Chocolate bars, airline seats, and the size of the fish you just caught- are just a few things in life that are better when bigger.
Waistlines, egos, holes in your sock are much better smaller.
And there is one more thing that may also be better in a smaller version…your home.
But how do you know when the time has come to downsize?
We’re glad you asked!
– Is your voice echoing through empty rooms?
– Does mowing the lawn, weeding the garden bed, cleaning the pool, no longer make you smile?
– Are you more excited looking at travel brochures and planning trips away than maintaining and improving your home?
– Have you started wondering how much of a golden egg your “nest” may be holding?
If you have answered, “yes” to most of these, then the time to downsize may be upon you.
It’s not an easy decision…
Your home – a place you have watched your children grow, celebrated birthdays, enjoyed family gatherings, the growth chart etched on the back of the kitchen door, the wonky letterbox, forever at an angle, since the “learning to drive” incident. All the memories that have made a house, your home, are not easy to leave.
We’ve all moved before. And although exhausting, messy and time consuming, there is also an element of excitement, a new adventure ahead.
Downsizing is more than just a physical move; it comes with a generous helping of emotion as well.
Even the word sounds somewhat negative, but there are great upsides to the downsize, and the realisation that bigger is NOT always better.
1. Less space, more time.
Once daily chores, and maintenance have been reduced, time to pursue your interests and activities; time to spend with family and friends will increase.
Pretty sure there is more fun in having a long leisurely lunch than mowing the lawns- again.
2. Less shout, more happy.
A smaller home helps to connect family members, and increases bonds. No more need to shout through the home that dinner is ready, or “The Block” has begun. More peace will prevail.
3. Less bills, more money
It costs to run a large home, heating, cooling, water usage, and power, not to mention the additional televisions needed for the extra rooms. Your carbon footprint will be reduced as well as those pesky envelopes with the clear window!
4. Less nest, more egg
Often downsizing to a smaller home can add some much appreciated dollars in to your account. Equity is realized and this can really alter the quality of your lifestyle.
As with any property purchase, location is one of the most important to consider. Cafes, libraries, community centres, movies and hospitals, all in close vicinity will enhance your lifestyle.
Being close to family and friends is important, particularly when driving long distances become harder as you get older. It may be appealing to pack up and try a whole different location but this holds the risk of becoming quite isolating if too far away for loved ones to visit regularly.
If moving into a unit or apartment, including those designed for retirees, make sure you look into all the expenses, levies, strata fees etc. associated with the building.
3. Look to the future
What suits you now may not be right in the next few years. Single level living is often the best choice for the “downsizing” home, as stairs or steep blocks become harder to navigate as the year’s progress.
How small is too small
If you like entertaining now, chances are you will still want to in your sized down home. Have enough space; some outdoor space is a plus too, for family and friends to visit. Having a small guest bedroom that can double as a study is a great idea. Garages are also an important consideration, not only used for the car but for any additional storage that may be required.
Take your time
Once you have made the decision to downsize, take your time to look at all your options.
If you’re not sure about where, or the even how, try renting for a while first to see how much you like the area and how much space you really do want and need.
Discuss with your family your plans and chat with friends who have already downsized to get their feedback on what to look for.
And last, but definitely not least…