Fact sheet for downsizers

Are you dreaming of a sea change or a tree change? Perhaps you are looking to sell up the family home in the suburbs in favour of the hustle and bustle of the city? Or maybe the ‘lock-up and leave’ lifestyle in a retirement living community is more your style?

 

With a bit of planning, downsizing your home can mean upgrading your lifestyle. We’ve prepared this checklist to help you on your way.

Cost

Downsizing may be good for the bank balance, but most people’s decision to downsize is not dominated by their finances. However, it still pays to be prudent, so consider:

 

  • Will you be eligible for the Australian Government’s tax concessions for downsizers, which commence on 1 July 2018? Find out more.

  • Are you prepared to have a mortgage or do you want to be debt free? What will you do with the money you save by downsizing?

  • How much will you spend each month on housing expenses? Tally up everything from insurances and council rates to body corporate or strata fees.

  • Is your new home energy and water efficient? How much will this home cost to heat and cool? How much will you spend on water?

  • Will you be close to public transport? How much will you spend each month on transport?

 

More than 180,000 downsizers have made the move into retirement living villages for their amenities and lifestyle, safety and security. Before you make a commitment, do your homework. The Retirement Living Council website is a good place to start.

Location

Ask any real estate agent to list the three most important factors when buying, and you’ll likely hear: “location, location, location.” This is just as important for retirees as it is for first home buyers. Ask yourself:

 

  • How close is this home to your family, friends and established social networks?

  • How close is this home to public transport? How frequent and convenient are the public transport options? Will you be able to get around easily or will you be car dependent?

  • How long will it take you to get into the city?

  • Will you have convenient access to shops, cafés and other services like libraries?

  • Is the home close to hospitals or other healthcare facilities, like physiotherapy and dental care?

 

Quality

Quality is more than just fancy taps and marble benchtops. Keeping your eye out for quality can be tricky, but there are some simple signs:

 

  • Is the home well insulated?

  • Does it feature energy and water efficient fixtures and fittings?

  • How much storage does the home feature? Will you have enough space to store and display your prized possessions?

  • Does this home have good cross-ventilation, orientation and outlooks?

  • Is it north facing to make the most of the sunlight? How much daylight access will you get?

  • Will you have access to high speed internet?

  • Does this home comply with Livable Housing Australia’s guidelines for accessible design?

  • Does this community have a Green Star rating?

Liveability

Liveability is the sum of all the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life – everything from the built and natural environments to culture, community activities and cafés on your doorstep.

 

  • What sort of lifestyle do you want? How will this home support your lifestyle?

  • Is this home low-maintenance?

  • How much space do you need? Will this home suit your space requirements?

  • Do you prefer a garden or a balcony? Will you be able to fit your outdoor furniture in the space?

  • Do you have easy access to green space and parks? What level of tree coverage do you find around the neighbourhood?

  • Is the home located in a walkable community? Are there ample pedestrian paths with regular street furniture for easy walking?

  • Is it a safe neighbourhood?

  • What will your weekly routine look like? Will this place encourage you to get out and enjoy life?

  • What kinds of community activities are found in the area? Is it a diverse and inclusive community that brings together people of all ages and abilities?

 

Investment

Depending on where you choose to live, downsizing can help you build a larger retirement nest egg and give you the financial freedom to explore the world and enjoy life. To do that with confidence, ask yourself:

 

  • Will this home retain its value?

  • What assurance do I have that my investment is secure?

 

Making the decision to downsize can be stressful. A Green Star rating can alleviate some of this stress, giving you confidence in the quality of your property, the liveability of your community and the long-term security of your investment.

LIVING Green Star © 2017 Green Building Council of Australia

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