October 15, 2019

How To Succeed As A Downsizer

It’s you’re considering downsizing to a smaller home, it’s important to arm yourself with the right knowledge so you can make the right property move and do it with the minimum of stress.

The good news is that downsizing in Toowoomba gives you plenty of options. Whether you’re moving to the region, downsizing to a different suburb or looking to sell your home, we’ve got the tips for overcoming any challenge.

Prepare emotionally

People downsize for all sorts of reasons. Usually, it’s a lifestyle decision – maybe the kids have flown the nest or you’ve decided to live a simpler life. Perhaps you’re looking to reduce your mortgage, go mortgage-free, or free up cash for your retirement.

Downsizing can be a brand new chapter and a wonderful, freeing experience. But it can also be sad saying goodbye to a much-loved family home full of memories. It’s important to make sure you’re ready to make a move, emotionally, as well as practically. Is your family aware and supportive of your plans? Have you considered how you will adjust to a move?

Most importantly: don’t rush in. Take your time to make a considered decision.

Do a big spring clean

Decluttering is something most sellers need to do. It can also form part of the packing process. So top of our list of downsizing tips is getting rid of unnecessary stuff. Over the years you’ve probably accumulated countless items you no longer use – or haven’t even opened – and they will just take up more room in your new, smaller home.

Now is the perfect time to do a big spring clean. Create three categories for items you no longer need, with one pile going to the tip, another set aside to be sold, and the third to be donated. Also, be sure to recycle wherever you can. When you’re done, you might be shocked at how much space you’ve opened up.

But before packing up your home and making the move, why not start tracking how often you use your items? In the kitchen, for example, put all your utensils in a big box and whenever you need to use one, put it back in its normal place. In a few weeks’ time, you’ll have a box of utensils you rarely – or never – use, which could be donated or sold. You can use this trick for a range of items, from shoes to electronics and even furniture.

Do you really need bank statements from last decade? What about warranty paperwork for items that have long since passed their use-by date? Paperwork can take up a lot more space you think, so downsizing is the perfect time to get rid of it.

You never know what you’ll find – one downsizing expert found paperwork from the 1920s in her client’s home! It’s a liberating experience, and these days most receipts, bank statements, tax filings and general paperwork can be scanned and saved digitally anyway.

Make extra money by selling unnecessary items

Moving can be an expensive process, from removalists to taking time off work or hiring a trailer. So if you have lots of items you don’t plan on taking with you – and are still in good enough condition to use – then think about putting on a garage sale. Alternatively, sell them online on Gumtree, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace and watch your moving-day funds start to rise.

Get the experts in

Think you know what your property may be worth? Make sure you get the experts in to give you a free market appraisal of your current home, before you go shopping for your new home.

Having an accurate assessment of your property’s value in the current market will give you a clearer idea of your budget. An experienced real estate agent will also be able to advise you on what needs to be done to prepare your property to go on the market. And an appraisal will help guide you on one of the more important practical questions: should you buy first or sell first? If you’re downsizing to free up capital and fund your lifestyle in retirement you may also wish to seek independent financial advice.

Research your new property carefully

Many people downsize for financial reasons – so if this applies to you, it’s crucial the decision to sell and buy a new property is well-researched.

Usually smaller means cheaper – but this varies depending on the area. Make sure you do some research in advance to ensure your budget is realistic and will buy you what you’re looking for. Speak to a local agent to find out what your budget could get you in the current market.

Make sure you draw up a list of “must haves” and “nice to haves” in your new, smaller property. What are your property non-negotiables or deal breakers? And what would you compromise on?

Research your new location. Are you going to move away from the community you’re already in, or try to stay there? Moving itself can be expensive – from stamp duty and legal fees to moving costs, so you want to get it right.

The good news is that smaller properties also tend to have smaller running costs, utility bills and council rates than bigger ones, so the savings could continue well after your move.

Get measuring!

Downsizers can often get bogged down in the details, such as how different their mortgage will be or which items to donate or sell, but there’s one factor that’s even more important to think about: the size of the new property.

Even if your downsized home is similar in terms of square metres, the layout may be completely different. Logically you’ll need to remove whole rooms worth of stuff if you’re moving to a smaller home, or one that has less bedrooms. And if you haven’t measured your bigger items in advance, like fridges, lounges and televisions, then it could create big headaches on moving day. So bust out the measuring tape and make sure your new home has enough room!

Are you ready to become a downsizer?

If the time is right to downsize your home, contact an experienced local agent today and find the perfect home that matches your new lifestyle.

Article by Gary Klein

For over 35 years, Gary has been involved in the profession of selling. He held a senior position in a large local business in town and was in fact the company trainer, inductor and troubleshooter. From his experiences, he understands people very … View profile

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