Are you thinking of downsizing?

Are you thinking of downsizing your home to finally pay off your mortgage and enjoy a more leisurely lifestyle in retirement? If it costs around the same as your net earnings from the sale of your old home – which it can easily do – simply buying a new apartment or unit in your local area may not actually free up enough cash for retirement. Once transaction costs (which include stamp duty) are included, you may even find yourself out-of-pocket.

This is where specialist over 50s and retirement properties should be considered, as they often offer an appealing lifestyle at a more affordable price point. You may even get away with not having to pay stamp duty.

New lifestyle resorts, vertical villages and retirement communities, with modern design features, more bedrooms, entertaining spaces and community facilities, now cater for active baby boomers. The price points vary, from low-budget, entry-level accommodation to luxury penthouses.

Amanda Graham, former lawyer and co-founder of specialist retirement property website says that buying these properties is different to other types of residential property, so it’s important to seek legal advice first.

“These legal differences shouldn’t detract from the benefits of buying a retirement property, but you do need to go in with your eyes open to make sure there are no surprises down the track.

“There are various types of legal titles and occupancy rights involved, and you need to consider all ongoing costs, including what fees and capital gain share will apply when the property is sold later on. These all vary considerably from one property to another.

“Retirement villages are often leasehold title, or sold under a licence arrangement, although some are strata title, company title or community title.  Other common types of over-50s lifestyle communities include manufactured home estates with a combination of home purchase sited on leased land.  One of the benefits of such arrangements is that the occupier may be eligible for Government rent assistance.”

If you’re considering downsizing and would like to find out more about the options available, visit

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Special Report on downsizing

Understanding that downsizing is the topic du jour for those seeking a comfortable life after