For many downsizers, the process can be emotional and even confusing, especially for those who haven’t been part of the buying and selling process for many decades.
However, downsizing also presents an exciting opportunity for a fresh start, and a lifestyle revamp. Without some of the ongoing maintenance and expenses of a larger house and garden, you have more time and money to do the things you enjoy, whether that is play golf, travel, or spend time with the grandchildren.
For Sydney downsizers looking to buy, the current market presents many opportunities and more balanced pricing, after a year of intense growth throughout 2021.
Once you have made the decision to downsize, there are some important things you need to know and do to make the experience easier:
- Work out the budget for the new property: It is best to have a discussion with real estate agents and a buyer’s agent before you put your current house on the market. They will give you a better understanding of how much of a budget you will have after the sale of your house, and therefore where and what type of property you will be able to buy. Furthermore, you can work out how much money you will have left over for living expenses or other expenses or investments.
- Take your time to look around: There is a shortage of medium-density properties in the inner city that are suitable for downsizers so you need to be prepared to put in some time visiting the suburbs that appeal, and going to open inspections. If mobility is an issue for you then consider using a buyer’s agent, who can provide you with a shortlist of properties that meet your criteria.
- Think about your current AND future needs: Most people understand that both internal and external stairs may be an issue in the future, but there are many other considerations, i.e. proximity of the bedroom to the bathroom, sufficient security, and air-conditioning/heating options. Having a reasonably sized living space or courtyard for entertaining family and friends, and extra bedrooms for the grandchildren to stay overnight may also be considerations.
- Proximity to facilities: Consider what is important to you – not only for your practical needs but also for your social network and lifestyle preferences, e.g. proximity to shops, a medical centre, public transport, walking tracks or the local pool or bowls club. Maybe you want to be somewhere that has great restaurants or an area that is handy to entertainment or sporting venues.
- Listen to others – even your children: After selling your property, you may be cashed up and ready to buy, but it’s important to listen to others who may have more recently experienced the buying and selling process. You don’t want to be too spontaneous and overpay, or buy a property that will be unsuitable for you in another 10 years.
- Consider furry companions: Many downsizers are widowed or divorced, and like having a small dog or cat for company. If you are looking at strata buildings, it is worth checking the bylaws, which may only allow cats, or have restrictions on a dog’s size. It’s also important to consider a property’s proximity to parks, off-leash areas and pet-friendly cafes.
- Measure your furniture: Avoid disappointments and make sure everything you want to keep fits in a place you are considering. You don’t want to find out after you buy that your prized dining table doesn’t fit through the front door. You also need to think about how much storage space there is, and how much of your possessions and furniture you are prepared to cull.
There are many things to consider when you downsize from your existing home. Make sure you obtain the right advice. It always pays to have professionals on your side and a good buyer’s agent will ensure that you can choose and purchase your new property with confidence.
If you are thinking about downsizing, Nick Viner can help you find a suitable property that fits your needs both now and in the future. Contact Nick on 0405 134 645.