sale often elicits mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s exciting to walk through houses, picturing yourself living in various homes. On the other hand, choosing the place where you will spend the next several years (or, in some cases, several decades) is a daunting task.

Your real estate agent will be able to help you narrow down your choices in a busy market, but the ultimate decision rests with you. Here are some things to consider as you go through houses that are beyond the basics, such as location, number of bedrooms and whether your furniture will fit in the living room.

Natural Light

If you view the home at night, it can be difficult to determine how much natural light each room will receive. Any home that is on your short list of definite possibilities should be viewed at least twice, preferably at two different times of the day. One of these times should be during daylight hours. You want to see how much light your living room, kitchen and bedroom will get.

Since you will likely only be viewing the home during one season, consider what will change. During the winter, light levels are often lower and softer. During the summer, leaves on trees may block some light from entering your home. If natural light is important to you, you’re not going to want to consider a home where the kitchen has only one small, north-facing window or where the living room gets little light because a screened porch shades the windows from the outdoor light.

Electrical Outlets

This is mainly a concern if you are looking at old homes. While newer houses typically have a lot of electrical outlets, it’s common to see fewer than you may need in older homes. When this characteristic is combined with an old electrical panel, adding additional outlets or otherwise upgrading the electricity can require rather extensive (and expensive!) work courtesy of your electrician. Take a look at the artificial lighting situation, too; if you have ceiling fixtures in the home, you’ll need fewer outlets than if lamps will be necessary.

Backyard Orientation

Are you a gardener? If so, you probably already know that a home that faces north will provide the best backyard sun exposure for growing vegetables all summer long. Conversely, a home facing south will allow you plenty of bright sunlight for planting flowers outside your front entry. If you are in an unfamiliar neighborhood and aren’t sure which way is north, don’t be embarrassed about asking your realtor. He or she should be well-versed with the different areas and can tell you which way you’re facing, even at high noon when the sun doesn’t clue you in.

Access to Bedrooms or Laundry Room in the Future

If you are buying a home while in your 20s or 30s, you might be focusing on buying the home that will work for you as you have children. In addition, keep in mind that in several decades, you might not be as fit and spry as you are right now. Since you might decide to stay in the house over the long haul, it’s wise to consider how you might be able to make the house work if you or your partner become unable to climb stairs.

If you have no options for having a bedroom on the main floor if your home, or if the laundry room is located down steep basement stairs, this could prove problematic in the future. This isn’t necessarily a reason not to buy the home of your dreams, of course; you can always modify the house later.

Most of these issues will not make or break your decision on their own, but when combined with other features of the homes in question, one or more of them might cause you to favor one home over others you’re considering. Talk about these issues with your real estate agent, as he or she will likely have insight on other considerations that you might not have thought of.

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How Security Guards Are Reducing Crime Within the Community Without a Badge

When it comes to reducing crime, the police have their hands full. It’s just not possible for them to be everywhere, all the time, and many times they are called after a crime has been committed. For communities and businesses who want to prevent crime in their neighbourhoods, it takes more than just a helpful police department.

While it’s never recommended that a civilian confront someone committing a crime, trained security guards are more than capable of doing so, and they can be the missing link that helps keep crime out of the community. They may not carry a badge, but security guards can help reduce crime and keep communities safe.

Security guards in businesses

Businesses who use security guards as a crime deterrent get much more than just protection for their property. While security guards do cut down on theft in retail establishments, they also provide much more for your business. Security guards provide a peace of mind for shoppers as well as store owners, and they can keep a subtle eye on employees as well. Many thieves will pass up a retail store with a security guard because it increases their chances of getting caught, and if you have a security guard on-site after business hours, you receive these benefits and more.

After-hours security guards can keep an eye out for vandals, problems with the premises, such as power outages, and employees that might be tempted to try and gain access to the property without your knowledge. Security guards are your eyes and ears around the clock, and that can be a huge help in reducing crime in your business.

Neighbourhood security guards

Security isn’t just an issue for businesses; more neighbourhoods are turning to private security firms to keep an eye on public areas and community spaces to keep criminals from moving in. The traditional neighbourhood watch used to incorporate regular, untrained civilians patrolling their neighbourhood streets, but today it’s much safer to have trained security in places where crime is prevalent.

Having a visible security presence within a community can make residents feel safer and reduce actual crime. Many residential crimes are “crimes of opportunity,” rather than planned criminal acts. With security in place, there are fewer opportunities for criminals to commit crimes without being seen. 

Some communities, such as gated communities, include the cost of private security in the cost of the homes sold within the community. Apartments and condominium complexes can take the same approach. For communities with no organized management, residents can choose to pool their private resources to pay for security services. If enough residents want to hire a guard or even several guards, the cost per resident could be fairly low, and more than worth the minimal cost in order to have a more secure neighbourhood.

Security guards working with the police

Security guards can help fill in the gaps when the police are stretched too thin to cover every area, and they are an extra set of eyes that the police can use to help keep an eye on problem areas. It’s important that any security patrol is skilled and properly trained in order to be effective. Unskilled people patrolling a neighbourhood can lead to tragic results, but professional guards can manage the security needs of a community when the police can’t be there.

Some police officers choose to take on security jobs on a part-time basis. Some do this to supplement their income, while others choose to do so in order to provide additional security for special events. Either way, the community benefits.

Contact security guard services to learn more about how they can keep your community safe.

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