4 signs you should downsize & what to look for


Some people assume downsizing your home is the domain of retirees looking to make a tree change, or for empty nesters wanting a smaller more manageable place now that the kids are moved out of the family home.

While a large portion of downsizers are empty nesters and retirees, downsizers do come from all walks of life and opt to move to a smaller home for a whole host of reasons. Here are four signs that downsizing could be the right move for you.

1. Lack of downtime.

Becoming an owner or renter of a larger house comes with a host of responsibilities and a considerable time commitment to property upkeep. Things like pool maintenance, mowing the lawn and even day to day cleaning can eat up hours and hours of your spare time. That’s valuable time you could probably better spend pursuing hobbies, catching up with the people you care about or simply unwinding.

If you’re tired of dusting and vacuuming empty unused rooms and spaces, dedicating hours of your weekend to chores and gardening, you may want to take a step back and weigh up your options. For example, a big pro of apartment living is you can access great amenities on your doorstep (like a gym, pool or rooftop BBQ area), but your Body Corporate will take care of all the maintenance and cleaning of the communal facilities. So, you can just sit back and enjoy.

2. Financially it makes sense.

When it comes to your hip pocket you may find downsizing will mean you can live under less financial stress and increase your savings. Many people downsize to get some extra cash for the retirement fund by selling or to boost their income by renting out their larger home and moving into something smaller and cheaper to live in.

A lucky few may even be able to sell their larger home and use the proceeds to buy the new smaller place outright, be completely mortgage free, to travel more and to cover their living expenses.

Moving to a smaller home typically also helps to decrease your cost of living and household expenses- where you’ll be paying less for utilities, rates, insurance costs, rent/mortgage payments and maintenance fees.

3. You have too much stuff collecting dust.

Decluttering and simplifying your habitat is a liberating process. Downsizing to a smaller home will force you to consider all your possessions carefully. You’ll be amazed what a weight and stress will be lifted off your shoulders once you get rid of all that excess baggage we all naturally accumulate in our homes over time.

You’ll have to decide whether to donate, sell or throw away any furniture, clothing, knick-knacks and even vehicles that you simply won’t have room for at your new place. So be prepared to make some tough decisions before moving day arrives or add the costs of a storage facility into your budget.

4. You want a change of scene.

Maybe you’ve raised a family in the outer suburbs for the past 30 years and you’re keen to move closer to the city to be within walking distance to restaurants, nightlife and cultural attractions. Or perhaps you’re tired of noisy neighbours and battling peak hour inner city traffic, so a fresh start in a small rural town or beachside community for a quieter more relaxed lifestyle could appeal to you. Perhaps you’re just sick of your neighbourhood. Whatever the case may be, a lot of us crave a change of scenery and downsizing is an avenue that makes living in your dream location possible.

If you’re unsure about which suburb to downsize into, we recommend renting a property short term to take the suburb for a test drive to decide whether it suits you or not. 

What to look for when downsizing:

  • Low maintenance living- A small yard or no yard is ideal, with only the essential number of bedrooms, living areas and bathrooms, so there’s no wasted or space going unused.
  • Close to your favourite amenities- Such as cafes, transport, shops, friends and family, parks, beaches, golf courses and cinemas etc.
  • Newer turnkey builds- Steer clear of older homes and dated apartments to minimise the need for odd jobs, repairs and major renovation projects down the track. Newer properties will also generally have better insulation and energy-efficient attributes and appliances, cutting your energy consumption and affording you power bill savings.
  • Single storey homes (or ones with at least one bed and full bath downstairs)- As you get older or if you or a family member suffer an injury you’ll be grateful to not have to climb stairs to get to your bedroom and bathroom.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you weigh up whether downsizing your home could be a worthwhile move for you and your family.

Happy small house hunting!

The Homely Team

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