Upsides to downscaling

14 October 2021 | Life Style

Lockdown restrictions caused many to seek out more space after being confined to their homes. While this presents a good option for some homeowners, others may benefit more from what they stand to gain by downscaling.
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, explains that there are many perks to living in smaller spaces.
“Living in a smaller space is far more cost effective. Not only will the monthly instalments on a smaller home be more affordable, but owners will also save on monthly rates accounts and maintenance costs. Larger homes often mean running up larger water and electricity bills than in a smaller home,” Goslett says.
“Smaller homes also mean fewer spaces to clean and less space in which to store unnecessary items. In a smaller home, every square metre is essential. This also means that every room is highly functional, which lessens the chances of having unused rooms in the home,” he adds.
Although having too little space can prove taxing on the household’s relationships, having too much space can be equally challenging. “One thing lockdown taught us is the importance of human connection. In the busyness of everyday life, finding the time to connect as a family can be challenging enough without having to find each other spread across the various rooms in the home. Smaller homes force more interaction which minimises the chance for families to live past one another, as so easily can happen when living in large homes with multiple rooms,” says Goslett.

Closer to nature
Many homeowners have also learnt the value of living in a suburb that is closer to nature rather than to the office. “Following the initial hard lockdown, many have chosen to move away from the main business hubs and relocate to the country in search of a more relaxed lifestyle. By purchasing a smaller home, one might be able to afford to live in perhaps a more desirable suburb and enjoy a higher quality of life without being cash-strapped by bond repayments,” Goslett suggests.
Ultimately, Goslett encourage homeowners to find a home that suits their unique needs. “Property is one of the most expensive purchases a person can make. To ensure that these purchases work for you instead of against you, buyers need to view this decision as a medium- to long-term investment. For the best chance of securing a good profit upon selling, homeowners should hold onto a property for roughly five to ten years. This means they need to be sure they can live within the home for a number of years before going ahead with the purchase,” he advises.
For those who are unsure about what their next property purchase should be, Goslett recommends setting up an appointment with a RE/MAX agent to discuss the possibilities. “It can be a lot easier to make up your mind after viewing a few options in person. Be honest and upfront with your real estate agent and let them know that you would like to explore various options of both smaller and larger homes. They can then walk you through a few properties and provide you with some valuable guidance along the way,” Goslett concludes.

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