Lorraine Cox encourages you to view downsizing as an opportunity to pull up stumps and find a new home that will suit you and your needs to a tee. Here she looks at the different options available when relocating to a smaller home
Without a doubt, the most exciting aspect of downsizing is choosing your new location. Whether you’ve lived in your home for decades and it’s time to sell, your health is declining or the neighbourhood has changed so much that you can’t bear to live in your current home any more, downsizing is an opportunity to embrace the inevitable change and really think carefully about your next move.
One thing that keeps coming up in my line of work is that people are increasingly feeling lonely and isolated. Whether they’ve suffered the devastating loss of their life partner or friends have drifted away and family have moved interstate or even overseas to pursue their own lives, many of my clients are finding their lives lonely and unfulfilling. It’s heartbreaking to see, but in my experience, once my downsizing clients have made the decision to move on, the world suddenly becomes their oyster as they realise there really are a lot of options available.
I have to say that those people who do decide to downsize and move to a new place, especially retirement villages, suddenly meet new friends — even life partners — find new interests and embrace their new lease on life with gusto.
The trick is to take the time to write a wish-list of your wants and needs, and then prioritise that list to truly reflect what you are really looking for in your new abode and environment.
I recommend you collate a list of your dreams, goals and priorities and then narrow that list down to essentials. For example:
- Do you want to move closer (or further away!) from friends and family?
- Have you always dreamed of living near a golf course so you can perfect your putt?
- Would living by the sea give you peace of mind?
- Do you love bird watching and would love to pursue your hobby amidst a tree change?
- Would the fresh mountain air do you the world of good?
- Do you want to stay in the same neighbourhood but find a smaller home/apartment or nearby village?
- Do you need to be in the vicinity of expert medical care?
- Is a purpose-built granny flat ideal for you — would you love the opportunity to help out your family and watch your grandchildren or great grandchildren grow up?
- Is a small courtyard or garden essential? Do you need easy access to a pool, shops within walking distance or other entertainment and recreational options?
- Is community living ideal for you — would you like to meet people your own age and have the opportunity to make new friends and socialise on a regular basis in a secure environment?
- Are aged care facilities important?
- Would a retirement village with all it has to offer be the best option for you?
Ask yourself these sorts of questions and think deeply on what is important to you right now — and what you will need in the years to come.
At Downsizing With Ease, we’ve witnessed our clients experience the joy of all of these above scenarios. The most common question they ask — once they’re comfortably settled in their new home, of course, is — why didn’t we do it sooner?
In fact, in 20 years, our team has helped more than 5,000 clients make this transition and has ensured that their relocation or downsizing move has been a positive and life-affirming experience. Let me know if I can help with any questions, I’d love to hear from you.
If you’re thinking of downsizing, what important criteria are on your wish-list? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.