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Choosing the right home when downsizing

So you’ve decided it’s time to downsize – the next question is, which home should you choose? There are a lot of factors to consider. This article explores some of the key questions you need to answer to ensure you make the right choice.

  1. Buy or build?

Now that you’ve made the biggest decision of all – to say goodbye to your home of many years – you have the option to buy an existing home that better suits your new life stage and style… or go one better and design your dream home from the ground up!

If you’re in a hurry, buying an existing home will usually be quicker (depending on the settlement terms the seller wants). But apart from that, there are so many reasons why building the perfect home is a better option than buying – here are just a few:

  • You get to create your dream home from scratch, incorporating everything you’ve always dreamed of in a home, and having total freedom to let your personality shine through
  • Use entertaining and outdoor spaces to create the lifestyle you’ve always wanted and now have the opportunity (i.e. no kids) to enjoy!
  • Avoid the maintenance costs (and wasted weekends) that inevitably come with any existing home – who has time to climb ladders, fix gutters and declutter overgrown gardens?
  • Enjoy the latest design ideas to maximise light and space, and get an energy efficient home that will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint
  • A new home could be a more valuable investment after 20 years compared to an existing home with another 20 years of wear and tear

At the end of the day, you’ve worked hard all your life – if there’s ever been a time when you deserve the best, it’s now!

  1. How many rooms?

With the kids now off on their own adventures, you can reduce costs by building a place that better reflects your needs. Do you need a spare bedroom? Two? Or would you prefer an office with a sofa bed to accommodate the occasional overnight guest while giving you the dedicated workspace you need? And do you need a second living area as well as a dining room – or is an outdoor living area a higher priority?

If you can declutter before you make the call on which way you’ll go, you will alleviate concerns that your new place will need extra rooms just to store stuff you don’t really need

  1. Big backyard vs entertaining area?

There’s a lot to love about a big family backyard. So many memories! But with the kids moving on, all that’s left is a lot of grass to mow and gardens to weed. Life’s too short to do that forever!

It’s more important (and enjoyable!) to think in terms of how you will use your outdoor space over the coming years. For many downsizers, the focus will be on a comfortable outdoor entertaining area – low maintenance, but maximum wow factor! You can almost hear the barbeque sizzling, and the conversation (and drinks) flowing…



The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Fairhaven Homes recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.