The idea of downsizing your property happens for a number of reasons. Many people want to downsize once their children have left the nest, or they’re retiring and don’t want a large house to maintain anymore. People could be trying to free up money in their weekly budget, or even trying to save for something else. In fact, many people choose to downsize their existing living arrangements in order to free up money to buy an investment property for the future.
Whatever the reasons for downsizing, there are things you can do to make the process easier and more profitable. The fact is, if you’re living in a large home and you’ve accumulated a lot of things over the years, you can’t take everything to a smaller property. But there’s plenty of less-desirable things you also won’t be taking with you, such as high energy bills and a big time investment in cleaning and maintenance!
So, if you’re considering downsizing, here’s some tips to help you along the way.
Still give yourself the space you need
Downsizing your property doesn’t mean you have to cram yourself into a tiny apartment with no room to live your life. In fact, it doesn’t even always mean sacrificing any rooms. Imagine you live in a four-bedroom home on a larger parcel of land. Chances are, the rooms and living spaces are quite big. But do you really need huge bedrooms and living areas? There’s also plenty of work required to maintain the yard, even if you don’t have any practical use for large outdoor areas.
So, when downsizing, you might still be able to keep four bedrooms if that’s what you need – they can just be smaller. The communal spaces like kitchen, dining and living room could be designed smarter to maximise a smaller space. You could even drop from two bathrooms down to one.
Ultimately, with smarter home design, you can build a smaller home with a similar room configuration, on a smaller piece of land, and you’ve managed to downsize without really losing any functionality.
Get rid of unnecessary belongings
Downsizing your property is the perfect chance to get rid of all those things you don’t need. In fact, before you move, it’s almost essential that you have a big clean-out. If you’re moving to a smaller home with less storage, and less space for furniture and other decorative items, you simply can’t take it all.
A great idea is to go through your current home room by room to determine what you need to keep, and what you don’t. In some instances, if you’re looking for a new start and your budget allows it, you may even consider starting from scratch. Keep your sentimental items, and get rid of everything else. This is often required, at least to some extent when it comes to furniture, because your old things might not fit your new smaller living spaces.
This is why it’s also important to have good measurements of the available space in your new home. That will help you determine what you can keep and what needs to go. So, take really good stock of everything you own, consider if it fits into your downsized lifestyle, and find a way to get rid of things. You might choose a garage sale, donating to charity, or sharing unwanted items among family members.
Find the perfect location
One of the beauties of downsizing is the chance to move to a more central location to services. Many people chose to move away from the city because the larger home they wanted would cost too much in urban areas. But when the time comes to downsize, you can focus more on your desired location rather than house size.
If you live the city life, you can downsize to a smaller place close to a CBD. You may love the idea of living in an idyllic coastal town, but couldn’t afford a big house there. Now is the time to explore whether you can afford a smaller place in those seaside locations.
Whatever your living preference, you can now make it the focus because you’re less concerned about how big your house needs to be. It’s time to enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always wanted!
Go energy efficient
If you’re building a new home as part of your downsizing adventure, it’s the perfect time to consider ways to cut your ongoing costs even further. The best time to make your home more energy efficient is during the building stage, because you can set things up exactly how you want them. So, not only are you saving on mortgage costs, but you’ll have lower ongoing energy bills too.
Some ideas to consider are solar energy, which is great to factor into the cost of building a new home. You can also fill the house with energy efficient lights and appliances rated highly for energy efficiency. Even the layout of your home can be designed with lower energy costs in mind. Make sure the house captures plenty of daytime sun, and also make your floor-plan conducive to only heating and cooling the areas you need to.
Downsizing can be great for lowering your carbon footprint, and in the process you’ll save yourself plenty of money going forward.
Retiring? Get rid of the stairs
If you’re retiring and considering that your downsized home might be the last move you make, you should plan the design accordingly. While you may be perfectly capable of handling stairs right now, it’s important to think ahead if you want to be in the home for the next 20 or 30 years. As you get older, it may be more difficult to manage stairs, both internal and external.
So, as part of your downsizing exercise, why not make life easier for yourself now and into the future. Choose street-level properties with easy access at both the front and back of the house. You might not be planning on losing mobility any time soon, but when climbing stairs does become more difficult, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.