Looking for a sea change, tree change, or just an ‘about time I did something for me’ change? Downsizing may be the answer.
Ben Small, South Australian Sales Manager for Urban Activation, knows how to get the moving truck wheels in motion. “In a place like Adelaide with bars, restaurants, cafés, sporting events and festivals, people are finding themselves in the city a lot,” he says. “By living in the CBD and downsizing to an apartment, people can have that fun lifestyle, get out more and walk to places without worrying about driving.”
We all could afford to save some dosh here and there. Waiting for the value of your house to increase often means that the new home you’re buying will, too. Large homes come with large bills. Downsizing sooner can mean your council rates decrease and that extra cash stays in your bank account building interest longer. “There are lots of cost-saving benefits of moving into an apartment such as less energy and less water.”
Owner-occupier buyers in the city are currently exempt from Adelaide City Council rates for five years. “If you get in at off-the-plan stage or as the building is under construction, you’ll receive stamp duty concessions as well,” he says.
Make sure you seek expert financial advice so you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
One of the biggest advantages of downsizing is increased mobility. “You have the ability to go and travel and not worry about the security of the house or the maintenance.”
Part of Ben’s role involves selling the 314 apartments available at new residential apartment tower Realm.
It is currently being built just off North Terrace and Ben encounters people from all walks of life looking for a change. The rate of over fifties downsizing is particularly on the rise.
“Downsizing is one of the largest growing sectors in residential real estate. The lock and leave lifestyle of apartment living is becoming a preferred way to live.”
Your list of needs shouldn’t shrink along with your new place. Check you have the right number of rooms, car parks, easy transport and don’t forget to factor future requirements.
“This could be the last place you live in, for the next 10, 20, or 30 years so make sure it is exactly what you want.”
Declutter. Think of it as a cathartic cleanse. Parting ways with unnecessary stuff is a great opportunity to start a new chapter. If you’re in for an update, make sure you know the size of the apartment and each room before making any big buys.
Discard. This can be daunting but is necessary in terms of enjoying your new space and ensuring your current property appeals to that mystical but always ‘neutral buyer’. Buyers will pay a higher price for a home they can instantly envision themselves in. Your old crockery might be sentimental, but a newlywed couple does not associate this with their potential nursery. When downsizing don’t consider yourself to be losing objects or memories. The freedom of a new more convenient and financially viable home will be the change you need.
Seek advice. Talking to the right people can keep you from making the wrong move. Seek help from a financial adviser to iron out the tricky financial details and set realistic budget constraints.
Settle. Making compromises could lead to a case of itchy feet in coming years. Don’t fall for the panoramic views, but forget about your arthritic knees on the steep staircase. The property should meet your criteria in terms of location, lifestyle, livability, budget and long-term needs.
Get ahead of yourself. Try not to buy before you sell. This will avoid the chance of needing to accept below market value offers on your current home.