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When Is The Best Time To Downsize Your home?

Don’t get stuck. When to downsize

The beautiful thing about our job is we get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life. We meet the young, excited about their first home, we meet the new couples looking to raise a family and we meet those on the opposite end of the spectrum. Those in their golden years, retirement has happened, the kids have left and started their own families and they are still in the family home. This is the segment of the market that find it hardest to make a change. They effectively get “stuck”.

As the brood leaves the nest the house becomes too big, then bedrooms that once were crammed with bunks are now unused or become storage rooms. The back yard that once gave space for the kids to have their football games is no longer needed, the house is in need of repairs more so than a few years ago.

So when is the best time to down size?

Before I answer that let me give you a story that I was involved in that I always remember.

I met a lovely gentleman who lived in a modest, well lived-in fibro home in the northern suburbs of Wollongong. It was on a large block in a street that was starting to evolve with new homes. The family had left years ago yet he was fit and healthy. The gentleman was in his 60’s and started to think about downsizing but kept putting it off as it wasn’t a priority. Within a year his wife sadly passed and he broke his hip. Getting around wasn’t easy and the maintenance got on top of him. Life became a lot harder and he was forced to sell. He eventually sold and moved however, he didn’t have the time to integrate into his new surroundings, and life was never the same.

The golden years should be spent enjoying family and community, not being driven to sell when a home can no longer be cared for, and owners become stuck in a home they’re unable to live in comfortably.

Unfortunately the gentleman I’d become close with passed away a couple of years later, I really felt that if only he had made the change earlier he could have had a more enjoyable retirement and been able to grow closer to a community that cared for him.

If the stairs are getting harder to walk up, the lawns are overgrown, and the house is needing more maintenance then it is time to start a plan.

If the plan is to stay at home initially, then look at getting handrails and chair lifts yet in most cases I have seen it’s a bandaid solution. Being able to integrate into a new street, suburb, or community with friends when you are active is the single biggest reason I believe it’s better to downsize earlier than later. So how do you get un-stuck?

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Step One: Know where you stand now

Find out the value of your current home. You need to know what and where you can afford, and getting a market appraisal of your current home will provide this.

Step Two: Find out where you would like to live

There are some fantastic homes that cater to the huge downsizing population. Look at the amenities, proximity to transport, medical facilities, and how close family will be. The key is to open your mind to change. I see a lot of downsizers search for a replica of their current home which defeats the purpose.

Step Three: Create a timeline

Create a timeline that allows you to get ready to move. Involve friends or family if you can. This time will allow you to get emotionally ready to move but also physically ready.

Moving isn’t the hard part. It’s making the decision to move that is.

So in conclusion, the best time to downsize is before you need too. When you are in control, you have the ability and energy. Chances are if you are reading this you are either thinking about it or know someone who should be.

Unfortunately, all too often people do become stuck. Maybe it’s familiarity maybe it’s the memories but when this happens it gets past the point of wanting to move and becomes being forced to move.

Trever Molenaar / 0420 981 696

Molenaar x McNeice
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