CARINE Developments’ Michelle Lawrence said downsizing was not just for people ready to move into a retirement village.
“Maybe the kids have moved out and you are looking for a home that will allow you to lock-up-and-leave and travel,” she said.
“Perhaps you are looking to move to a smaller residence that requires less time and effort to maintain.”
Ms Lawrence said there were several factors to consider when looking for a home to downsize to:
Do you still want an extra bedroom where your adult children, grandchildren or guests can stay? Many retirement villages don’t have the extra room, while aged care villas might have age restrictions on the people staying in the home. A two or three-bedroom apartment may be more suitable.
Weigh up the costs of the options open to you. Retirement living attracts large entry, exit and weekly fees which can make it prohibitive for many. Many apartments have ongoing strata fees. These may vary depending on the communal facilities available so if you are looking at an apartment ask yourself if you want the pool, spa and gym for example.
Look for a home that will provide ‘forever living’, something that will allow you to get the most out of life at any age and any stage. Consider homes that have accreditation from Livable Housing Australia, homes that have wider doorways, adaptable kitchens, spacious living areas flush with deep, covered balconies, hobless bathrooms and lift access, for example, while a second bedroom could eventually be used by a live-in carer.
Look for a home in an established neighbourhood close to great amenities like shopping, leisure and entertainment, parks, beaches. Make sure you are close to public transport should you be unable to drive at some point.
5. Think ahead
Don’t rule out buying off-the-plan – you may need to sell in the future and this allows you to lock in early savings to support potential capital growth. While it may seem daunting, you can ensure the future of your financial investment by choosing an apartment that will maintain value and grow. Look for one that is well-located, well-designed and offers premium quality. In years to come the size and finishing will still appeal to buyers without major renovations or repairs. Remember, a small apartment today, will still be a small apartment in the future – for a two-bedroom apartment, look for at least 75-80sq m with a good-sized balcony.