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According to a recent report by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), more than 25% of Australians have moved into a smaller dwelling since turning 55, ultimately, reflecting a more simplistic, low-maintenance lifestyle.

We asked property manager Mark Ribarsky, for their expert tips on moving from a house to an apartment.

Choosing Your New Suburb

The AHURI found that a change in lifestyle was the largest contributing factor in downsizing for older Australians. So, does your current suburb offer you the lifestyle you desire?

The neighbourhood where you based yourself for work and raising children may not be the suburb you want to reside in forever, perhaps lacking the lifestyle amenities you seek as a retiree.

When you’re narrowing down potential location options, keep in mind how close you would like to be to friends, family, health services and other amenities.

Choosing the Right Apartment 

For downsizers, single-level living is at the top of the lift as managing stairs might prove to be a bit challenging in the future. Therefore, looking for buildings with lift access or garden apartment options.

Creating a checklist of your ideal number of bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchen size is a good idea to compile all of your “must-haves.”

If you are used to living in a north-facing house with big, bright rooms and a pleasant view, you’ll want to find an apartment that can replicate those features to some degree.

Real estate agent Jess Hamlen suggests looking out for the size of every room and storage provisions since those are the two elements that receive the most negative feedback from downsizers.

Preparing the Move 

While some downsizers are looking to purchase new furniture for when they move, majority are keen to bring over their existing furniture to their new home.

Mark’s expert tip is to employ the floor plan with measurements to ensure all your furniture will fit and what furnishings need to be replaced. Door sizes, hallway widths and the size of the lift to access your new apartment are also worth checking.

The move can also be a good opportunity to get rid of any belongings that you no longer need, particularly, if the storage space is limited in your new apartment. Begin this process as soon as possible to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Donating your surplus goods or reselling on marketplaces such as eBay or gumtree are better alternatives than throwing it away. Sentimental items can also be given to family or friends if it just won’t fit in your new place.

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