You’ve either been waiting for this glorious day or dreading it. Either way, the kids have finally decided to move out, the run of the house is yours again and you’re left with a little extra space.
At first, you may decide to return that bedroom into what used to be a study, a reading room, knitting room, gym or man-cave. You may also choose to keep it a bedroom, just in case the kids decide to come home for the holidays. If you’re still enjoying having the additional space, other options could also be to put that room on short-term rental sites like Airbnb and earn a little extra income from what would otherwise be empty space.
Save on expenses
You will possibly be moving into a smaller home which will include fewer expenses than your bigger house, so depending on where you would like to live, you should calculate your cost of living and other expenses. Once you know these, you know what price bracket is affordable.
Then consider how much space you really need. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, do you really need a big garden? By cutting down on your size, you will naturally save on other expenses such as utilities like water, rates and electricity, and possibly also maintenance costs and cleaning.
Locations you enjoy
Once you have taken the costs into consideration, look at locations or areas that are close to the places you enjoy, the services you need or a lifestyle choice. If you are still working, you may opt to move away from the school district and find yourself a city pad, close to your work. You may opt to be closer to city amenities such as museums, theatres and restaurants, or you may want to head for the coast to enjoy sea views and sunshine.
If you’re already retired you may also choose to start looking at retirement villages that bring you benefits you will need later on, but the freedom to still live the life you want now.
With the kids out of the house and therefore fewer people around, the aspect of increased security can play an important role in the decision-making process. Housing estates and blocks of flats offer round-the-clock security guards and lots of neighbours in close proximity.
If you are living on your own, it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone in a building, and that neighbours are within reach in case of an emergency. When downsizing to a smaller house you will also experience reduced costs of security systems and electric fencing on a smaller property.
A lifestyle of your choosing
Now that all the children have left home should be the time to thoroughly think about your desired lifestyle. If you are considering apartment or townhouse living, this would offer you better security and less upkeep with little or no lawn to mow, leaving you with more time to enjoy the things you love doing.
Downsizing does not necessarily mean apartments or townhouses. Depending on your stage of life, you could also consider a smaller house, villa or micro-apartment. Perhaps investing in a retirement village, and even if you choose not to move into the retirement village immediately, you could consider renting out the unit until you feel ready to move again.
Pay off your existing mortgage
Usually when you are downsizing this means that you will purchase a property for less than the value of your existing home. By freeing up this extra cash you will be able to pay off any outstanding principal amounts on your mortgage which will save you from paying more interest.
Downsizing could also help increase your retirement savings. When selling your existing home, and buying a smaller and less costly one, you could be freeing up some cash for your retirement savings.
With downsizing, you could also invest in more property. With the money you have left over after you have sold your old home and bought a smaller one, you can put down a deposit on a mortgage on another investment property as there is always an opportunity to build wealth.
The empty nest conundrum need not be a conundrum at all. You could use the opportunity to build wealth and let your investments do all the work, saving even more for your future or a much needed holiday.
No matter how big or small your property, PropertyFox will be there to help you along the way. Call or email us today, and we will take it from there.
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