There’s a diaspora of homeowners out there seemingly treading a different path. There’s a phenomenon where Empty Nesters, seniors, and pre-retirees are looking towards settling in smaller homes. An emerging trend, so to speak, it’s not only raising the bar towards traditional housing, but it’s also increasing the quality of life of those involved. What is it, and why is it making a scene?
On 19 March 2015, in line with the celebration of Seniors Week with Pittwater Council, Belinda Woolrych, Founder of Papillon Styling & Renovations and Author of Rightsize Your Home: The Empty Nester’s Guide to a Stress-Free Downsize, along with Jenny Simmonds, Financial Adviser and Director of Retire by Design, held two sessions for locals at Mona Vale Memorial Hall to talk about Rightsizing and how to achieve the rightsize lifestyle in five succinct steps.
Rightsizing vs. Downsizing
Downsizing is the process of making something smaller, while rightsizing is the process of converting to an appropriate or to an optimum size. In the housing market, downsizing only pertains to size without consideration of any lifestyle benefits. On the other hand, Rightsizing comes as a package: it converts a large home to a different, more suitable one through a systematic process, and it also allows the homeowner to enjoy an age-appropriate lifestyle – the Rightsize Lifestyle. How exactly?
Doing it [Rightsizing] right the first time is the guiding principle of every preparation. But preparation impacts more of the emotional aspect of the Rightsizer. This is the time when a property gets converted a more suitable space, and a lot of decluttering and updates, may need to be done! Throughout the process, there may be a struggle between keeping and letting-go of things. It is a challenging phase that needs a supportive, tried-and-tested system.
There are varieties to rightsizing. A Rightsizer can either consider converting a large home into a smaller one – even with a Granny Flat (or Glammy Flat as we call it!), moving to an over 55s, or a retirement community, or moving out to an entirely smaller home. The financial status of the Rightsizer eventually affects the Rightsizing option that is chosen. Because of this, professional guidance is a valuable resource in order to help the homeowner transition to a new phase without compromising the latter’s ability to maintain the kind of desired lifestyle.
Selling (or renting) a home is one of the two largest financial transactions in most people’s lives. The other one is buying a home! Maximising returns from selling a home may not be maximised without the aid of experts. There’s that dilemma about whether or not to sell or to buy first, and there’s the thing about renovating the property to achieve optimised value. With all of these things considered, the Rightsizer has to bring in a group of experts with various competencies to help him through.
Because the Rightsizer has already engaged a team of professionals, he can then get involved in planning over a lot of things. This includes renovating the property for value and appeal, organizing the trades, supplies, and services needed, and marketing the property. It may also even include moving from the original home to the Rightsized home and styling that new home for the homeowner to settle into. This stage requires time so careful planning is required.
Finally, the Rightsizing process comes full circle when everything’s set for the Rightsizer. This is the culmination of all works reflected in the plan, and the time when the Rightsizer will feel that everything has come into place. If the rightsizer chose to move to a new place, he can then start to settle in. If he chose to have his home converted, he can then enjoy the benefits of having tenants, and so on, and so forth. The finality of the Rightsizing process does not end here though.
The Rightsize Lifestyle
This is mainly the part where the Rightsizer begins to enjoy a more fulfilled lifestyle coupled with a healthier mind. Devoid of worries about mowing the lawn or fixing the roof, the Rightsizer can now devote more of his time in social and in civic settings, meeting people, and getting in touch with the community. More importantly, the gift of a peaceful mind is an improved quality of life.
If you’ve only come across Rightsizing now, or if you are considering it in the future, you can book for a free 15-minute consultation with Belinda Woolrych to get you started. If you’re a part of or a representative of an organisation, you can also contact Belinda to speak. Give her a call at 02 9986 0524, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.belindawoolrych.com.