Top 5 Things to Consider when Downsizing
Making the decision to downsize from a large property to a smaller one is a big step. More than just moving homes, downsizing involves a lifestyle change. So in order to make the right decision for you and your family, it is important to do some research.
Recently growing in popularity, downsizing encompasses everything from moving from a large house to a smaller house, apartment, villa, townhouse or even a retirement village. Whether it is for companionship, security, minimizing maintenance, health or family dynamics, regardless when, moving is always stressful.
While people may be looking to downsize for different reasons, it is still important to consider key factors. This way, the benefits can be enjoyed.
Downsizing is more than just a term associated with retirees. In fact, many younger families are also trading in their 4-bedroom houses, manicured lawns and gardens for the freedom that apartment and townhouse living brings.
Some of the associated benefits are:
- Reduced costs in terms of utilities
- Less time spent on cleaning and maintenance
- Greater property choice
- Better access to amenities and transport services
- Improved security
- Maintained gardens, pools, tennis courts
- Some over 50 complexes offer even more sophisticated facilities
5 things to consider when downsizing
The decision to downsize is not something that should be taken lightly. By taking the time to ask the right questions and objectively assess each living space, you will be more likely to make the right decision. Affording you the opportunity to truly relish this next chapter.
1. Choosing the right location
When downsizing to an apartment, location is key. You may want to be close to family and friends and still within walking distance to things like shopping centres, restaurants and transport hubs.
On the other hand, you may want to trade in coastal living and head for the city to enjoying walking access to museums, theatres and restaurants. When choosing the right location, think about what you want the next chapter to look like.
2. Investigating the complex
One of the most important tips for downsizing to an apartment is to thoroughly investigate the building and complex. As best you can, get to know the neighbours around you. You do not want to be sharing walls with undesirable people.
While smaller complexes tend to be popular amongst those downsizing to an apartment, a larger complex may suit you better. To decide, walk around the grounds, determine access to your apartment from the street and look at parking options.
3. Understanding strata management
An important part of apartment living is strata management. Before purchasing an apartment, it is imperative to research the strata. The strata scheme is a system for handling the legal ownership of a portion of a building- your apartment and the communal areas.
Potential buyers can commission a strata report. This details the financial health and history of the building. Capital works plans should be in place, and the capital works funds should be sufficient. Otherwise, purchasers may be hit with one-off large levies.
4. Determining functionality
Downsizing means exactly that, downsizing. So, the big furniture pieces that once filled your home will not be feasible in an apartment. When walking through an apartment, think about the furniture that will accentuate the space without intruding on common walkways.
If the apartment has an outdoor area, work out how often you can use it. Is it covered or open to the elements? Is there room for a bench or an additional dining table? If you plan on entertaining, make sure the space can accommodate this aspect of your life.
5. Planning for the future
Packing up a home in order to downsize can be a big process. It may also be one that you do not want to have to go through again. If you only want to move once, it is essential to think about the future when inspecting an apartment.
Will the apartment let you live out your twilight years safely, independently and comfortably? Can safety features later be installed? With the government in the process of removing perceived disincentives for seniors when they downsize, these questions are important.
Downsizing can be met with equal parts of trepidation and excitement. However, by approaching the process in a forward-thinking and well-researched manner, downsizing is not as intimidating as it sounds. In fact, it could be the key to a new and exciting lifestyle.
When approaching the prospect of downsizing, think about:
- Location: walkability or public transport access to your hobbies and interests is key.
- The building itself: meeting neighbours before buying may save you stress later.
- Strata management: ensure the strata is well managed and in good financial health.
- Functionality: picture living in the apartment and what furniture you will need.
- The future: assess suitably for old age living in terms of safety and security.
ARE YOU WANTING TO DOWNSIZE BUT NEED TO SELL FIRST ?
Over the last 10 years a large proportion of my business has been helping clients transition from larger homes to smaller ones. Whether dealing with Seniors, Power of Attorney's, Retirees, my experience is extensive. I have personally found that all situations are different and each requires its own personalised attention.
I would love to be involved in starting this journey with you.
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