Buying or building advice for seniors

You may be living in a home you own or have a mortgage on, but wish to sell and buy or build another one. This might be because you want a smaller garden, to downsize your house or you want to change location.

Downsizing can provide many benefits:

  • You can buy a newer home which incorporates liveable design including hob-less showers, single level flooring with no steps etc. which can facilitate aging in place;
  • The home may be on a smaller block reducing the amount of gardening;
  • Because the home is newer it potentially reduces the amount (and cost) of home maintenance;
  • It can lead to lower running costs for the home – using less water on gardens, the home is easier to heat and cool, you are not having to heat or cool empty rooms; and
  • It can allow you to enjoy an easier lock-and-leave lifestyle to go travelling.

One of the options to assist you to stay living independently in your own home is to purchase a smaller, age appropriate home that can adapt to your increasing needs as you age. This home may be new and on a smaller block of land, decreasing the burden of gardening and maintenance. Timing of the move is critical as, ideally, you should make the move when your health is good and you can face the task of packing up and moving home.

Stories in the media indicate a move like this may provide a financial windfall, with the new property costing less than the value of the home you are selling. However, many seniors report that it is difficult to find a suitable downsizing option that represents good value for money, particularly once you factor in the changeover costs which can eat into any profit on the sale.

Before making a final decision or signing any contracts to sell, buy or build:

  • Know what you want and can afford;
  • Do your research and shop around;
  • Ask lots of questions;
  • Get advice; and
  • Talk to people you trust.

Information on building and buying

Fact sheet

Detailed information from the seniors housing guide. 

Buying or building fact sheet


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