Six reasons why Australian seniors sell their homes for a better lifestyle

Six reasons why Australian seniors sell their homes for a better lifestyle

Australian property has enjoyed impressive capital growth since the 1970s. If you’ve owned your property for more than 15 years, chances are you’ve built a sizeable amount of equity in your home.

For many Australian seniors, selling the home they’ve lived in for many years can be a way to free up some funds to enjoy their later life. Often, older Australians find the home they’ve lived in for many years no longer complements the lifestyle they want to enjoy anyway.

Before you read any further, it is imperative that you consult with your financial adviser or accountant and legal adviser before making any significant financial decision.

At RCA Villages, our sales team enjoy conversation after conversation with seniors that are exploring their retirement living options. One of the key topics discussed is why they’re looking at one of our retirement villages as an accommodation option - what are the triggers for making a change?

Here are six of the main reasons we commonly hear as to why someone in their later years is considering selling their home to prioritise their quality of life.

We love gardening but there’s simply too much of it.

In Victorian suburbs such as Mount Eliza, Mornington, Berwick, Pakenham, Werribee and Ferntree Gully, the house blocks purchased in the 1970s were either acreage, one acre, half acre or quarter acre lots. Today, the median Victorian land size for a residential property is 639 sqm.

Maintaining a quarter acre plus block well requires good knees, and a lot of spare time. We find that while many Victorian seniors love gardening, one of their main reasons for considering moving is that they are concerned about being able to maintain such a large garden over the coming decades.

The ongoing maintenance and upkeep is cramping our lifestyle.

The cost of maintaining a family sized property can be exorbitant, particularly if the property is more than 15 years old. The commitment to ongoing repairs such as replacing guttering, internal and external painting, and fence maintenance can get in the way of other life priorities such as spending time with family and friends, enjoying a regular sport or activities, or travelling.

When it comes to budgeting, the general rule of thumb for the annual cost of maintenance of your home each year is to put aside 1% of the current value of your home.

The median house price in Melbourne is currently sitting at over $850,000 (Domain Quarterly House Price Report June 2018). So, if your home is worth a more conservative $650,000 you should be putting aside $6,500 every year for maintenance costs. That equates to $125 per week to cover basic maintenance costs. Of course, there are then the big-ticket items that come up such as plumbing, re-wiring your home, or replacing your roof.  As an example, a roof replacement could cost anywhere between $6,000 to $30,000 depending on the construction of your home and the type of roofing.

Importantly, the commitment of upkeeping a larger-than-necessary property is time consuming and can take you away from a more leisurely lifestyle.

Selling your home and moving into a lower maintenance option, will give you more time every week and put money back into your budget.

Our neighbourhood is unrecognisable.

This is a common observation shared with our team. Over time, the demographics of streets and suburbs shift. Where once you may have known half of the people in your street, children grow up, and careers and other life changes move people on.

As households change so does the neighbourhood. Living among a neighbourhood of less familiar relationships can change the appeal of a location and change the way you live in your location. For example, where you may once have had to drive to access retailers or services, the zoning may have since changed and you may have mixed businesses around you, changing your ease of movement around your locality.

Feeling like your neighbourhood has less of an inclusive community feel than it used to, could be reason enough to consider selling up and moving to a more compatible community, or closer to family and friends.

We want to feel more secure.

Security can mean different things to different people, but it is a common point of discussion when talking about reasons for selling up and moving on.

Sadly, one partner may be unwell, and the other partner wants the security of settling into a new community in anticipation of losing their life partner.

Others are looking for the security that comes with living closer to peers, family, friends and as part of a community of people at a similar stage of life.

For others, it is about feeling more vulnerable that in more youthful days and wanting the added security of living somewhere that offers better physical security, well planned lighting or just the security of moving to an area with a better reputation for personal safety.

We want to live in a better location that suits our lifestyle.

As we move through life stages, our accommodation needs, and lifestyle priorities shift.  Our sales consultants often speak with people who are researching into their housing options in a specific locality because they want to live closer to family and friends.

At the same time, once adult children are independent and creating their own life stories, the four-bedroom home with multiple living areas and a swimming pool may just start feeling like hard work, as mentioned earlier.

The benefit of being close to schools and sporting grounds may have lost significance. If you no longer need to be within an easy commute to your place of employment, your location options have just broadened. As people transition into retirement, lifestyle rather than necessity becomes more of a priority.

We want to free up some of our equity to enjoy our retirement years.

For all the other five reasons, it can often simply make good financial sense to cash in on the equity that a longer-term property has delivered for you.  Our team are mostly having conversations with seniors who are looking for somewhere to live that complements their lifestyle priorities, and that costs less to buy into than what they can sell their home for.

Selling their home then gives them an injection of extra retirement funds to enjoy their later years, while freeing up their time to enjoy the lesser responsibilities that retirement can bring.


Charting Transport – Are Melbourne’s suburbs full of quarter acre blocks?

McCrindle – 40 years of change: 1975 to today

Archicentre – Cost guide

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of a move to a modern retirement village around Melbourne. Booking a tour at one of the RCA Villages around Melbourne can be a great place to start. Visit the website of the village in the region you would like to visit for contact details.

South East Melbourne

Mornington Peninsula

Western Melbourne 

Ask about RCA Villages no deposit reservation process on new villas.

Your exclusive invitation to our wine and cheese launch of the Norman 2 villa display

Your exclusive invitation to our wine and cheese launch of the Norman 2 villa display

Prawn, strawberry and poppy seed salad

Prawn, strawberry and poppy seed salad