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Mini home, condo or chalet: What are your options when the family leaves the nest?

Evelyne Chevrette - Content creator

ByEvelyne Chevrette

March 30th, 2023

Mini home, condo, or cottage? When your kids finally leave home to start their life journeys, there are several options available to you. An informed choice will help you transition more easily to being an empty nester.

Identify your needs 

Now that your children have flown the coop, it’s time to think about yourself. Contemplate what would make you happy at this stage of your life. Leaving your family home can be a heartbreaking decision to make. Take your time. Don’t rush. Be clear on the real motivation for selling your home.   

Which type of home would be best suited to your needs? To answer this question, scour real estate listings and compare several properties. Remember that your lifestyle will differ if you purchase a cottage instead of a condo. 

Mini home 

Do you have too much space for your current needs? Would you like to reduce your consumption habits? You may consider a micro house, a tiny house, or a small house. By choosing one of these housing options, you'll learn to live with less and have a smaller area to heat, cool, and, most importantly, clean! 

Building this type of structure requires a limited number of materials and would result in less waste. However, you must still factor in the costs of having access to municipal services and moving to your new tiny house. 

There are also mini home neighbourhoods that allow you to own property and be part of a community.   


Living room in a condominium with a window avec decorations
Photo: Getty Images/Aleksandra Zlatkovic

Would you prefer to stay in the city to be close to your children? Condos are often found in urban areas and are less expensive. You’ll need to pay for insurance, condo fees, taxes, and mortgage. You’ll save money if you choose this option since maintenance and electricity costs are much lower than in a house. One aspect that should not be overlooked is the heat generated between units. 

You’ll also need to part with some of your belongings accumulated over the years or put them in a rented storage space. The space-conscious lifestyle applies to a condo, just as it does to a mini home. By making this significant change, your ecological footprint will be reduced as this type of housing allows for sharing resources, infrastructure, and parking areas. 

Is peace of mind essential to you? In most cases, condominium entrances are secure and well-lit. You'll also learn to live in harmony with your neighbours while respecting some basic rules.  


Log cabin in a snowy landscape
Photo: Getty Images/Natalia Duryagina

Do you dream of spending your time fishing, hiking, and eating roasted marshmallows? Consider enjoying the peace and tranquillity that a cottage offers.  

It’s important to note that this type of home needs to be carefully maintained and requires a greater investment. To find that rare gem, you'll have to do a lot of research beforehand. You might also have the cottage built to suit your needs and wants. If this is the case, your project will start by choosing the land and house design. There are also companies that sell prefabricated models. Eco-friendly, log cabin, Scandinavian, contemporary, high-end—which one will capture your fancy?  

Do you need help deciding between a cottage or a mini home? We’re here to remind you that there are also a few beautiful mini cottages on the market. They are energy efficient, affordable, and charming. All your desires can be satisfied!

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