Downsizing; the practice of buying a home that is smaller than the one you currently own. It’s a big step that is often made with a mix of excitement, relief and trepidation, as many leave behind what has been their family home and a place that holds a lifetime of memories.
What many don’t fully consider though is that downsizing your home can actually help you upsize your life; a bold statement, but one that’s true. When it comes time to downsize, many find themselves in the fortunate position of having only a small mortgage, or sometimes, no mortgage at all. This, coupled with the red-hot market we are currently seeing puts sellers in an enviable position, allowing them greater freedom when making their next move.
For some, the difference between selling a larger home and buying a smaller one allows them financial security as they enter their next stage of life, with the equity from the sale creating a nest egg for the future. On top of this, the running costs of a smaller home are also less, contributing to bolstered finances. For others, the sale allows them to contemplate fresh housing options and locations that weren’t viable when their priorities were geared to raising a family.
Some of the most popular options for downsizers include single level villa units, townhouses with a ground floor master bedroom, or smaller standalone houses on more compact allotments. One of the key reasons that these have appealed is because by nature, the upkeep and maintenance of these properties is less, especially in outdoor zones which may have in the past had large gardens or swimming pools to tend to regularly.
Also favoured highly are Lifestyle or Retirement Villages tailored to those as young as 55; they often have all maintenance taken care of as part of the purchase or annual fees, and they’re generally located close to amenities such as public transport, shopping precincts and medical facilities. These have risen in popularity as astute developers cater to an ever-growing market – one whose expectations have grown substantially – by providing modern independent living in safe surrounds, amongst a range of carefully curated facilities. These often include the likes of open green outdoor spaces, swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses with lounges, bars and dining rooms, as well as cinemas and games rooms. A number also allow the transition to higher care facilities, if and when required, meaning residents do not need to undertake a further move at a time where familiarity is highly regarded. Whilst these have traditionally been village like atmospheres, with single storey dwellings peppering the landscape, there has been a move in recent times to high-rise complexes, mirroring urban style apartment buildings that have become more prevalent in the past decade in both inner-city and outer suburban locations.
Downsizers frequently take advantage of their greater freedom to travel, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting movement greatly, many have turned to more local options for that ‘holiday like’ feeling, with property purchases in coastal locations increasing in popularity. As this often means moving further away from their previous location, some will also purchase a smaller apartment to use as a base when visiting family and friends in their past vicinity, allowing them the best of both worlds.
If you’re ready to downsize and need an agent to help, contact your local Noel Jones office today.