The cost and effort of maintaining a larger home can become onerous and a burden, especially as you get older. Moving to a smaller space is generally the desired solution by most downsizers but making it happen can be a daunting task.

Here are 6 tips to make downsizing from a large family home as stress-free and efficient as possible.

1. Determine whether to Buy and then Sell, or Sell and then Buy

Knowing whether to buy and then sell or vice versa is never an easy decision. But it is one that needs to be made and carefully considered.

For example, if you want a particular type of property that is in low supply, buying first may reduce your risk and stress. However, buying first may mean you need to consider bridging finance or other finance options to cover any gap between settlement dates.

Alternatively, selling first may help you determine your budget for your next property and possibly release some funds for a deposit with the completion of a Section 27 and a willing vendor! However, it also means you might need some backup plans, like staying with friends or family if you do find the right property before your current property settles.

We recommend seeking professional advice if you are unsure about your financial situation.

2. Consider your new lifestyle and set your goals

Understanding what you want, where you want to be, and why you want to be there is important.

  • How big a property do you want?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • Does the area you are planning to move you have all the amenities you will need for the future
  • Is being close to family and friends important to you?
  • Do you need surplus funds between the sale price of your current property and the purchase price of the new property to help fund your future?

All these are important questions you should have answers to before you begin your journey, so they can be incorporated and factored into what you buy and where you buy.

3. Consult with family and friends

Getting advice from family and close friends can be helpful. They can be more objective and may offer a different perspective or reinforce your thinking.  They can help you inspect properties and give you their feedback, just remember whilst they may have the best intentions they are not experts (usually!) and the final decision is always yours.

4. Curate your belongings

Downsizing means sometimes making some tough decisions in relation to your belongings, whether it be furniture or clothes or anything else for that matter. The easiest system to follow is the Keep, Donate, Store, or Trash system. You might have to dig deep to make some real decisions about why you are keeping some items but now is the time to reduce your belongings as much as you can.

5. Wait to buy new things

It can be oh-so-tempting to buy that great couch that is on sale that will look great in your new home. But hold off!

Even if you know what you plan to buy, do not purchase new items until you have bought your home, and you know the layout and room measurements.

6. Preparation is Key

I can’t stress enough that preparation is crucial when it comes to downsizing your home and your life. Prepare accordingly, including having contingency plans, and you will find it should be a much smoother process.

Making these decisions is not an easy process, so if you need help, you should consider using the services of an experienced and knowledgeable agent. An agent who can provide you with independent, unbiased and expert advice on what you need to do, both to maximise the selling price of your current home and then to purchase the right home. This will undoubtedly make the whole moving process a lot easier and as stress-free as possible.

Don’t forget you may be downsizing your home, but this is an opportunity to upsize your life!