Property Focus In Sydney (5)From time to time in this blog we will draw on our experiences with older Australians who were, as you may be, ready for a lifestyle change. We will introduce you to a challenge or an opportunity they discovered as they  looked into selling their home and moving to another. And we will bring you the tips and guidance we gave them, which helped smooth the way toward their new dream.  

Take, for instance, Barbara and Johnny, who were transplants from America about 30 years ago. They still pulled off a hippie-ness to their mannerisms despite having picked up an Aussie-ness along the way. Barbara and Johnny came to PFIS because they had recently been to a downsizing  seminar, and had heard one of the guest speakers talk about our services as Senior Real Estate Specialists. They “felt like” they were ready, they said, to sell their 5 acres on the outskirts of Sydney and move closer to the city lights, near to one of their children and her family. They also really liked the idea of being closer to restaurants, theatres, vibrant neighbourhood centres, and other opportunities to meet and greet new people, not to mention the allure of once again travelling.  

It would have been easy to take it straight from there, and help them sell their rural retreat. It was a great property, but a recent rezoning of the area would eventually change the dynamics of rural life, which is something we had seen before.  As Senior Real Estate Specialists, however, we knew that for this change to be fully successful, we needed to look beyond selling price, and developing a marketing plan and strategy.

So we talked, and as we did so Barbara and Johnny revealed that they had been thinking about moving and downsizing for over a year, but still feared that they might be moving too quickly.

It was, in a way, paralyzing to think about the move itself, and about leaving memories of a lifetime behind. Everywhere they looked on the property was another memento of family life, from the tree with the tyre swing to the bedrooms full of childhood paraphernalia. But maintaining it all was putting a huge burden on both of them, and they were just not up to the physical strain that the maintenance work demanded of them. They were tired of spending all of their time keeping the place together; they wanted to have some fun and to set themselves into a home that they could maintain as they got older.

Moving from the family home is a milestone in anyone’s life, especially when that move is predicated on diminishing capacity to take care of the home. But making the change while there is time to do so consciously and deliberately is a much better alternative than if forced to do so before a crisis requires a snap decision.

Property Focus In Sydney (6)

In 30+ years of married life most couples have experienced many changes, from beginning life together to having and raising children, and then to kissing them each goodbye as they embarked on their own lives. There are always surprises along the way, but the major changes that we can predict and plan for can most definitely be the most rewarding.

When there is time to plan, there is time for considering options. By approaching a move to downsize before it becomes an absolute necessity, a couple can take a good look at what each of them wants in their new home.  They can learn about more appropriate housing options for their needs, and take their time evaluating what would work best for them now and in future years. They can, in the process, feel the fear of change, but also the excitement that comes with the probability that this move will enhance their lives, by reducing the growing burdens of maintaining the home and filling that time with socialization, recreation, and relaxation.

The best time to downsize is not when you are forced into a move, usually by some chronic illness or financial catastrophe. The best time is when you have time.

When you have the time, and are not pressed to move by circumstances beyond your control, you can have a good look at what you want in a new home. You can consider all of the many options available, for instance a smaller house, apartment, townhouse, to moving into one of the many retirement villages that are now available in most areas. You can evaluate the amenities that are offered, from recreational opportunities to various domestic, and maintenance services. And you have the time to get advice from your advisors, including your financial advisor and your solicitor. There are even professional licensed buyers agents who can assist in finding your new home to downsizing experts who will help you declutter, and get you settled in your new place so it “feels like home”.

If you are a baby boomer, or older, and are thinking of downsizing, we urge you to start exploring your possibilities now. Doing the research and talking with a Senior Real Estate Specialist does not mean making the decision to sell and move yet, but it does mean that when it is time to make the move you will do so from a fully informed point of view, on your own schedule.

As for Barbara and Johnny, the time we spent talking about their needs and their fears was well spent. When we left that day, they were excited to explore their options, and to talk with their children about their plans, and we were armed with the information we needed to help them plan their sale when they were ready to move forward.  

 

  Linda Coskerie, Seniors Real Estate Specialist

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