Downsizing, or moving into a smaller home, is often thought of as being for retirees or when the children have grown up and moved out of home. However, downsizing has benefits no matter what stage of life you’re in. Downsizing can simplify your lifestyle, help you achieve financial goals, give you the freedom to travel or simply help you embrace minimalism with fewer possessions.
As the second largest city in NSW, beautiful Newcastle is an ideal place for a fresh start in a smaller space. Let’s look at why people in Newcastle are choosing to downsize and how they are doing it.
Image credit: www.engenicom.com.au
Why Newcastle is a popular place for downsizers
The Newcastle Light Rail, the harbour, the beaches, plenty of urban amenities, inner-city infrastructure improvements and an enviable array of lifestyle conveniences — what’s not to love about the revitalisation of Newcastle? From long-term residents to young families moving from major cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, to retirees making the move from regional centres, people from all backgrounds and places are embracing living in smaller spaces in Newcastle.
The ups and downs of downsizing
Perhaps you want to embrace a retirement lifestyle, or you’re dreaming of owning an investment property — more and more Australians, both young and old, are turning into downsizers to achieve their financial and lifestyle goals.
The benefits of downsizing
- Take the pressure off finances, boost savings and free up cash by selling a larger property.
- A smaller home is easier to clean and maintain.
- You may choose to move closer to amenities for a more efficient lifestyle.
- Save money on utilities, insurance and more in a smaller home.
The downside of downsizing
- A chance to declutter, but it can be hard to part with your belongings.
- A smaller home will have less room for living, entertaining, and hobbies.
- Leaving a long-term family home can cause stress.
Popular ways to downsize
From empty-nest baby boomers moving into a retirement village to a young family freeing up cash to travel around Australia while their kids are young – there are plenty of reasons people choose to simplify their lives and reap the financial benefits of downsizing. Some of the most popular ways to make this happen include:
- Moving to or building a smaller home.
- Knocking down and rebuilding for dual occupancy.
- Building a granny flat (second dwelling) and renting out the main home or living with family members.
For help finding the right team to build your new home, see our article Uncovering the Best Home Builders in Newcastle.
Financial advantages of downsizing for different generations
With a home loan long paid off and superannuation funds at a size Generation X could only dream of, Baby Boomers (those between 55 and 75) are the highest net worth generation in Australia. However, most of their wealth is tied up in the family home. Cashing in these assets allows them to free up the proceeds for smaller homes, apartments, travel, new businesses or retirement planning. As smaller homes are easier to maintain, they also demand less capital to keep them running, allowing for more cost savings.
Similarly, singles or young families can benefit from downsizing to smaller homes. For example, knocking down an existing home and building a duplex could mean financial freedom without a mortgage and passive income. Building a second dwelling or granny flat can offer the convenience of living close to family members (think free babysitting or pet sitting!) while slashing the cost of living.
Why downsizing is a sustainable living option
A smaller proportion of Australians are embracing downsizing to reduce their ecological footprint. However, it’s a growing trend. Expansive lawns and unused rooms require maintenance, money and resources to keep them looking good and running well. By living in a smaller house, you’ll use less energy and less water, generate less waste, and be more likely to embrace sustainable practices. Living small leaves you make time for the things you love, and it may also encourage you to get out in the neighbourhood more and embrace your community.
The alternatives to downsizing
The transition to smaller living can be daunting, particularly for Baby Boomers who are used to ‘having it all’. So, if it doesn’t seem like the right option for you, consider the alternatives:
- Multi-generational living: A growing trend in Australia, living under the same roof as family members can be easier on the budget by lowering living expenses, which means support is within easy reach.
- Renting out space in your current home: With more than a quarter of rental households experiencing rental stress in Newcastle, finding someone to share your space shouldn’t be a problem.
- Releasing the equity in your current home: a reverse mortgage is one option for greater financial freedom. However, it does come with long-term financial impacts and doesn’t match the benefits of downsizing.
- Converting your home to dual occupancy: As we’ve discussed above, building a duplex or a secondary dwelling has plenty of benefits for your lifestyle as well as your budget.
Tips for downsizing
- Hire a professional home organiser to help you sort through the clutter before you move. This will also help you save money on storage and moving costs.
- Digitise what you can. You can keep everything safe and secure online, from wedding and baby photos to important documents.
- Take the emotion out of it. Downsizing can be emotional, so start as soon as possible and work your way from room to room.
- Prioritise storage in your new home. Create a floor plan that prioritises storage and won’t create extra clutter as you downsize.
How Vision Homes Have Become Downsizing Experts
From smaller, smarter homes that are more manageable to duplexes and granny flats, Vision Homes has plenty of experience creating functional and stylish small living spaces. Being Newcastle locals, we also deeply understand the emerging downsizing trend in the Newcastle real estate market. We understand the importance of providing affordable yet practical and stylish housing, incorporating concepts that will allow residents to ‘age in place’, and, most of all, building our clients a house that feels like home.
Are you thinking about downsizing?
Here at Vision Homes, we know the latest living trends and listen to our clients’ needs. From granny flats to knockdown rebuilds for duplexes and multi-generational homes, we are a home builder in Newcastle you can trust and rely on. We also offer a fixed-price guarantee on all of our new homes, so you can make sure your downsize sets you on a path to financial freedom.
Contact Vision Homes to work with one of Australia’s leading home builders on your dream house. Give us a call to start on your downsizing journey today.