The decision to downsize your home isn't just a rational move. It's about choosing to make an impactful change to your life, finances, surroundings, and future.
At some age in life, there comes a time when you have to make a lifestyle decision that defines your future. You have to choose what's right and best for you rather than drowning in the ocean of emotions. Downsizing the home is one such decision. It is one of the toughest decisions you will make in life.
People downsize their homes for various reasons like
There could be other reasons for downsizing too like
You may choose to downsize at any point, but it's worth doing some research into where you want to live, what kind of property you'd be satisfied with, along being realistic about how much you currently own. Before delving into the factors to consider, let's first look at the potential benefits of downsizing your home.
Downsizing your home comes with many perks, that's one of the reasons why people choose to downsize.
Spend less on mortgage and maintenance, have money left over every month to allocate for other needs or desires.
Fewer rooms and smaller spaces cut down on the time spent to clean and maintain them so you get to spend more time doing something enjoyable.
Smaller homes have comparatively lower energy consumption because there is no wasted space.
Less space means you acquire fewer goods and reduce consumption so technically you start to practice minimalism.
Downsizing your home can be an extremely emotional decision because there are a lot of memories attached to the home. You've spent a lot of time with your family in that home, your children grew up in the same house and it was probably your first huge investment. But if the current house is not befitting you or beneficial for you, it's worth making a rational decision of downsizing.
There are many important factors to consider before making the final downsizing decision.
Take a look at your current home that you're planning to leave. Your current home is a fort that holds strong emotional ties. If it's your family home, you're most likely to have a strong emotional connection because of the memories you made here. Understand your emotions attached to the home and find out why you want to leave this place.
Think about and list down all the reasons why you want to leave this place, and what you don't like about it. There have to be at least one (or perhaps several) reasons as to why you want to go elsewhere other than the financial benefits of downsizing. Ask yourself questions like:
Once you've covered all the negatives, ask yourself what you love about your home. This will help you identify features of the home that you may want to look out for in the new property.
Ask yourself positive questions like:
Based on your questions and answers you will now have a personalized list of pros and cons, positives and negatives that will help you decide if downsizing is the option for you. If you choose to downsize and sell your current home then this pros and cons list will help you to filter and narrow down the best property options you may consider based on your non-negotiables.
You might also want to consider choosing a real estate agent to get a house suitable to your needs.
Now that you've evaluated and decided to take the downsizing move, it's time to conduct in-depth research. This includes digging deeper than tangible items such as money, location, and amenities offered (although, they are important); it's time to look at the key factor â€?"the vibe or the energy of the homeâ€. This is in particular if you're planning to live in retirement villages or land lease communities, it's important to see the vibe of the home and that locality sets right with you.
Post-retirement, people tend to feel a little lonely and out of place, so they seek more respect, care, and compassion. Retirees often chose to live in retirement homes and close-knit communities over an apartment block with unsocial or unfriendly neighbours.
As it is rightly said, â€?"Find your tribe, love them hard.â€ Many older Australians find a tribe they identify with and enjoy a vibe in a well-established retirement community. It's important to find a warm surrounding with people that make you feel at home.
Another crucial factor to consider while looking for the right home is to check on neighbours ï¿½" notice how they live and what they do with their properties. Check if they sublet their properties to other tenants or create any other sort of nuisance. For example, a high turnover of tenants may not be ideal if you're looking for a peaceful retirement location.
Usually, retirement communities have strict norms with the use of the property and don't permit short-term letting by owners but make sure to gain clarity before finalizing the home.
The last and the most essential step in downsizing decisions is to think about what your future holds for you. Today, you're fit and healthy, tomorrow you may not be the same (we wish you stay healthy but precaution is always better than cure).
It can be quite jarring to move from a large family home into a smaller property better suited for retirement. You can make the right move and avoid buyer's remorse if you put some thought into your future needs.
With age comes a string of health problems and you should be ready for that. This may be your first and the last house move so choose a home that suits your needs not only just now but in a few decades.
You don't need to move into a retirement community or choose a property option with a residential aged-care facility. But choose an option with all the questions about seniority in mind like:
These features look nominal but they can give you more freedom and a sense of security when you're aging.
The design of the home should be more functional and less aesthetic. The whole place should be designed keeping in mind that you will grow old in this place. Don't cancel a property option based on looks like â€?"the walls have grab-rails so it makes the house look less beautifulâ€. The built-in care infrastructure will eventually help you in the future.
It is equally important to look at your exit strategy because it depends on the location of your home, your income, and your retirement plans.
Downsizing your home can be stressful, sad, or scary. That's why it's essential to cover the past, present, and future aspects of downsizing to help you find the perfect place that accommodates you for years to come!
Stay positive and be excited about a simpler life in a new place with less clutter.