How to have a smooth downsizing experience
The decision to downsize signals a new chapter in your life. Perhaps you’ve joined the ‘empty nesters’ club. Or perhaps you’ve recently retired or separated from your partner. Alternatively, you might simply want a smaller place that’s easier to afford.
Whatever your situation, there are some key considerations you must be aware of when downsizing your home.
1. Start the process early
When do you intend to move to a smaller home? In a few months or a few years? Planning the process as soon as possible is key to keeping your stress levels to a minimum.
Write down the criteria you’re looking for in your next home. Consider your budget, location, accessibility, and bedrooms. If you’re an empty nester, be mindful of your future requirements. While you don’t have kids taking over the couch anymore, you might still need a place big enough for ever-growing family gatherings!
2. Don’t handle the process alone
Selling your family home and seeking the next step can be an emotional process. However, this is a period of your life where you need rational-thinking.
If you don’t have a partner to support you, seek feedback and guidance from other family members, close friends, and/or a financial advisor. They’ll offer a fresh pair of eyes to review your situation, financials, future needs, and fine print.
Also ensure you have a support person with you on moving day. Especially if you’re leaving behind a house with decades of fond memories.
3. Look at all your options
Why are you downsizing?
If you’re just looking for a cheaper place to rent or buy, an apartment or townhouse could be the best option. They are usually low-maintenance and more secure. Consider the suburb, transport, schools and amenities nearby.
If you’re a retiree and empty nester, a retirement village might be suitable. Just be aware that most Australian retirement villages operate under ‘Deferred Management Fee’ (DMF) schemes. This means there’s a fee incurred for each year of occupation. When you leave, the DMF is paid from the re-sale proceeds. So you won’t have the same money from the sale as a freehold unit or townhouse.
4. Sell your current home first
Before you even think about moving, make sure you’ve secured a sale on your current property. After the sale, you’ll know exactly how much money you’re working with.
Don’t assume a quick sale as you could put yourself under unnecessary stress. It’s better to purchase with confidence!
5. Be open to letting things go
One of the hardest aspects of downsizing is letting go of much-loved accumulated momentos. However, what do you really need?
Yes, keep the photo albums and favourite artworks. But you must sell, give away, or throw out the over-loved furniture or dusty bicycles. Having family around to help you to declutter and downsize your possessions can be both helpful and therapeutic.
We hope you have a smooth experience when downsizing your home and enjoy the next stage of life!
Ready to downsize to a smaller place? Start the conversation with your real estate agent about Listing Loop. You can discover “just listed” ‘secret’ off-market properties for sale that meet your exact criteria.