Article by Mark Bunker. This article was originally published on iBuildNew.com.au and has been reproduced here with permission.
Downsizing can sound like a diminutive task, especially as it conjures up ideas of transitioning from more to less as people progress to new lifestyles. Going from big to small sounds like an easier transition than its counterpart. Downsizers must weigh up a plethora of things in order to make sure they're making the right choices for the lifestyle they want. Afterall, downsizing is not 'downgrading'...
Here are some ideas to consider when making the transition.
Arguably, the first thing to consider is a crucial question: The ‘why’ of downsizing. Typically, downsizers must choose a smaller dwelling due to issues that include maintenance ie kids move out of the large family house which becomes too high maintenance for an aging couple. Or, it’s often the case that a smaller mortgage (or no mortgage and reduced utility bills and stamp-duty) becomes a more feasible and viable reason to downsize. Other reasons include moving from suburban to urban areas due to proximity to work or moving from a large inner-ring house to a coastal lifestyle community more catered to retirees. Whatever it is, the first thing is to know exactly the reason or main set of reasons, and then access what sort of area and type of dwelling will suit one’s needs. Read more on our top tips to downsize your home with ease.
Once you know what you’re looking for, be it a move to the city or a quaint country town, you’ll need to consider what you already own, what you can let go of (think big items first) and how your new floorplan will fit this picture. From here, there are specific things to consider, primarily the issue of space relative to the amount of stuff you own such as furniture.
Storage is a key element to consider, and many downsizers underestimate the number of bedrooms they’ll need and how many square metres will be required to accommodate their personal belongings. Taking prior measurements is a key step in a successful downsize, and if the math doesn’t add up and more storage space can’t be bought or created, it’s often the case a downsizer will need sell some old items online or in an old-fashioned garage sale.
Geographical issues to consider include proximity to existing social networks and social amenities underpinned by strong community values. It’s also worth considering socio-spatial issues if you’re moving from a house to an apartment, you might suddenly find yourself with slightly less privacy. Moving day can also present challenges for a retired, downsizing couple as they could be less nimble to go about moving their furniture themselves and will have to plan well ahead and have the right people on hand. In this sense, many downsizers choose single-level properties due to their ease of access.
Looking to downsize your lifestyle and buy something a little more low-maintenance and compact for your next home? Call and chat to our friendly property experts about what you're looking for in your next home today. We have hundreds of properties and projects to choose from. Finding your next home has never been easier and stress-free!