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7 Tips for Downsizing in Style

By George Hadgelias

There comes a stage in life when you start thinking about finding a place that best suits the next chapter of your life.

Downsizing is an important milestone. On the surface, it’s about buying a more manageable home, but it’s also about finding a place that matches the lifestyle you want now and that will suit your needs for years to come.

We spoke to the experts to find out some of the top tips for downsizing in style.

1. Minimise maintenance

Life after downsizing is meant to be relaxed. Cutting down on maintenance-intensive activities is one of the most important factors, says Jodie Prosser, Cedar Woods Retirement Specialist.

“People want to enjoy their weekends, not be cleaning out gutters or maintaining a large garden,” Jodie says.

This is why brand-new developments, with carefully considered apartments are especially appealing to the downsizer demographic, Jodie explains.

2. Look for great amenities

Less maintenance means more time for lifestyle. Picking a place with the perfect combination of amenities becomes even more important when downsizing, advises Anne Flaherty, economist.

“Amenity is very appealing to people, but you want amenity that suits your lifestyle,” Anne says.

“So, the first thing that you have to think about is how you enjoy spending your spare time and what amenities will suit your needs.”

One of the biggest drawcards of downsizing to a new development is the exclusive facilities on offer.

Imagine an oasis-style pool that’s warm year-round or a state-of-the-art gym a short stroll from your front door.

Plus, there are also communal spaces to consider, outdoor barbecue areas and maintained gardens.

3. Be mindful of location

Location, location, location — it might be a cliche, but it’s for a reason.

Anne says while great shops, restaurants and coffee spots can add a lot to your everyday lifestyle, it’s not just about what’s at your doorstep.

You should also consider transport and access to the CBD so you can easily head into town to visit a gallery, brunch with friends or go to the theatre.

4. Find a community, not just a home

Of course, it’s not just all about the activities and amenities in your area.

You also should consider the social scene, suggests Mark Pivovaroff, Cedar Woods Development Director.

“People want to live with like-minded people,” Mark says. “When they’re outside their doors, they absolutely want to mingle.”

Plus, finding a great community also makes a big difference to your sense of safety and security.

Look for a development offering community-building programs to encourage connection, he explains. It could be a dog-walking group or planned regular outings for dinner or gallery visits

Plus, some developments go the extra mile to ensure their residents are living life to the full.

“At Bloom Glenside, we’ve included a concierge service,” Mark says. “We will have a team onsite during the week, we’ll work with residents and we’ll start to find out what sort of community events and services they like.”

5. Choose a long-term option

Smart property selection will ensure the place you choose will continue to be suitable for years to come.

“It’s about ageing in place,” Mark says.

“Our apartments look like normal apartments, but they’re roughly 10% bigger.

“They’ve got wider hallways and in the kitchen the island is further from the bench topping. Cupboards will have drawers and there will be extra storage to make downsizing a breeze, effectively future-proofing your home.”

The homes at Bloom Glenside are designed by award-winning architects Hames Sharley.

The light-filled apartments, boasting luxury finishes that reflect the prestige and elegance “so when you walk through, you won’t recognise the difference”, he says.

6. Look for great views

Of course, an excellent outlook takes life to another level, Mark adds.

“Everyone wants to have an outlook from their apartment,” he says.

“It can be the beach or the hills. Something that you can sit on the balcony with your friends and look at.”

He adds that Bloom Glenside is a fantastic example of a well-thought-out location.

“It is located across from a heritage building, so it has a really unique outlook, which is just beautiful to look at,” Mark says.

“Plus, it’s in a prime position in the inner eastern suburbs, so you can easily walk to Adelaide city.”

7. Own it 100%

A lot of developments made for over-55s come with a catch.

Often the operator retains part ownership of the residence, with ongoing fees and charges.

“People definitely have a concern about this old-style of management costs,” Mark says.

“You might buy an apartment for $1 million and live there for 10 or 15 years, and by the end, it’s worth double.”

But for the deferred management fees, the operator will keep 30 to 40% of the uplifted value when you sell. That’s a big cost at the end of the day.

“That’s why we’re really excited to be bringing Bloom Glenside, the first of its kind in South Australia, to the market,” Mark adds.

At Bloom Glenside, residents own their homes outright and only pay an annual strata fee, comparable with most apartment buildings in Adelaide.

But they still have access to additional services, including cleaning, laundry, meal delivery, pet help and home health care through the Bloom concierge service and Glenside App on a user pays basis.

So, it will support your lifestyle now and well into the future.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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