Downsizing Dos and Don’ts

There comes a time in many people’s lives when they look to move from their family home into a smaller, more manageable property.

If you’re looking to downsize your home, it’s important to know how to avoid common mistakes and how to make the process go smoothly.

Do: work out what you really want


When you’ve become accustomed to living in a bigger home, it’s easy to take its benefits for granted. When you move to a smaller home, you will naturally have to cut out some of these features, so making a list of the things you definitely need versus the nice extra touches that you want can make it easier to find the right place.

You should also think about what type of property you want, considering aspects such as if stairs might be a problem in the near future or if you prefer the idea of a lifestyle village or living among the community.

Don’t: rush your purchase


Moving to a new house is a huge decision and, in most cases, there’s no deadline to meet and no need to rush it. By taking your time, you can see what’s available on the market and find a place that really suits you. If you rush your decision, you may end up somewhere that makes you unhappy and have to go through the whole process again before long.

If you ever feel rushed or pressured into a purchase (or sale) by a real estate agent, listen to your gut and say no. If you don’t, you might come to regret it.

Do: de-clutter and organise your possessions


With so many rooms and so much storage space available in a family home, it’s easy to accumulate possessions. One of the common struggles with downsizing is realising that you don’t have room to take everything with you.

The earlier you can begin donating, selling and giving items away, the easier it’ll be for you in the long run.

Don’t: spend all your money at once


It may seem like advice that you give to your children or grandchildren, but the lure of holidays and other expensive treats can seem irresistible once you’ve cashed in on your home. However, many retirees have made this mistake only to regret it when cash is low later in life.

If your income is now limited, it’s worth speaking to a financial advisor to make sure you budget well and live comfortably.

Do: consider housing contracts


If you make the decision to move into a lifestyle or retirement village, you’ll quickly find out that there are different types of village ownership and contracts available. There’s no universal ‘best’ type of contract to choose, but by researching the options, you can see which one best suits your circumstances. If you’re not sure, you can speak to a legal expert to help you.

Read more: Understanding retirement contracts and village ownership

Don’t: be afraid to ask for help


Moving home is a stressful and trying time for anyone, but you don’t have to do it alone. Speak to family and friends to see who can help and call in professionals when you need more assistance.

As well as the process of moving boxes and furniture, there are also considerations such as cleaning and admin tasks like making sure you have power, internet and mail redirects in place for your new address.

Do: carry out your research


To find out more, download our free ebook Downsizing Your Home: Selling and downsizing tips for seniors and follow our blog for regular articles on the topic.

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