Top tips for people looking to downsize

Stock image.
Stock image.

DECIDING to move out of the family home and downsize is a major decision.

There are many choices to make from apartments to granny flats, lifestyle villages and retirement villages.

The Department of Commerce’s Senior Housing Advisory Centre lists several points you may want to consider before making the move.

Know what you want

Knowing why you want to move will help you determine what the most important considerations are when it comes to choosing your new home.

Ask yourself:

– Why are you thinking of moving?

– Are you aware of all the costs involved in selling your home and moving to a new home?

– Is this a good time for you to consider a big lifestyle change or should you wait?

– If you are considering moving because you have recently lost your spouse or partner, have you given yourself enough time to grieve before making such a major change?

– Where do you want to live? If you are moving to be close to family or friends, have you asked them about their future plans – what if they move?

– Do you want to live closer to hospitals, shops and other services?

– If you are considering a community lifestyle option, are you ready for the compromises of community living?

Do your research and become informed

Make a list of what you absolutely must have in your new home and other features you would like.

Find out more about the laws covering your housing option, financial implications and what you need to know as a consumer.

Ensure you consider all costs, not just the purchase price, including any on-going fees or exit fees that may be associated with your downsizing choice.

These fees can reduce the amount of money you have to secure alternative accommodation should you wish to leave, or to put towards the cost of residential aged care.

Shop around

As in all areas of life, there are good deals and not so good deals.

Some options will offer more than others and there may be ‘small print’ you should know about.

Do not let salespeople pressure you

The bigger the commitment or risk or more significant the change, the more important it is for you take your time to make the right decision for you.

Seek expert advice

Consider talking to a lawyer and financial adviser before signing a major contract.

Talk to people you trust

Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages.

Consider discussing your plans with family or trusted friends.

They may be aware of matters that may impact on your decision.

For independent information on the various options, contact Seniors Housing Advisory Centre staff on 1300 367 057.