Downsizers should consider their financial position as much as the impact of relinquishing a long-term home when pondering moving to a smaller property.

Real estate agents say while property type and location are first and foremost in the minds of older Australians looking to downsize, thought also needs to be given to hidden costs and what may be an emotional decision.

Emma Baker, from InStyle Estate Agents, says it’s important to consider support networks when considering a move to a more remote suburb or country location.

She says, “People need to take into account future plans, not only their financial situation, where family and friends are located, and also their mobility — that means making sure the location and the property’s floorplan will suit their needs now — and in the future.”

Downsizing can be an emotional process

It’s as important for people to process a ‘downsizing’ move psychologically, as it is to find the right property.

You need to be sure you’re ready rather than waiting until downsizing becomes a necessity because a partner’s fallen ill, or you are no longer able to cope with your current home.

The best advice is don’t wait - plan.

Location, location

It’s important to think about where you downsize to.  You may have been used to, and enjoyed a big back yard, but now don’t want the hassle of its upkeep.  

Try and choose a location that has all the benefits of a back yard, like close to a park or the countryside. 

Consider public transport links.  You may not want to live on top of a train station or close to a bus stop now, but in the future infrastructure may help you maintain a level of independence. 

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The Donaldson Sisters present important topics and perspectives on the table for open discussion – topics that don’t often get raised in the mainstream media and voices and perspectives less frequently heard. Subscribe to their newsletter here.