There are three common mistakes homeowners make before downsizing from the big family home.
They leave it too late, they move from the area they know and they don’t do enough research into the new community they’re moving into.
John and Irene O’Connor sold their large family home in the Hills District of Sydney in their early 70s, and despite having their family and friends in the same area they decided to move to Forster on the mid-north NSW coast.
They had holidayed there extensively over their lifetime and the town held special memories for them.
“We discovered that while it is a beautiful place, and the activities there were wonderful, we missed our children and grandchildren and our friends,” John said.
“No amount of fishing and walks on the beach could make up for the fact that we missed everyone terribly and it was far too long a drive to catch up regularly.
When they decided to return to Sydney, they found it difficult to sell the luxury apartment they had bought in Forster, and ended up renting it out.
“We couldn’t afford to buy back into Sydney, so we ended up renting here as well which is not what I expected to be doing in our retirement.”
Peter Grant of Domain Residential, which sells seniors-living accommodation said people who downsize in their late 50s and early 60s often make more of their home and lifestyle.
“Many retirees experience social isolation by staying in their large family homes because they think it is too hard to move “their stuff” or they are too young to ‘make the move’ and downsize,” he said. “I often hear retirees saying to me they wish they had done it earlier and hadn’t wasted so many years thinking about it.”
Research is important as well, as mobility can be a factor in later years.
“Too many downsizers buy a unit or home without a lift then once their hip goes they have to move again,” he said.
TIPS TO REMEMBER BEFORE DOWNSIZING
1. Don’t leave it too long
2. Think very carefully about leaving a community you know well
3. Research your new home, bearing in mind your mobility in later years