Downsizing is a big decision that you might be making for many reasons. It’s an emotional time when every decision you make needs to be considered carefully.
If you’re approaching your retirement age or you’ve retired already, you might find that your large home that was once filled with family now seems overwhelming. The garden is too big and you never use that pool any more but still need to pay to have it cleaned. You might find that your superannuation isn’t nearly enough to last your lifetime and you want to access the equity in your home.
In this article, we talk about the key things you need to do before you downsize.
Take your time
This is not a time to rush things. It’s a time to reflect. Making the decision to downsize doesn’t mean you need to do everything right now. You have time to decide where you might like to live next, choose the help you need, declutter, and organise tradespeople for repairs and maintenance (and your real estate agent might have some recommendations too).
First things first: Choose your next lifestyle
This is where you need to be honest about your health and the lifestyle you believe you can maintain. Many retirees and older people choose to remain independent by buying an apartment or villa-style home when they downsize. Even if your health isn’t the greatest, there are many services available to help you stay independent.
If you’re after more of a community atmosphere and a lock-and-leave lifestyle, retirement villages can be great venues for meeting like-minded people and finding new activities and hobbies.
If you’re planning on moving within the Sutherland Shire, you have many home styles available from villas and townhouses to easy-access apartments, cottages, over-55s developments, retirement villages or aged care facilities.
Choose your real estate agent
Contact a real estate agent for local knowledge of the options available to you – from villas, townhouses and easy-access apartments to cottages, over-55s communities, retirement villages and aged care. We see some amazing places come to market – bright airy apartments with lift access, undercover parking, and close to shops, cafés, medical facilities and public transport. Whether you’re after a beach or bush lifestyle, the Shire has it all. At LOCATION, we’re local specialists. Click on the link our guide to downsizing in Sutherland Shire at the end of this article.
Organise your possessions
Accept that you’ll probably need to part with some of your possessions when you move to a smaller place. Start thinking about what you MUST have; say, special family photos, the china cabinet that belonged to your grandmother, the painting your mother bought on a trip to Paris. Then look at what you can part with more easily. (Seriously, if your place is anything like ours, you’ll find most of it is so well-loved it isn’t worth keeping.)
Give your home a cosmetic upgrade
If you feel that some pre-sale renovations are in order, again, take your time. Don’t feel pressured into doing everything all at once. It can be time-consuming simply to organise tradespeople and in busy seasons it can be difficult to get an appointment.
Remember that many jobs are dependent on others being completed. The more time you leave yourself, the less panic you’ll feel.
Style your home
We know from experience that clever home styling can add thousands to the sale price of a Sutherland Shire home. We recommend that you leave this to the experts. Depending on the package you choose, they can style your entire home in a day, or style only the main areas like the living room, kitchen and main bedroom.
Get sound advice from LOCATION
We are local specialists in downsizing in Caringbah and neighbouring suburbs. We can help you make carefully considered, prudent decisions. Have a look at the information in our Downsizing: Get Packing from Port Hacking.