With Adelaide property values experiencing a record high, many people are taking advantage of the market and choosing to offload assets or downsize.
Director of Residential Sales at Toop&Toop, Bronte Manuel says while we’re seeing a lot of downsizers excited by the market, there is also an element of fear as they struggle to find the next place to go that fits their lifestyle.
“If I was wanting to downsize in the next two years, I would immediately start looking for that property now because there’s a lot of people in the same boat as you.”
“We had the recipe for a really strong property market without Covid, we were trending upwards because of our affordability [in SA],” Manuel says.
“But Covid has emphasised that people were relying on external factors of cafés, cinemas, sports nearby, now it has gone back to that age-old adage that home is where the heart is.”
Organisation experts and owners of Howard Storage World Mile End, Dave and Briar Strutton, see downsizing as an opportunity to refocus and define a desired lifestyle.
The Strutton’s have grown their home storage business over 14 years and run workshops to educate people about downsizing and tackling storage challenges.
While finding your new home and going through the moving process can be challenging, the Strutton’s say planning 12 months ahead for the big move is beneficial.
“Downsizing can be confronting, even traumatic. By planning and allocating time to assess possessions, people can have a positive experience by surrounding themselves with items that honour the past and support their future,” Briar says.
Principal Director of Ray White North Adelaide, Rachel Lawrie says that while downsizers are taking advantage of the market, the way they’ve reacted to Covid is a shift from the norms seen previously.
“What I am seeing is downsizers aren’t necessarily going right down like we traditionally saw, they’re still looking for a little bit of space so they can have family or friends come and stay, those sorts of things,” Rachel says.
“They also need to plan ahead around what they want for their lifestyle, whether it needs to be near services or near family and working out that house around it.”
When finding a new home, Lawrie agrees prioritising, along with evaluating furniture and possessions, is important because the biggest hiccup downsizers usually find is what to let go of.
“Preplanning what they’re taking with them to their future home is exceptionally important,” Rachel says.
“If they know exactly what they want, they can look at floor plans and things and say definitely whether that house is suitable for them.”
Once you know what you’re going to take with you, the next challenge becomes fitting it all in.
The Strutton’s agree once you’ve found your new home, asking for a floor plan with measurements, or taking photos to visualise its storage space is beneficial. These will be helpful aids to the furnishing and decorating process.
Some changes the couple recommend you can make include installing shelves or retrofitting drawers to existing cupboards. These additions allow for greater function, and when paired with containers that double as décor you can improve the way you access and view your belongings.
If it can’t be classified as loved or needed, then it’s time to think about donating or tossing the item, the Strutton’s advise, reaffirming that the de-cluttering process is best started early.
“If you have a house full of stuff, start the de-clutter process now, it can be cathartic and help you identify how you want to live the next stage of your life,” Briar says.
Another benefit of decluttering is being able to save on removalist costs from transporting unwanted items from one home to the next.
The couple recommends weighing up whether it’s worth the cost to move an item that’s been unused for years and if it’s a “no”, it has got to go.