Forget upgrading or downsizing — rightsizing is the new trend as home buyers swap large maintenance-hungry homes for spacious high-end apartments.
The lifestyle shift is proving popular for traditional downsizers, but entrepreneurs and families are also following suit.
We asked the experts what you need to know when rightsizing your real estate. Here are five things you should consider.
1. Your spending power
As a property owner, you’ve likely built up equity in your home, which is a huge advantage during the rightsizing journey.
Selling your family home will unlock your equity and could fund the purchase of your new property in full, according to REA Group economist Anne Flaherty.
“Apartments are typically cheaper on average compared to houses, so on a comparable price point, you can get something much more luxurious in the apartment market,” Flaherty says.
In some cases, buyers might have cash to spare to finance a dream holiday or day-to-day living, she adds.
Alternatively, if your family home has rental appeal, a smart option is to refinance and hold onto it as an investment property.
This allows buyers to purchase an additional property “without having to dip into their savings”, Flaherty explains.
“It gives you purchasing power without losing the value of the asset and also not losing the possibility of future capital gains.”
2. Design and layout
Rightsizing is not about trading your home for a shoebox — it’s about finding the perfect space for you.
“Rightsizers can range from being retirees, families or even young professionals; the group is very broad, so the right floor plan is really important,” Caydon sales and marketing director Steve Williams says.
“They usually want two-to-three-bedroom apartments that have house-like proportions — especially in the kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces, with a laundry and storage for the golf clubs, skis and various other items.”
The diverse needs of the rightsizer buyer is encouraging developers to focus on design flexibility rather than the “cookie-cutter approach”, Williams says.
3. Lifestyle perks
One of the biggest drawcards of rightsizing is the exclusive facilities on offer.
“Apartments provide access to amenities and features that you wouldn’t have in a normal home,” Williams explains.
“The apartment itself has to be a good size, but people also want access to great amenities like pool decks, dining rooms and barbecue areas that they can share with friends.”
“At HOME By Caydon, in the rooftop pool, it’ll feel like you can reach out and touch the city, and the sun sets that way too, so the backdrop is pretty amazing,” Williams says.
A rooftop bar, spa, outdoor cinema, playground, dog run, yoga lawn, state-of-the-art gym and Pilates pavilion are also among the complex’s luxe offerings.
Friends and family who visit are also welcome to stay, with hotel-style guest rooms available.
Williams says these types of facilities not only have long-term appeal but are also fundamental in creating a sense of family and community for residents.
When it comes to location, residential research shows rightsizers want to be close to the city, in walkable suburbs with activity hubs, and within easy reach of cafes and shopping.
This makes inner city suburbs like the upmarket area of Alphington appealing for rightsizers.
Situated 6.5km northeast of the CBD on the Yarra River, it offers a short commute, bushwalks, boat access, bike paths, and cafes.
It’s a challenging market to crack for house buyers, with REA data showing the median price for stand-alone property hit $1.85 million in June, with a year-on-year growth rate of 8.19%. In contrast, units in the area far more affordable, with a median price of $670,000.
Buyer incentives are common in new builds and rightsizers should take the time to explore what kind of deals are on the table.
Appliance upgrades and gift cards are typical, but some offers can add tens of thousands of dollars, Williams says.
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