After your kids fly the nest, it may be time to start thinking about downsizing your family home. Whether you’re eager for less maintenance or see an opportunity to reduce the cost of living, downsizing gives you an exciting opening to the next chapter of your life.
Imagine settling closer to the natural elements, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Or perhaps you’re eager to live nearer to your loved ones, where you can pop in for a cup of tea more often than you currently are. There are countless reasons to downsize – envision adding to your savings after the successful sale of your large property!
That said, we know this isn’t an easy decision to make. Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether it’s time for a change, here is what you should consider if you’re thinking about downsizing.
Downsizing offers an opportunity to live closer to the people, facilities, services or landscapes that are important to you in this stage of your life. This might include health services or hospitals, public transport or friends and family.
It could also offer an opportunity to build a new lifestyle – maybe it’s time to move out of the city, or to live by the beach? Whatever you have in mind, it’s worth spending time in your potential new neighbourhood to understand its community spirit and distances from common facilities.
To ensure your new home includes everything you need, you can build it from scratch, creating a design that perfectly suits your needs.
As we age, we may not be able to take on steep stairs, or might need to rely on features such as grab rails or hobless showers. Therefore, when deciding what to include in your new home, consider what elements will benefit you in the next few years and what might prove a hindrance – it may be necessary to opt for a single-storey home with fewer maintenance concerns.
If you’re building a smaller home from scratch, it’s important to consider accessible elements in your design. This could include easy-to-reach storage solutions, lever handles on doors, wider doorways and power points at a manageable level.
Downsizing your home can often help boost your finances. As a general rule, most people purchase or build a home for less value than their current home, which can either free up extra money or help pay off a mortgage. However, that’s not the only financial benefit. It can also lower your everyday household bills, as less space usually means lower heating, cooling and maintenance costs.
Make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance at maximising this financial decision by getting your current property valued before putting it on the market. Lots of factors can play into your potential return, including your location, the state of your home and the time of year you’re selling, so it’s worth getting in touch with numerous local real estate agents who will be able to give you a good idea of what your home might be worth.
Unless you are already living a very minimal lifestyle, decluttering is an unavoidable part of the downsizing process. Before you start putting everything on eBay, try to establish what furniture you’ll need and what you can get rid of.
To do this, you can have a look at the plans and measurements to gain an understanding of what’s required.
Some fall into the trap of buying a new home before selling the existing one – this isn’t advised as it can cause several issues. It could take longer than expected to sell your home and this may result in you making a panicked sale for less than initially thought. This can be problematic if you’ve forecasted that you would receive a certain amount for a sale but then fall short.
Buying before selling can also cause cash flow problems – if the settlement period is too short, you will need to pay for your new home before the funds from your current home come through, requiring a bridging loan or worse, a forfeit of your deposit.
If you’re thinking about downsizing your home and building anew, the best place to begin is to find the right builder for you.
At Achieve Homes, we’re experts in designing and building homes for every type of person – contact us today to talk about how we can help you.
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