If your children have all left your home for lives of their own, you may wonder if downsizing your home is the best decision for your family. The experienced team at East Coast Conveyancing encounters many clients—just like you—who face the decision to downsize or stay. Here are some downsizing tips for seniors and other New South Wales empty nesters they’ve gathered over the years.
1. How to Know You’re Ready to Downsize
You may not have reached retirement age yet, but that time isn’t far off. Since your children have left home, you don’t need three spare bedrooms. In fact, your kids’ old stuff might take up more room than your own.
At that point, you might look at your mortgage, your property tax bill, and the mountain of stuff in your home and say, ‘Enough’. But it’s a tough call. After all, you have a lot of memories invested in that pile of stuff.
If, however, you don’t know how you’ll pay your mortgage and property taxes after retiring—or if you feel a slight twinge in your joints that signals the onset of arthritis, you might want to sell your home to downsize. Some possibilities include:
- A one-story home
- A small flat or apartment with no yard maintenance
- A smaller multi-story home or flat with a lift
2. Weigh the Benefits and Risks of Downsizing Your Home
In addition to having less stuff and fewer square metres to take care of, there are other benefits to downsizing your family home that you might consider, such as:
- Going on holidays
- Buying a caravan and travelling
- Creating an emergency fund
On top of the everyday benefits of experiencing a more relaxing life, empty nesters 65 years or older who meet the Government’s downsizer eligibility requirements can also choose to invest up to $300,000 of the proceeds of selling the family home into their super. Those proceeds won’t count towards the allowable contribution caps, either—so that’s something else to consider as you deliberate.
3. Before You Decide, Learn More about Downsizing
As conveyancers, we know how difficult the decision to sell your home is. We advise our clients to learn as much as they can about the downsizing process before they decide.
- Clear out the clutter: Before you downsize your home, consider clearing out the clutter first. The challenge of managing all the belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years may make you think you need to downsize your home, when all you need is to downsize your belongings.
- Learn about how to choose the right property: If you’ve looked at all the angles and decided to downsize, you need to choose a property in a convenient location with a floor plan you can age in with ease. For instance, a smaller home with a steep set of stairs may have less space to take care of but will be more difficult to navigate as you age. Likewise, you should consider homes or flats that are within easy walking or driving distance of markets, healthcare providers, and community services.
- Get professional advice: Once you’ve decided to sell your home to downsize, it’s time to find a conveyancing solicitor that can help you sell your family home. A conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer who understands all the ins and outs of selling and buying homes. When you enlist the help of a conveyancer, you can cross all the paperwork and legal hassles of buying and selling off your list.
If you’re an empty nester or soon will be, the time to plan is now. Doing some deeper research will give you the confidence to make the right decision about downsizing your home.
The conveyancing experts at East Coast Conveyancing have written an ebook that will help you navigate the entire process – from making the decision to moving into a new home, Enjoy a hassle-free tomorrow. Download our ebook on Downsizing your home: selling and downsizing tips for seniors for everything you need to know about downsizing your home.