As time passes, and we approach the end of the year, some families are transitioning into a different stage of their lives. Their children are matriculating, graduating university, getting married and moving out the family home and this period can bring about a lot of questions. When it comes to property the primary question usually is, "do we sell the family home and scale down?".
The trend years ago was for many people to remain in their homes almost to the point of being unable to afford it, but in the last few years we've noticed the trend is to scale down.
Although this moment might be blurred with a lot of sadness and happiness, identifying your living arrangements could seem unimportant until the time comes when you need to make that decision, so planning in advance is essential.
Making the right financial choice could be the biggest factor to consider. Taking into account that your family home might've been the single largest investment you've made, and you don't want all those years of paying off a bond to be poured down the drain.
Scaling down doesn't mean you need to move into a home with less value just because you need less space. There are many options that allow you to make a sound financial decision whilst catering to your needs. The dawn of lifestyle estates have proven great return on investment properties and offer many people wanting to scale down the perfect opportunity to do so. Estates with one or two bedrooms will always be in high demand, and the lifestyle options like gyms, entertainment areas and high security features are added advantages aimed at creating convenient lifestyle choices at an arm's length.
Suburb choice is another option that needs to be taken into account. When you bought your family home twenty years ago a lot of areas were still underdeveloped. Selecting the right suburb, maybe with higher demand and closer to amenities, but only a smaller property, ensures the new home you buy has a longer more sustainable lifespan.
Lastly, we've noticed the trend to rent out the family home whilst you move into a property that suits your new needs more appropriately. This way your rental income can assist in paying the new bond without you having to fork out more money. In the same breath you might find that your rental income is more than your bond repayments, not only securing your investment but also providing you with extra income.
Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer