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Real estate guru Rich Harvey's top tips for downsizing your home

Downsizing your home doesn’t have to mean you’re downgrading.

Empty-nesters will know the feeling – your kids have moved out and you're keen for something smaller, with just enough space for yourself, or you and a partner.
Perhaps you want to cut down your mortgage, finally live in your dream suburb or just have less space to take care of.
It's important to remember downsizing your home doesn't have to mean you're downgrading – most people just want to move to a nicer area or property to enjoy their retirement years.
Buyer's agent Rich Harvey from popular TV show Buying Blind has years of experience helping people make the transition to their dream home. Here he shares his top dos and don'ts for downsizing your family home.

Do:

List your wants and needs
A large portion of people aged over 40 move to a new area that offers more to do in the way of activities and shops. "Create a list of the most important aspects of your new home," advises Rich.
"Consider access to shops, transport, medical facilities, friends and recreational amenities, as well as the features of the home you most desire."
Start the downsizing process early
"If you've lived in the same house for 30 years, there is sure to be plenty of 'stuff' breeding in the cupboards that you don't need any longer – start decluttering and recycling early," advises Rich.
Seek professional opinion
"Appraise the value of your chosen property carefully before making any offers," says Rich.
"Research recent comparable sales and keep a close watch on the market and auction results." After all, you don't want to end up forking out more than you really have to!

Don't:

Let emotions get in the way
Of course you might absolutely adore a property and be emotionally invested, but it's important to remain as level-headed as possible during the downsizing purchase process. "Don't make an emotional and rushed decision and then pay too much," insists Rich.
"Seek independent advice and work with a buyer's agent, who can help you search and negotiate, and will remove the emotion from the process."
Miss the minor details
"Don't skimp on getting building or body corporate searches complete before you agree to a purchase contract and get locked into an undesirable situation," says Rich.
Be a reckless bidder
It might seem obvious, but take care not to go over your limit at an auction or let emotion drive your bidding.

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