The decision to downsize is never made lightly. It often means saying goodbye to a family home filled with memories, experiences and possessions – and that’s a big deal.
The word “downsize” can stir up a range of emotions – from fears about the future to elation at the thought of being set free from the time draining upkeep of a freestanding house and garden.
Downsizing is a challenge but it can also be an exciting adventure into the unknown.
The stresses associated with such a major life transition can be mitigated through a positive attitude, support from family and friends and the right expert advice.
The reasons for downsizing are many, with emotional, practical and economic factors the main drivers.
Sometimes unplanned for, and unexpected events expedite the downsizing process, such as a health scare or illness, divorce or the death of a partner. Other factors include wanting more money for retirement, to be closer to family and services and to reduce the burden of maintaining the family home.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be daunting.
Many downsizers say they no longer want to stay in a house with hard to negotiate stairs, too many spare bedrooms and a big yard. They may also feel isolated if the neighbourhood has changed over the years and their local friends have already moved on.
The majority of downsizers want a smaller property in a secure setting that allows them to pursue a laid-back lifestyle where they can spontaneously take a holiday without having to worry about maintenance or security.
Get ready to declutter
Maybe you’ve already sold your long-term home, or you could be at the start of the downsizing journey. No matter where you are on the path to a simpler lifestyle, one of the first steps involves a careful cull of the possessions accumulated over a long period of living in the same place.
Decluttering can be an emotionally painful but liberating activity. Starting sooner rather than later will bring peace of mind and clarity of thought to move onto the next step. In general, the consensus from downsizing experts is to hold onto your favourite things and “let go” of the things you don’t need.
Throwing out old paperwork is another necessary task; just make sure important documents aren’t accidentally tossed in the bin during a paper purge. If you happen to know where your next move is, get a floor plan of your new home and work with its measurements to see what fits and what doesn’t.
Get set for your next move
You might dream about a courtyard apartment with two bedrooms and two car spaces in a boutique complex without the extras such as a swimming pool or gym. On the other hand, a high-rise lifestyle that comes with a large balcony, community pool, gym and rooftop gardens could be more your style.
Downsizing can open up a whole new lifestyle.
Create a checklist for your perfect property that includes two columns, one for necessities (such as: car space with storage cage) and the other for wish list luxuries (such as: walk-in wardrobe).
Devise an affordable budget
It is essential to take into account the cost of selling and buying to ensure your financial wellbeing after the dust has settled.
Selling a long-term home involves real estate and conveyancing fees, while stamp duty and removalist fees will have an impact on your bank balance when you buy a new home. Costs will also be factored into your new home including strata levies.
ASIC’s moneysmart website recommends that downsizers consult a financial advisor on the tax and social security implications that may impact on their ability to downsize. It’s important to gain advice from a financial expert with specialist knowledge and a strong track record endorsed by satisfied clients and the relevant authorities.
It’s also worth talking to trusted friends and family to get their thoughts, advice and to learn from their own experience.
How Toplace can help
Toplace is an established leading property developer with projects across Sydney that include low rise apartments in cosmopolitan Rosebery in the inner south and five high-rise towers in the heart of burgeoning Castle Hill in the north-west.
Enjoy a more manageable home.
Toplace’s dedicated team of property specialists is focused on making the transition from a larger property to a residential apartment smooth, with minimal impact to lifestyle. That includes ensuring that the price range is affordable and downsizing is a feasible option.
Different price ranges cater to different budgets and consumer profiles. In each project, a variety of unit sizes and mixes such as 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms with car spots are available to buyers.
To learn more about downsizing with Toplace, contact us today.
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