If you are residing in a larger family home, and your children have all left the nest, you might find yourself with much more space than necessary – which comes with additional maintenance and costs. It’s a good idea to consider downsizing to a smaller property. 

Not only can downsizing allow you to shed clutter and reduce time and money spent on property maintenance, but with the cost of living in New Zealand increasing and inflation the highest it’s been in 32 years, it’s a good idea to consider making the move to a smaller residence sooner rather than later. We have compiled five key benefits to downsizing to a smaller property:

1.      Low maintenance living

Generally speaking, the larger the home, the more maintenance that is required. Empty-nesters often find themselves in huge homes with sprawling sections to maintain. Large backyards and multiple bathrooms and living spaces were all well and good when there was a full house, but once children have grown and fled the nest the amount of upkeep required on larger family homes can seem insurmountable.

Smaller, single level homes will require less weekly housekeeping. Smaller outdoor areas can also reduce time spent mowing lawns and maintaining large planted areas. At a smaller dwelling you might like to create a small garden instead, or opt for paved outdoor areas which can double as additional parking, perhaps for a boat or campervan.

2.      Save on utility bills and other costs

That’s right – downsizing to a smaller property can lower your utility bills! Provided your new home meets the minimum requirements for insulation and ventilation, you can heat smaller homes much more economically than a large family home, with fewer external surfaces to lose heat through.

A smaller property will also require less electricity for lighting, which equals lower power bills! This is especially beneficial with the recent increases to power costs around the country.

You can also save on furnishings – smaller properties cater to less furniture, so you won’t be forever on the lookout to spend and fill empty spaces.

And lastly, the scale of ongoing maintenance is reduced significantly with a smaller dwelling. Tasks like pressure cleaning external walls, cleaning gutters, repainting or carpet cleaning are all on a smaller scale which will then impact the associated costs of these services.

3.      Reduce clutter

Downsizing to a smaller dwelling gives you a great opportunity to reduce clutter, as you simply won’t be able to accommodate as many belongings in your new abode. If you have lived in a larger home for a number of years you will have likely accumulated a huge amount of possessions, especially if kids have fled the nest and left lots of their belongings behind.

It’s much easier to shed clutter before you downsize, as it can save on moving costs and ensures you aren’t taking extra belongings that you will simply sell or donate at a later stage.

Before you move into your new, smaller home, work through one room at a time and separate everything into two piles: keep and discard. Be mindful of the size of the spaces in your new home and the amount of storage you will have available. You may want to down-size your lounge suite and reduce the amount of crockery or bedding you will need to accommodate.

4.      Less maintenance can free you up for travel

One of the motivating factors behind many people choosing to downsize is that many smaller properties provide ‘lock and leave’ opportunities. When there is less ongoing maintenance, and with smaller properties often easier to secure, this can you free you up to travel!

You could also consider listing your property on Airbnb or Bach Care, to earn some extra income on it during your travels.

5.      Often smaller homes are more accessible and user friendly

As people move into the retirement phase of their life, it often becomes more desirable to move into a more accessible and user-friendly home. This can mean a property that offers features such as:

- Single storey
- Internal access garage
- Logical floorplan
- Automatic heating systems (for example heat pump or gas heating as opposed to a wood burner)
- Modern appliances  

What do all of these features equate to? Less work, more leisure.

Where to start

When looking into purchasing a smaller abode, it will soon become apparent that smaller homes cost more per square metre up front. However, the savings on utilities and maintenance mean you will reap the long terms benefits.

If you are interested in downsizing, get in touch with an EVES Salesperson today and find out how we can help.

Want more info on the benefits and process of downsizing? Check out the articles below: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/housing-affordability/128985224/want-winter-electricity-bills-of-less-than-60-a-month-it-might-be-worth-a-downsize