When you are considering downsizing, one of the obvious options is to move from a family home into an apartment or unit.
Apartment living comes with a number of benefits for downsizers, making them an attractive option to many Aussies seeking a smaller and easier-to-manage home.
It’s understandable to assume switching from a house to an apartment won’t work for you, but don't rule out this option until you understand the many benefits.
Why choose apartment living when you downsize
Size and ease of upkeep
To begin with, apartments are smaller than houses and so much easier to maintain. The fewer rooms you have, the less there is to clean and the fewer problems you will have to fix.
You also don’t have to worry about rooms sitting empty and unused. You can move into an apartment and only take up the space you need, or have a single spare room for when family come to visit.
You can stop worrying about dealing with a garden as well. The grounds will be taken care of by the complex's gardener. You can keep some potted plants on the balcony if you wish or take a break from gardening altogether.
Finally, you don’t even have to worry about putting the bins out. Whether you have an individual bin for your apartment or a chute to drop your garbage bags down, it is someone else's job to put the rubbish out on bin day.
Apartments tend to be more secure than houses for the following reasons:
Neighbours are very close
There is more foot traffic
There is often only one entry point
Outdoor areas are better lit
Many complexes need swipe cards to access the building and each separate floor
Apartments on upper floors are more difficult to access
Some apartment complexes will even have underground parking or a lock up garage, meaning your car is always safely undercover and out of sight.
Living in a house in the suburbs can be surprisingly isolating, especially if all your original neighbours have moved away and you find yourself surrounded by busy young families.
Many apartment complexes have their own cultures and communities, with organised gatherings and online resident groups. Over-50s complexes often arrange events and get-togethers as well, so moving into an apartment complex can quickly boost your social interactions.
The other benefit of choosing an over-50s complex is that you will be living with people of around the same age and demographic as you, making it more likely you will have things in common.
Apartment complexes are often positioned close to shops and city centres. This makes apartment living convenient and easy.
Downsizing to an apartment can also be a cheaper way to move closer to loved ones. It is much more affordable to buy an apartment closer to your grown children than it is to buy a larger house.
Many apartment complexes have shared amenities that you can take advantage of.
Barbecues, outdoor gathering areas, and a pool and a gym are all reasonably common in newer apartment complexes. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about their upkeep. You pay your strata fees, and the complex manager ensures all the amenities are looked after.
Imagine having a swimming pool that you can use at any time without worrying about keeping it clean, or having a free gym available a short walk away. Find the right apartment complex, and you can enjoy these facilities.
Many over-50s complexes will also have common areas, movie screens and even a shared library, adding to the appeal of moving into an apartment when you downsize.
Single level living
If you purchase an apartment in a building with a lift, you can live stair-free. This may not be an issue right now but as you age you will appreciate being able to move around your home with ease and you will be able to live independently for longer. These days, your Woolworths/Coles delivery driver will even come to your door, saving you from having to transfer groceries from your car to the lift and then to the kitchen.
The final benefit is the reduced need for a housesitter when you have a smaller place. Join the trend and give yourself the lock-up-and-leave freedom of apartment living; you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the move sooner.
IMPORTANT: Any tips or advice contained in this article are general in nature and you should always seek professional advice from expert advisers about your individual situation before making significant financial decisions.