When is the right time to downsize?

The simple answer is whenever you’re ready. When the kids have flown the nest and the maintenance and costs of a bigger house are suddenly feeling overwhelming, it’s probably time to look at getting something smaller. Naturally, there are important things to consider such as the current state of the market and your personal moving schedule.

That’s where H & H come in. We can look at your individual situation and come up with a tailored solution for you. We’ll listen to your values and motivations and help you sell your current home for the best price while helping you figure out where your new dream home will be.

What are the benefits of downsizing?

Downsizing can be a really beneficial decision long-term! If you’re looking for a detailed list of the benefits to downsizing,  H & H have written about it all here. The major benefits to downsizing are;

  • Saving money in the long-term (smaller mortgage or none at all!)
  • More time for the things you love doing (less time cleaning, more time brunching)
  • You won’t accumulate so much junk anymore
  • Government incentives for over 65s (click here for the details)
  • Improved mental health
  • You’re doing your bit for the environment

I’m struggling to let go of my old house, I raised a family there! How can I separate my emotions?

This is arguably the hardest part of downsizing for some. After all, your family home is the setting for a lot of memories. Christmases, birthdays, first days of school, family dinners, weekend BBQs, lazy Sunday afternoons; it can be difficult to let go.

However, dwelling on the past can be bad for your mental health. Downsizing after the kids have left home gives you control of your life and helps you start the next chapter. It can be incredibly empowering! Just remember, the past is the past and there are always photographs for the days when the nostalgia hits. No sense in keeping a home that will do you a disservice in the long-term.

How do I go about preparing my house for sale?

If it’s been a while since you’ve bought or sold, it can be daunting to think about listing your property for sale again. Don’t worry though, H & H will have your back throughout the entire process. We’ll start by evaluating your property. We’ll then help you make it market-ready and create a tailored selling plan that works for you. If you’ve got more questions about selling, check out our selling FAQ here .

I have so much stuff! How do I get rid of it all?

Ahhh, decluttering. Where does one even begin? When you’ve accumulated decades of stuff, it can be overwhelming to even consider going through it all and doing a purge. Our resident decluttering expert Karen Hutton is the queen of all things organisational and she has some top tips for going through your stuff.

  • Go bit by bit instead of tackling everything at once. Start with the junk drawer (you know the one we’re talking about) and work outwards. Maybe try to do one room a week until you’ve finished the house.
  • Donate ASAP. Don’t let the bags of clothes sit in the boot of the car for months. Take it straight to the Salvos.
  • Sell things where you can. Old electronics, furniture, and vintage items are often easy to list on Facebook Marketplace. You’ll be getting ready for your downsized future AND have some extra cash in your back pocket.

Where should I be looking for a new home?

This is entirely dependent on what you’re looking for in your new neighbourhood! Ideally, you’ll want somewhere close to plenty of amenities and somewhere that offers you the lifestyle you want without having to travel too far. Whether you’re looking for an inner-city lifestyle, a sea change, or a haven in the country, it’s important to do your research and find out where you can see yourself retiring.

What does ‘buying off the plan’ mean?

Buying off the plan simply means you’re paying a deposit for a property that hasn’t yet been built. You’ll get to see the floor plans, concept images, and speak with the agents and developers about the vision before you commit.

I’ve heard some bad things about buying off the plan, how much of that is true?

It’s true, buying off the plan has had a bad rap. However, when you work with an agent you trust and look at developers with brilliant reviews and reputations you’ll find you won’t be disappointed. Buying off the plan has so many benefits. As long as you’re aware of the red flags (click here  to find out what these are), you’ll be a-okay buying off the plan.

What should I actually know about buying off the plan?

There are 7 key things you need to think about before buying off the plan.

  1. Location. Really evaluate the area in which the development is going to be built. Look at how well this location fits your wants and needs.
  2. Check the plan. Make sure you know the size of your furniture so you can understand just how big the space you’re about to invest in will be.
  3. Check the marketing. Make sure the pretty pictures used to lure you in are accurate! Are they to scale and do they reflect the area correctly?
  4. Who else is buying? Knowing your neighbours are like-minded will give you ease of mind long-term. After all, you want the people living next to you to be good neighbours!
  5. Check the builder’s and developer’s’ reputations. Make sure you do your research thoroughly. If your builder has had issues with their work in the past, this will become very clear after a quick Google search. Similarly, a fantastic builder will have their praises and prestige status splashed across the internet.
  6. When is your new home going to be ready? Initially, you’ll receive a schedule of when things are expected to be completed. This should be a detailed timeline including all the little finishes. The more detailed, the better!
  7. Make sure you know what happens when it’s finished. You’ll have an opportunity to inspect the property after it’s been completed, so find out how to raise any concerns should you have them with the builder and developer.

What is my step-by-step process to an easy downsize?

Keep in mind when reading this process that people buying off the plan often have 18 months before their home is built. This means they have ample time to organise their affairs, declutter, and sell their property. Sometimes it pays to buy off the plan!

  1. Make the decision to downsize
  2. Meet with a mortgage broker or banker to discuss finances
  3. Do your research into the areas in which you want to live
  4. Decide whether you want to buy an already established property or buy off the plan
  5. Choose an agent to sell your current property (if applicable – perhaps you’ll keep it and rent it out)
  6. Declutter, declutter, declutter
  7. Get your old property ready to sell
  8. Look for your dream home
  9. Sell/rent your current property
  10. Buy your dream home
  11. Make the move!

Click here to get VIP access to owner-occupier, luxury property developments designed for downsizers before their public launch.