The Bulletin

To Downsize or Not to Downsize

Whether you are retiring, looking to free up some capital, or simply wanting to de-clutter, downsizing can offer some real advantages – but it also comes with some downsides. We weigh up the pros and cons of making this lifestyle change.

PRO: A smaller home means smaller bills
If you are looking to save on daily living costs, downsizing into an apartment or smaller home usually means you will save on basics such as heating costs, electricity, and house insurance.

CON: A downsized home may mean downsized furniture
Moving into a smaller space could cost you some extra money if your furnishings are too big for your new home, and you have to spend on new items such as lounge suites, dining tables and bedroom furniture.

PRO: De-cluttering is the only option
If you (or others in your household) struggle to get rid of clutter, downsizing provides the perfect reason to get tough and minimise. Especially if you are moving into an apartment or unit, storage space will be at a premium, so only the most important possessions should go with you.

CON: Outdoor space and hobbies may be affected
For those who love gardening or lounging around the backyard during the summer months, downsizing can be challenging. However, many people cultivate impressive gardens on apartment balconies, and if this is something that is important to you, look for a home that fits the bill in terms of sunlight and space.

PRO: Less household maintenance
Alternatively, if you can’t wait to retire the lawnmower and hedge clippers, downsizing is a great option. Indoor chores such as vacuuming, dusting and cleaning will also be quicker and easier in a smaller home, freeing up your time for other activities.

CON: Lifestyle changes may be hard to adjust to
Moving from a self-contained family home to a unit or apartment, or even just a smaller home in a different neighbourhood, can present some major changes. You may not be able to have family or friends to stay over, hosting large events may be difficult, and new neighbours in closer proximity could prove challenging.

PRO: Release your capital
Many of us have the majority of our savings tied up in our primary property. Downsizing can offer the opportunity to free up money that can then be used to diversify investments, take a dream holiday, or simply provide more cash flow for daily living.

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