‘I have taken the big step and am downsizing’

May 22, 2018
Downsizing after years in the family home is a big deal for many Boomers. Source: Getty

It’s getting scarily real. I had been thinking about it, then started to prepare for it a year ago, decided and got serious in January, now I have taken the big step. I am downsizing.

I have instructed my lawyer to prepare a contract for selling my house and there is a real estate agent preparing paperwork to get it on the market.

I’m single, and I’ll be in my mid-60s in July. I have worked full-time for nearly 50 years. I have very little superannuation but I am fortunate enough to have equity in my house. I am looking at villages of manufactured homes for the over-55s. The attraction is the lower cost of a new home that I will own. There are no entry or exit fees, no stamp duty. You buy your house and can sell any time, you pay to lease the land and if you qualify, you can obtain rental assistance from Centrelink. Most villages have a club house, pool, nice grounds, other facilities that are managed and maintained, and community activities you can join in or not. If I get a good price for my house I can make the move with about $200,000 to $300,000 change.

The reality kicked in when I visited over-55 villages display homes. They are lovely, compact but well designed. I am looking at something with three bedrooms or two bedrooms plus a study. The trouble is my current home is three levels with three bedrooms upstairs, another bedroom and a second living area/rumpus room downstairs, that used to be my office and was the reason I bought the house nine years ago. I have a store room, an attic and a big shed and all are full of stuff!

Last year decluttering was as simple as bags of clothes to Vinnie’s, but I have shifted into high gear. Furniture is going, along with anything superfluous, even the majority of my beloved books. I still have a lot of books and four book cases full to go. I have run a business from home for 30 years. I have stationary, equipment and products stored. I have taken a bootload of old computers to the council’s free digital waste bins at the tip, but there is a tonne of stuff to get rid of.

Recently I got removalists in to shift my office to into one of the upstairs bedrooms so that downstairs could be shown to buyers as a parent’s retreat, teenage domain or granny flat (it has its own bathroom and a separate entry. The move allowed me to see that yes, I can fit everything I need into a three bedroom place. However, it also shows that everything downstairs has got to go!

Right now, I am still working in my business, sorting and reducing my stuff and, with my house about to be put up for sale, I must find the right place to move into, manage the timing and finances. I have researched, I have a shortlist of places that seem to meet my criteria, but I need to find the right one.

This is the biggest decision of my life because it effects the rest of my life.

Have you downsized and moved? How was your experience?

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