When Bigger Isn’t Better

Downsizing can defy ingrained views that ‘size matters’. We explain the key selling points agents can promote to help downsizers realise that bigger isn’t always better – and it’s not just about less housework.

Baby boomers and seniors are looking to live the retirement dream. And slogging away at the maintenance of a large family home in the suburbs isn’t always high on a retiree’s wish list.
However, making the move to downsize can come with psychological hurdles, notably concerns around living in a smaller space. After decades in a big home that’s understandable. We live in a society where the size of our home is often intertwined with our social status.

For agents involved in marketing downsizer properties, it pays to understand the full extent of how bigger isn’t necessarily better. Sure, there’s less maintenance for residents but a compelling case for downsizing should go well beyond this narrow scope.

More compact space. Bigger lifestyle

For baby boomers and retirees, downsizing brings a vital benefit – freedom from the “asset rich/ cash poor” trap. Today’s boomers are eager to have the cash needed to chase their dreams of travel, hobbies, and entertaining. Downsizing certainly has the potential to allow this by freeing up equity from a larger home.

Even better, plenty of retirement dreams can be fulfilled on a downsizer’s own doorstep. A more compact living space can come with more generous recreational options including all the bells and whistles of residents’ clubs, pools, tennis courts and even bowling greens. Who needs a big home when so much time can be spent socialising outdoors? Downsizing also brings the plus of being surrounded by like-minded people, without concerns about noisy neighbours.

Savings on energy and decorating

Importantly, it also means lower energy bills. More compact homes have less space to heat and cool, which means they have a lower eco-footprint and that delivers power savings.

And when it comes to customising a home’s interior, most importantly, smaller square footage also means less cost to furnish and decorate. So this means you can enjoy all the latest custom finishes and new furniture, including that dream kitchen, modern bathrooms and even luxuries like walk in robes – making the downsizing decision much easier. Who isn’t happy about exchanging an outdated home of larger square footage for a smaller, low maintenance but picture perfect newer home?

Living large in a more compact home

These pluses are all highlighted in a study by the UK’s Intergenerational Foundation, which found downsizers felt liberated by the reduced burden of household bills, gardening and maintenance tasks.
In addition, the downsizing experience was found to improve residents’ health and social wellbeing .
For selling agents, the main point is that downsizing offers a great opportunity to live large. And that’s exactly what retirement should be all about!

http://www.if.org.uk/research-posts/understanding-downsizing/

Author: Greg Oddy from Downsizing.com.au