Strata living is a great opportunity for empty nesters to maximise the capital gains on the family home and enjoy a rewarding lifestyle.
While the 2016 Australian Census noted that people aged between 25 and 34 years are the largest demographic of apartment-dwellers at 21%, the number of over-50 empty nesters going from the family home to a more manageable townhouse or apartment is also growing.
Let’s look at some great reasons to downsize:
Strata communities – such as apartments, units, townhouses and townhomes require less money to maintain. Better still, the cost of the upkeep is shared amongst all owners.
Good neighbours can become good friends, as the theme song goes. There’s no shortage of new neighbours in a strata community. One of the advantages of downsizing is meeting other people with similar interests. In a well-chosen community, with plenty of nearby amenities, there are plenty of things to do with your new friends.
One of the concerns about downsizing is what will happen to beloved family heirlooms. Use this opportunity to give the next generation the chance to be custodian of family lore.
Strata living is less expensive than maintaining and running a house. In some places you can also take advantage of bulk utilities, saving you even more on electricity and water. The addition of community levies and fees are an important way to protect and preserve your investment for years to come.
One of the biggest challenges of moving from a house to an apartment is what to do with a lifetime’s accumulation of household goods. Space is often at a premium in apartments, so what you keep is just as important as what you give away.
Many items of furniture can have more than one function. For example, an ottoman can be a used as extra seating as well as coffee table. Some ottomans also provide additional storage. Under-bed storage can also maximise wardrobe space.
Don’t assume your current furniture will slot straight into your new apartment. Be sure to get accurate floor plans and measurements then make allowances for space around furniture to move about.
The fact of the matter is compromises will be required when you downsize. Do your research on where you’d like to live before you sell up. If you are moving cities or states, be familiar with the area and talk to some of the locals. Take a look at what amenities and social activities are within walking distance.
As an owner of strata titled property, you are automatically a member of the Body Corporate (or Owners Corporation if you live in Victoria and New South Wales) and you are jointly responsible for the running an upkeep of the building with your fellow owners.
SSKB is Australia’s leading strata management company specialising delivering expert advice and management to Owners Corporation and Body Corporate communities.