Whether you call it downsizing or right-sizing, housing choices for the over 50 brigade are mostly about simplifying. Referred to as “downsizing”in recent literature, this term, for many mature Australians, has a ring of gloom and doom about it, implying the beginning of a downward slide after a lifetime of moving upwards in the world. This needn’t be the case, however. And, in fact, it can be downright liberating, which is probably why more recent literature has changed the term to “rightsizing”. Why, for example, continue rattling about in a large family home on a leafy suburban street when you could move to a townhouse or apartment or even a retirement village in or near a vibrant area with shops, cafes, restaurants and everything else you need in easy walking distance?

According to a recent study, Downsizing Amongst Older Australians, by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, motivations for downsizing among survey respondents were mainly matters of choice: the most common reason was a desire for a change in lifestyle, followed by physical factors that were beginning to limit the respondents’ ability to maintain the home and / or garden. Retirement  and children leaving home were also important factors. Financial motivations were of importance to relatively few downsizers and, amongst these, financial gain was a more common motivation than financial difficulty.

Around three-quarters of respondents found the process of downsizing ‘fairly easy’ or ‘very easy’. For the remaining quarter, however, the key difficulties related to the availability of a housing type that was right for their needs but also affordable and in a suitable location. Respondents who moved to retirement villages also reported concerns about financial arrangements of the village loan/lease model due to unforeseen or escalating weekly/monthly fees, or the lack of capital gain inherent in the loan/lease model.

The study recommended that specialised services to assist older people in the moving and downsizing process might include forward planning for housing and care needs, financial and legal advice and assistance in the actual move. Furthermore, the study concluded that downsizers could also benefit from improved information about housing choices and the practical aspects of downsizing. At Property Focus in Sydney we have seen the need for these focused services whilst working with our clients over the years. We applaud and support these recommendations.

For most of us, the family home represents our largest financial asset and an integral part of our overall financial plan. Whether you are simply downsizing your home, or moving to a retirement village or aged-care facility, we understand you are dealing with unique issues and complex decisions, often involving the whole family.

Property Focus in Sydney provides comprehensive services beyond real estate advice and sales.  As the first of only two accredited seniors’ real estate specialists in Australia, we are specifically trained and experienced in the unique aspects of real estate transactions for seniors and their family members. Together with the expertise of our network of seniors’ specialists, our mission is to help you navigate the maze of financial, legal, emotional, and physical issues that accompany the sale of your home and to provide educated, individualised, and compassionate assistance in making the best decision about your next move.

Our comprehensive services are demographic, rather than geographic, and we cover a broad area from the lower / upper North Shore to the Northern Beaches. So whether you are considering downsizing, rightsizing or simply simplifying, we can help ensure you make the right decisions for your future.

Our role is to get the very best results on all fronts with a process as smooth, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.

We hope the information on our website and that is provided through this ongoing blog will provide high-quality fuel for the questions to ask and issues to consider as you ponder this major life change. We also encourage you to simply give us a call at any time to make an appointment for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your initial requirements.