As Australia’s population ages with people living (and working) longer, there has been a shift from a portion of the demographic to move from the family home into something smaller – it might be a smaller home, an apartment/townhouse, or a villa at a retirement/over 50’s community.
The advantages include: minimising maintenance, access to equity locked in family home, freeing up responsibility – making it easier to ‘lock and leave’ the residence and travel, as well as a property that may be more suitable in structure and layout to live your golden years…thinking ahead, there may be mobility issues and other age-related ailments that require adaptable living.
Prior to making the decision to downsize, there are some factors to consider.
Downsizers should consider their financial position as much as the psychological impact of relinquishing a long-term family home when pondering a move to a smaller house. While property type and location are first and foremost in the minds of older Australians looking to downsize, thought also needs to be given to hidden costs and what may be an emotional decision.
Support networks – this is an important consideration; where are your family and friends located? You want to ensure your move won’t leave you isolated from your support network; so, location is very important in regard to this.
Make sure you’re emotionally ready; if you’ve lived in your family home for many years and brought your children up there, there is an emotional connection to the property that is very strong. It is important you feel ‘ready’ to make the next step. However, don’t wait too long, because then something may happen, e.g. someone falls and breaks a hip and can no longer navigate the stairs, or you lose a partner, and then the process of moving becomes even more stressful…so timing is also a consideration.
There are an increasing number of options now for buyers wishing to downsize – it’s certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and for many, once they’ve made the decision…there is much to look forward to!