Should I Downsize? Part 2: Am I Ready? How Do I Do It?
You’ve decided that downsizing is the right move for you. The next step is determining the right time to downsize. In this blog we’ll share some signs that you’re ready to make the move and explain how to get started.
Downsizing your living space is a big change. But as long as you’re prepared, you can successfully transition to a smaller home.
(Skipped part 1, the pros and cons of downsizing? Read it here.)
Are You Ready to Downsize?
One of the most important things to do before downsizing is make sure you’re emotionally and mentally prepared.
You may be ready to downsize if:
– You’re comfortable leaving the home that has years of memories attached to it
– You’re tired out from trying to clean and maintain a large house
– You’re on the brink of retirement
– All of your children have left home
– You are using less of the existing space, furniture, clothes and appliances you own
Next, you need to evaluate whether you are financially ready to downsize.
Downsizing isn’t always about going cheap. ‘Smaller’ may not equal less money. There is usually still considerable expense associated with selling your current property and buying and moving into a newer, even if smaller, one.
Take some time to sit down and carefully figure out what you can afford. Don’t just look at the upfront cost of moving into a new house or apartment – you also need to consider the running costs of living long-term in your new place.
How will your retirement nest egg be affected by living in a high-maintenance apartment? Will you need to buy any new appliances or furniture to fit the new place? Could your health later require you to purchase any special equipment to get around your new home comfortably?
Give a lot of thought to such questions to determine your readiness to downsize.
Tips for Downsizing Successfully
Now that you’re ready to begin downsizing, you should start by first downsizing what you already have in your home. This will give you an idea of what kind of new place to search for.
Pack up surplus clothing, books, movies, kitchen utensils, appliances and so on. Leave them in easy-to-access boxes in your current home. See how often you need to retrieve something from the boxes over the course of a couple months. If you end up not touching one of the boxes at all, then that’s likely stuff you can easily part with.
Practice living in less space by locking up spare bedrooms and lounges for a week or two at a time. If you’re comfortable and content living in the reduced space, then you’ll know that you can do with less rooms in your new apartment or home.
Measure the furniture you currently have so that you can figure out what can come with you when you go and what will have to be sold.
Advertise a sale right out of your garage or yard, or sell your stuff on Gumtree, to get rid of items that you won’t need in your new home. Don’t expect to get much for them, but the extra cash will come in handy.
Scope out the surroundings of a potential new living space. You have to love the environment as much as you love the residence. Is it important to be closer to fine dining, entertainment, hospitals, public transportation and other facilities? Or do you want a place that’s quiet and set far away from busy town living? Get to know the surrounding area before you decide to downsize and move there.
Most importantly, start your downsizing process early. You may even want to start simplifying your life long before you even have concrete plans to downsize. This will help make the process go smoothly and feel less overwhelming.
When downsizing, it’s important to get your finance right. Funding Options will help you secure the best possible loan deal. Contact us for a free, no obligations chat about your situation.
Read Part 1: Should I downsize? The pros and cons
– Dom Cassisi, Managing Director