12 considerations you need to be aware when you downsize to apartment living. When you downsize it often means your “forever” home so choose wisely.
- Declutter your life. Get rid of Clothes , Kitchen utensils , Cookwares, kitchen gadgets and garden tools that you never use. You are not going fit your contents from a 30squares home to an apartment of 150 sqm. Be realistic unless you want to pay for a house size apartment.
- Consider if you need an extra room for guest. If there are 2 of you is a 2 bed 2 bath enough or do you need that third bedroom. Prices for a 3 bedroom is considerably more than a 2 bed.
- Choose floor plans that have minimal wastage, wider corridors to accommodate your future needs and enough storage. Do you want bigger bedrooms or bigger living area. Do you prefer a bigger terrace or a smaller one. Bigger terraces do not add to body corporate
- Do your sums, you want a bigger apartment or one that is just enough. The bigger the apartment the higher the body corporate fees and council rates. Body corporate fees are allocated according to internal size of apartments.
- A boutique block or a bigger block. Boutique blocks often do not come with amenities so it would make sense to select a larger apartment.
- Apartments in a bigger development often comes with a variety of communal facilities. Decide what communal facilities would appeal to you. Lifestyle ones or Well-beings type like Yoga Room, Gym and Spa for example. Communal Dining facility is desirable if you want to host a dinner party for example. If exercise is your thing then a gym would be desirable. Bear in mind that the more facilities there are the higher the body corporate fees.
- Car accommodation; is this important to you? What type of car accommodation do you need, free standing, stackers or lock up garage type or none.
- Is future proofing important to you. Facility like Electric Vehicle Charging stations & car sharing.
- Pets- Do you have pets, is there a pet washing facility.
- Walkability Score, how important is that to you. Using the public transport and walking to amenities is a desirable aspect of a downsizer life if want to stop driving and owning a car. The reverse can also be true, downsizers may also want to live it up and have a nice car which need to be housed in a safe place.
- Ongoing cost. The fallacy that apartment living is more costly is really a myth. Most people who live in houses and who keep their houses in good condition with regular maintenance would tell it that is costly to upkeep. We are all familiar with run down and unkept properties in the burbs. When you live in an apartment the cost of the building upkeep and insurance is shared among unit holders. You may still want to have content insurance. A building is great with a well structured and well run body corporate which all unit holder have a right to participate. If you are fully retired you need to consider the outgoing cost, you need to have a capital base that will generate you enough income stream to afford you the ongoing cost which is compulsory in nature as oppose to when you live in a house. The worst thing you can do is to get in and find that in a few years that you are not coping with the cost.
- If you are involved with your grandchildren’s lives then you will have a few additional considerations such as child safety, activities for the kids, space for the kids and noise levels that could affect neighbours. A ground floor apartment maybe more suitable if you want to avoid elevator risks with small children. Choosing an apartment close to a park or those with kid friendly amenities could be an option.