When is it right to go down the property ladder?

We usually think of people moving up the property ladder – for their first small flat to a townhouse and then to a family home. And with the growing trend towards multi-generational living and the need for extra space to accommodate adult children or ageing parents, that’s where many people stop their property journey.
But there are many others for whom taking a step or two down the property ladder now also makes very good sense in the light of increasing property rates and utility costs. Indeed, First National Bank reports following its latest estate agent survey that about one in four home sales currently is being generated by middle-aged owners seeking to move to a smaller, more secure and lower-maintenance property.
However, even when “downsizing” is the best thing to do financially, moving from a family home where you have lived for many years is always a wrench, and you may need some assurance that you are making the right decision.
Here are some signs that the time has come to downsize:
* Your youngest child just moved out. While a family home is full of memories, it is also usually full of unused objects that just take up space and energy. So once the last of the fledglings has flown the nest, it may be a good time to whittle down the memorabilia and move somewhere smaller. This might also be the right time to move closer to children or grandchildren that moved far away.
* You have unused rooms. If there are rooms you never use but still have to dust, maintain and pay rates on, you should really consider downsizing to a home that is cheaper to run and requires less of your energy to keep up.
* Your home is just too much work. No matter what your age, you have to ensure that your home is cleaned, maintained and paid for – whether you do the work yourself or pay someone else to do it. And if you’ve reached the stage where you feel overwhelmed or just think you could use your time or money better, it’s time to go smaller.
* You’re getting ready to retire. This is the usual reason for people to start thinking about downsizing, as they realise that they need to live in a smaller, cheaper property and cut their property taxes, insurance and home loan repayments in order to stretch their retirement savings. Security and personal safety also usually become an issue at this point, which is why many people choose to relocate to a gated estate or security complex.
* You want more freedom. Having worked hard and raised a family, many people see middle-age as the time when they should be free to travel more, indulge new interests, get a new qualification, or just spend more time with family and friends. And downsizing to a smaller, lower maintenance property can provide the financial and social freedom to do all of those things – especially if you have lived in your family home for many years and it is now valued at considerably more than you paid for it. 

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      While you may not have intended to place your home on the market, what do you do if you receive an unexpected offer on your home? In areas where demand outweighs the current supply of homes available to buyers, it is not unheard of to have buyers make offers on homes that aren’t on the market, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      If you are looking to sell your home this year, Debbie Justus-Ferns, divisional manager of Renprop Residential Sales, says that there are five crucial things to do before the ‘for sale’ sign goes up.
    • 01 Feb 2018
      February is the month of love and to celebrate we will be posting about all the things we love this month. Follow the #MyPropertyLoves hashtag to keep up with our favourite things.
    • 01 Feb 2018
      After saving up and months of searching for the right home, applying for a bond and patiently waiting for the keys to the front door, it is finally time to cross the threshold and move into your new home. Now what?
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us