downsizing your home

DOWNSIZING YOUR HOME: HOW TO DO THIS EFFECTIVELY

Living in a big family house can be fun until the children begin to leave the nest one by one. Some start families, others launch careers and others move to a different country. The once happy family house is no longer filled with laughter. It is slowly turning into a big empty shell. You might not have the energy left to maintain the gardens or keeping the home neat and tidy. You’ve worked all your life to provide for others, so maybe it’s time to think about downsizing your home and enjoy a little more financial and personal freedom.

Downsizing has plenty of benefits. First, maintaining a smaller house can save you tons of time and money – this leaves you with extra resources to enjoy during your senior years. Second, a smaller townhouse or a safe space in a retirement village positions you close to necessary services and amenities. Third, it saves you a lot of work – given that aging comes with uninvited health issues that make it difficult to perform strenuous house chores. To understand the beauty of downsizing, think about when you first moved out of your parents’ home. Did you need that big family house? If you consider taking this bold move, here are a few tips to consider;

Start Early

Downsizing your home can be an emotionally draining process that requires intense planning. Consider your needs in the future and start planning as soon as you can, bearing in mind that something unexpected could happen at any time. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you’re under pressure to sell due to ill health or finances. This will give you enough time to prepare yourself financially and emotionally. Planning for the move adequately can relieve you of stress and boost your decision-making process. Starting early also gives you adequate time to research various options ranging from gated communities and retirement villages to townhouses and small apartments. Bear in mind that a hasty move can lead to losses due to poor planning and stress.

Don’t Do It Alone

What could possibly go wrong when you’re simply getting rid of excess belongings? Unfortunately, after years of accumulating possessions and tending to your home, initiating change can be difficult. Your emotions may easily cloud your judgement. It is therefore advisable to involve a friend or expert to help you stay on course and make rational decisions. A financial advisor for instance, will break down the cost implications of moving while a real estate agent will help you locate properties that suit your current needs. A close friend or relative, on the other hand will give you the emotional support you need and help you with the moving process. It’s not just about the size or location of your new home. There is a lot more to downsizing.

Look At The Numbers

Are you still paying for your current home? What hidden costs are involved? Are you expecting a stable flow of income in the future? All these questions narrow down to the financial impact of downsizing your home. A smaller house does not necessarily come cheap. You could be moving from a large house in the suburbs to a highly valued townhouse with extra facilities like a clubhouse and extra security. As a result, the value of your current house may not match the cost of your new house. A critical analysis of cost implications will therefore help you prepare adequately.

While looking at the numbers, take into account the cost of selling and buying. Selling your current house may involve renovations to help you attract higher prices. Such modifications can be costly especially if your house is in bad shape. Buying on the other hand, will also entail future maintenance and may attract high stamp duty costs.

To avoid frustrations, approach the process methodically. Start with the cost of selling. Calculate the amount of money you will part with and the amount you will acquire from this process. Then calculate the amount you’ll spend on the new house and the actual process of moving. Finally, if you are receiving a pension or disability pension, check with Centrelink first to ensure that you understand all the rules and regulations to receive benefits. Calculate your savings and the value of your assets to determine whether you have enough to spend. This approach will help you avoid pitfalls and financial constraints. At this point, working with an expert is highly recommended.

Things To Consider

Storage Space

Downsizing your home means you’ll have extra items and limited storage space. You need to establish what you’ll pass along to family members, which items to sell and what to dispose of. To make this process easier, ask yourself this question – If you were to lose everything, which items would you replace immediately? Your answer to this question should guide you through the selection process.

Don’t Get Too Sentimental

Change is inevitable. Avoid being rigidly sentimental and embrace change by focusing on positive thoughts. This may sound counter-intuitive but you have to be ruthless when getting rid of some possessions. Large furniture pieces will clutter up a smaller space and make living uncomfortable and depressing, so it’s best to replace bigger items with something more suitable for the new home. Think of the process as “preparing for a new cycle of your life” rather than “getting rid of the past”.

Think About Your Future Needs

Your choice of house is a crucial one since you’re likely to spend your final years in the new home. This is the place you’ll call home when you’re aged and your needs are different. Assess every element of the house including handicap accessibility, floor plans as well as proximity to shops, hospitals, banks and roads. You may also account for unexpected changes such as a family member moving back in or the need to hire a house-help in future. In other words, downsizing is not about shrinking needs. It’s about changing needs.

Don’t Forget To Budget In The Move

You’ve calculated the amount needed to downsize, does that mean you have the money? The selling, buying and moving processes should be controlled by a budget. After calculating the cost of moving, assess your financial situation and budget accordingly. Having a budget will help you narrow down your options and settle faster. For instance, while looking for houses to move in to, a budget will help you find what you’re looking for faster, especially if you work with a real estate agent. In addition, budgeting will keep you restrained, thus cushioning you from overspending.

Remember To Cancel Services & Utilities

This is probably the least important item on your to-do list but ironically, it strongly correlates to budgeting and financial implications. You might find yourself paying for internet services or garbage collection in your previous house months after moving out because you simply forgot to cancel your subscriptions. To avoid such situations, give your service providers a month’s notice. This will make the cancelation process a collective responsibility just in case you forget.

MANY BENEFITS TO DOWNSIZING YOUR HOME

Overall, a smaller house is definitely more convenient when you’re not raising children. It’s easier to maintain and it’s affordable. As long as you keep the above tips in mind, downsizing your home will be a smooth process. Just stay open-minded and enjoy the transition as it marks your growth as a family or individual. 

If you are interested in selling or buying property in the Albany and Denmark area, consider working with experienced Albany Real Estate Agents or Denmark Real Estate Agents from Jess Adams @realty. Please fill in the form below or give us a call to discuss your needs.

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