Time to sell the family home?

Time to sell the family home?

Time to sell the family home?

With children gone and things slowing down it may be time to downsize.

When you’ve got a family a big house with plenty of room may make sense. But these days a smaller place may suit you better.

Dreams of a change may be beckoning… you may be yearning to wake up to the smell of eucalyptus or doze off with an evening sea breeze.

And if you have a mortgage, smaller payments—or none at all—will help free up some cash for you.

Why should I sell?

You may be tossing and turning over the decision to sell. Before you decide, consider the motivations of other Australians[1]:

  1. Financial
    Buying a less expensive place means your home’s sale proceeds can free up money to invest, travel or boost your retirement income.
  1. Health
    You may want to live somewhere warmer for health reasons. Or be close to healthcare and specialist services. 
  1. Lifestyle
    Perhaps you’d like to live close to family or spend less time looking after your home. You may aim to travel without worrying about who’ll take care of the house.
  1. Opportunity
    The current property market may present a good time to sell—you may have found a house to buy. Current interest rates may be appealing if you plan to borrow. 
  1. A fresh start
    Selling may give you the fresh start you’re looking for. It may be time for a change and you’re ready to go.

What are the costs?

Sometimes selling can seem like the only logical choice but often, it’s not your only option. Downsizing may bring downsides and unforeseen costs—emotional, practical and financial.

There may be a lifetime of memories in your home and belongings that you and your family have collected. Then there’s the financial side of things—the costs of selling and moving, impacts on the kids’ inheritance and your pension entitlements.

Next steps

It’s possible that things may work out better in the long term—financially and in other ways—if you stay in your home and change things to fit you. Or selling may work out to be the best option for you.

To help you work through this have a look at our education module called Selling the family home to see how selling could fit in with your retirement plans. And our downsizing planner will help you make the right move, if moving’s what you decide to do.


Before making a final decision, it’s important to seek professional advice. As Financial Advisers we can act as a sounding board to ensure you are taking everything into consideration and can make the best possible choice. Call us today if you would like to discuss your current circumstances.


[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Social Trends, Catalogue 4102.0, March 2014. http://www.abs.gov.au/socialtrends

By AMP, originally published on 20/3/15 amp.com.au/insights