The Upside of Downsizing

2021 New beginnings…

Downsizing from a detached home to an apartment is an alluring option for couples whose children have flown the nest. It is the perfect time to simplify your life and unlock disposable income.

Bouncing off the walls of a large family home, with all the cleaning and maintenance it demands, can seem an expensive, time-consuming and pointless exercise.

Before you make any decision to downsize, be clear on the lifestyle you desire. If you are not ready, or have no desire for retirement village living, then scaling down to an apartment or townhouse can give you back quality time and fewer headaches.

A try-before-you-buy strategy may be smart for those who find the prospect of an immediate change too dramatic.

Consider renting to see whether downsizing is the right choice for you. Renting does not guarantee a long-term solution but provides a great way to assess the lifestyle that apartment living offers. Consider using Airbnb so you can move from one area to another, from one style of apartment or property style to another, with relative ease.

You’ll not only discover if you like living in a small property but maybe discover your ideal location.

By comparison, buying an apartment is a long-term commitment.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s cheaper living. There can be cash-flow implications when moving into a strata scheme. Outgoings to be considered include insurance, taxes, maintenance, utilities, landscaping, cleaning and repairs.

A successful downsize requires focus on the normal key elements of property buying, or you’ll fail to maximise the full value of your home and set yourself up for the lifestyle you desire.

As your local agent, we’d be happy to help you understand what your existing home might be worth, and provide some insights on recent sales of apartments and townhouses in our area. 

This will help you make a sober assessment of the quality of the smaller home you wish to buy. If you are looking at an older apartment, seek advice from a surveyor or builder on any likely renovations.

Seek out a financial planner to make sure that downsizing will give you the desired lifestyle gains. Ask your adviser about the associated costs of apartment ownership and how they will have an impact on living expenses.

You’ll need to reduce the amount of “stuff” in your life. Storage in apartments is limited, and external storage providers will be another hit on your cash-flow so you’ll need to be ruthless. 

For many, downsizing is a liberating strategy. It unlocks money tied up in the equity of a large home and provides so many more choices of how you wish to live your life.