The upsides of downsizing

The thought of exchanging the maintenance of a larger home for a hassle-free future full of travel, friends and newfound freedom is a common aspirant for downsizers on the move.

Given the ideal replacement residence, more than half of Australians and New Zealanders aged over 55 are open to downsizing opportunities, according to Australian Housing and Urban Research and similar sources.  

Once the reality of the children growing up and leaving the family home starts to wear off, there are many compelling reasons favouring the move to a smaller abode.

The average Australian and New Zealand homeowner buys three to four properties in their lifetime. 

Traditionally, they trade up from their first home to a more substantial residence, often upgrade and then downsize upon retirement.

Financial incentives

Incentives are in place to maintain this market cycle, with downsizing provisions enabling people over the age of 65 to sell their home and put an extra $300,000 in super.

But firstly factor in selling and buying costs (including moving) and talk to your financial advisor about how it could affect age-pension entitlements by boosting your assets outside the home.

Positive mindset

More than anything, downsizing requires a shift in mindset and the need to separate your wants from your needs.

Just like saving for your first home, it’s important to maintain a budget.

Decluttering is an essential component of the downsizing transition. Review your belongings on a room-by-room basis and decide what to keep, discard, donate or sell. 

Embrace the space 

Given the reduced space at your new address, measure your furniture to ensure it fits the space and try to use one statement piece in each room.

It’s also vital to make the most of storage where you find it – and there’s no shortage of potential solutions under beds, in cupboards and wardrobes.

Also, mount your TV on the wall, make the most of Wi-Fi technology, and utilise multi-purpose furnishings where you can.

Once you’ve settled into your new, streamlined space, embracing the downsizing adventure will be a joy as you embark on the next phase of your life.

Consult your real estate agent to explore downsizing investment options in your region.