Most people at some point in their lives will think about downsizing. Some people actually think about it a lot more than others! So if you’re the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, we know you’ll be familiar with the term. If you’re not, well today we want to explain what it is and what you should be thinking about when you want to downsize.
It’s simple, really. Downsizing is just the selling of your existing large home and moving to a smaller property that’s more manageable and easier to maintain.
The most common time to think of downsizing is when you’re nearing retirement age. The old family home is more than you need to live in, and you don’t want to spend as much time mowing the lawn or performing basic maintenance on the property. It’s time to start looking at a smaller place, a retirement village or an independent living scenario.
Of course, there are other stages in life when downsizing might seem appropriate. Maybe all your kids have just finished school and left home, and your empty nest feels like too much space for you. Or maybe your life situation has changed and you can’t afford the repayments on a big home. Or you want to move to an area you’ve always really wanted to live in, and the properties there are much smaller.
Things to Think About When Downsizing
Whatever your reasons behind it, downsizing is something that requires a lot of planning and thought. Today we want to look at a few things you should think about when wanting to downsize.
What Amenities are Important To You?
If you’re moving from a big family home to an apartment or townhouse, you’re going to be leaving behind more than just space. You might have had a pool to swim in everyday, never mind a back yard cricket pitch! Figure out what amenities you want in your downsized life, and factor them into your search. Most complexes or retirement villages have a wide range of facilities, so find the ones that suit you best. It’s all about creating the perfect lifestyle for you!
Have you got accustomed to a life where you can’t hear or your neighbours? Have a good think about how you’re going to go when you have to share walls with them and see them every day. If you don’t want to be in close proximity to 100’s of people, an apartment complex probably isn’t for you. Have a look for smaller standalone homes.
Your Space Needs
Even though you’re determined a smaller space is for you, you’ll still have needs to be met by that space. Do you run a home business that requires a home office? Do you often have people visiting and require a guest bedroom? Do you need an area for a timeout and some personal space every now and then? All of this should be thought about when looking at your new home.
Your Financial Goals
Saving money is one of the bigger incentives when it comes to downsizing. It helps shore up your retirement fund and makes day-to-day life a lot easier. Make sure you don’t lose sight of this when you’re choosing a new place. It might tick all your boxes and be perfect, but if it is more expensive or stretches your budget too much you’re defeating the objective of downsizing.
You’re probably going to have to do a lot of decluttering when you move into your own home. Now is the time to be ruthless and stamp out those hoarding tendencies! Declutter and get rid of everything you don’t use anymore. You’ll need to decide which furniture comes with, and what you say goodbye to. You may even want to start completely afresh and sell it all.
Downsizing can be Emotional
Remember to go easy on yourself while you’re downsizing. It’s an emotional time, and you need to allow yourself space to grieve. You’re closing a chapter in your life, and saying goodbye to a home, possessions and people around you. The whole process is steeped in nostalgia, and you need to give yourself the time and space to understand that and respect the emotions. Keep in touch with your family and friends regularly and get the support you need through the process.
We’ve Helped Many People on Their Downsizing Journey
The Henry Wong Team® has helped so many people downsize from big homes to smaller, more manageable ones. We’ve got a lot of experience in providing downsizing guidance and would love to chat to you if you’re thinking about it or are at that stage in your lives. So get in touch with your questions, and we’ll answer them for you!