Is downsizing the right choice for me?

A growing number of Australian homeowners are considering the big step of downsizing to a smaller home or a new town or suburb.

A recent survey by Downsizing.com.au asked the question “How far would you consider moving?”, moreover, the results were intriguing.

The majority of survey respondents, almost two out of five (37%) said they’d prefer to downsize in the same suburb or a neighboring location. A further one in four (27%) want to remain in the same city or town.

That’s 64% of empty nesters who would actively choose to stay in a familiar environment. This result makes plenty of sense as it can be more challenging starting new friendships as we age – although not impossible. Staying close to an existing social circle and family, is a sensible step, especially if grandchildren are expected.

That said many downsizers are happy to move to a new area. One in three (29.43%) want to stay within easy reach of their current city or town, according to Downsizing.com.au and this is indeed achievable by moving to a satellite city. In New South Wales, for instance, this could mean Gosford or Wollongong, which are about an hour’s drive from Sydney.

In Victoria, a manageable move could mean Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo. Moreover, in Brisbane, downsizers could consider the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast. For downsizers in Perth, Mandurah or even Margaret River regions can be options worth some consideration.

As for the motivations to downsize, for some ‘empty-nesters’ it is about simpler living and accessing the additional equity tied up in a bigger family home, while others find it’s an opportunity to reduce debt and achieve financial independence.

Some ‘empty nesters’ even choose to downsize to help their children into a first home, while others merely relish the move to a smaller property, new locale, and lifestyle.

For those who decide to sea change or green change, moving away from a long-term and familiar neighbourhood can be emotion-charged. Downsizers may initially feel lost in their new surroundings, especially if family and friends are left behind.

Before taking on a downsizing move, be sure to check if the new home is well-served with the right facilities – access to shops, transport and hospitals. Often, it’s a good idea to spend time in a new suburb or town before downsizing to ensure it’s the right move.

To discuss your downsizing options, visit www.rh.com.au to contact your local Raine & Horne agent today.