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Tips For Moving From a House to an Apartment

Making the decision to downsize your family home doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually a slow process. A gradual but growing list of ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ You’ve likely spent the last 30+ years maintaining and caring for your house, to create a home for your family. 

But the kids have moved out years ago and you’re still spending hours every week keeping your place maintained. That growing list of house and yard must-dos has led you to a decision: to downsize. 

You’re in good company. More than half of all 55+ year olds are considering downsizing. Even more so now, with the property market like it is. Older Australians want less maintenance, more convenience, enjoying a lifestyle change and more financial freedom. 

It all sounds great, right? Yes, it is. But leaving the house you’ve raised a family in isn’t easy. You see more than a house; you see it through the lens of memories. You see the end prize of years, decades even, of hard work and sacrifice. 

The Great Australian Dream. An identity as a homeowner. The romance of living in a house you own. Downsizing is as much an emotional move as it is a practical one. A jarring shift filled with both grief and excitement.  

Downsizing seniors have more questions than answers… 

  • What age should I downsize?
  • How do I prepare to downsize my house? 
  • Where do I start? 
  • What should I consider first?  

And most importantly, am I ready to downsize, to leave our family home?  

If you’re finding maintenance and upkeep a bigger and bigger hassle, have way too much space, and are dreaming of how you’d like to spend the next 10-20 years of your life, you’re probably ready. Only you truly know the answer. 

Listen to your emotions and what comes up for you. A lot of the time we hold onto the family house to ‘live’ with those memories. Let yourself take those special moments with you and create more, moving into a smaller house that fits your needs, now. 

Downsizing advice: Look forward, not back 

Imagine, for a moment, downsizing from a house to a smaller property, an apartment or amazing townhouse complex to simplify your days, top up your retirement savings and give you financial flexibility (to help the kids, travel Australia or fulfil a lifelong dream). 

In a changing world (especially the past 18 months), your home was a refuge, a constant. But you can take this sentiment with you and look ahead, not needing the rear-view mirror. Focus on what your life might look like and all the exciting ways you can live. 

The Productivity Commission’s report, Housing Decisions of Older Australians paints a romantic picture: 

  • 76% of Australians aged over 60 view their home as a place to ‘see out their retirement’ 

  • 71% perceive the home as a ‘safety net’ 

  • 44% would like to see their property passed on to their children. 

But would your children really want you stressing about house and garden maintenance, retirement savings, and health and mobility? Your family cares about you being comfortable, spirited, and enjoying your life. 

There are plenty of ways to create a new home, with more safety and stability, and help the kids financially to enter the property market. You can tick all these boxes by downsizing from a house to an apartment (or smaller residence). 

But where do I even start? 

Gazing up to a tower of boxes is enough to elicit an “I’ll just stay here” response. But think about how freeing it’s going to feel when you’re settled into your new home" with minimal maintenance, closer access to amenities, and the ability to just lock up and go on spontaneous trips. 

In reality, life 55+ and beyond looks a lot different than it used to. We’re living longer, can travel easily (pre-Covid), and adult children are having kids later in life, too. We understand downsizing is an emotionally taxing decision. It’s confronting to part with your most valued asset, especially with so much uncertainty in the world. But it’s also important to listen to what your lifestyle and health are calling for. What matters most to you? 

The desire to find a balance between maximising enjoyment in your later years and leaving behind something for the kids takes a strategic plan that works, for you. 

There’s a myriad of ways to achieve both. From making the decision to downsize to settling into your new home, HomeSuite will lead you through this wonderful life chapter. For more tips on downsizing to a smaller home, contact us today on 1300 025 108. 

Downsize, your way.