B31 - A Smaller Home and/or Garden
Moving to a smaller dwelling and/or garden could be the lifestyle
change or the 'dream home' you are seeking.
Bigger is not necessarily better. A smaller home can be cost-effective to buy, as well as easy to maintain and manage.
Smaller homes come in several housing types, including stand-alone dwellings, semi-detached, townhouses, flats and apartments. Sometimes options such as apartments and flats
have the advantage of being located close to shops and other services.
Moving to a smaller place can be a challenge. To help identify the optimal size of home for you, think about:
- The most important things that you want and need from your living space.
- The amount of space that you actually use now, and whether your space needs will change in future.
- List your 'must-haves' - the things that you need to bring to your new home. Think about the space you will need for those items.
- Dwelling design - is there enough storage for your needs? Do the room sizes meet your needs? For example, you may want a larger living area and be prepared to compromise on
the size of the bedrooms. Open plan may give you more useable space. A small dwelling that is well oriented for light and sun will feel more spacious.
- Location - is your choice close to services?
- A small home may be less expensive to buy, although price depends on many factors including the age and type of dwelling, as well as location.
- Provided it has been well-looked after, a small home should be easier and cheaper to maintain.
- Often, a small home is less expensive to run, because it is cheaper to heat and maintain. Rates and insurance may also be less.
- Less time is spent on housework.
- There is less temptation to accumulate 'stuff' (although that might be a downside for some!).
- Smaller, newer properties are often difficult to find. The average house size has grown considerably since the 1980s - the average size of houses built since 2010 is
205 square metres.
- A smaller property may not be cheaper than the home you sell, especially if the small property is new or in a sought-after area.
- A small house and/or garden may end up being too small for you. Think about whether it will allow you to do the activities you want to do in your home, such as have
visitors to stay, keep a pet and enjoy hobbies.
What do I need in order to take this option?
You need the funds and the right home to be available. Mortgage-free or small-mortgage homeowners whose home has a high value have more flexibility to find a smaller home that
fits their needs well. However, home-owners who have high mortgages or low-value homes will have fewer choices.
Could this option limit my future choices?
Maybe, it depends on the equity you have in your current home and the potential equity generated in your new home.
For more information