You’ve made the decision to downsize and one of the options your family has suggested is to move in with them or in to a granny flat attached to the home of a family member.

It might be a money-saving alternative to buying your own home but you need to weigh up the pros and cons before you make a life-altering decision like this one.

Questions to ask yourself before making a decision

Before you make the leap, you need to ask yourself some tough questions.

How well do I get on with the family?

If you have great relationships with your family, then you’ll have the benefit of company and support close by.

Am I ready to become an unpaid babysitter?

How willing are you to devote more time to caring for children when you’re needed? On the plus side, living next door to the grandkids offers wonderful experiences and opportunities for a grandparent or older relative.

Will my financial contribution help both me and the kids?

Moving in with the kids can be a fantastic way to get your child on the property ladder. The legal ownership arrangements can be complex but nothing a good solicitor can’t handle.

If I sell my home and live in a granny flat, will I be better off financially?

Freeing up equity locked up in your current home and living inexpensively should see you with more disposable income. However, this question is best answered by seeking advice from a qualified financial adviser.

Will moving into a granny flat affect my pension?

You will need to check the Australian Government website or with Centrelink once you’ve made detailed financial arrangements.

How much independence will I have? Do we need to establish boundaries?

We suggest that you establish boundaries from the start. These would include whether or not your family can just walk in whenever they please, who pays for what, the number of hours you’re available to care for the grandkids, transport and so on.

Do we need to remodel? Who pays?

Depending on your state of health, you might need to modify some areas in your granny flat, such as the bathroom and kitchen. Establish before you move in whether or not this is necessary and, if it is, who pays.

Family thoughts

Your family will likely wish to do their own soul-searching.

Will I feel overwhelmed by having a parent in the house?

We all know that parents can push our buttons like no one else can. If your parent is a button pusher, then maybe having them close by isn’t an option if you want to retain your sanity. On the other hand, a loving parent can provide wonderful support and comfort with unconditional love.

What financial contribution (if any) do I expect from my relative?

Financial contribution can be a tricky subject. Perhaps your parent or older relative has contributed to the purchase of your home and you can put measures in place. You might feel inclined to offer free rent and pay all the utilities but then find that paying for these is more burdensome than you’d expected.

Am I ready to become an unpaid caregiver?

Your parent or relative might be healthy now but what about the future? Are you willing to spend the time to take them shopping, to medical appointments, to church?

Will you need to engage outside help?

Should I sell my house and move into a granny flat?

LOCATION is experienced in helping people from all walks of life on the next step in their property journey. If you’d like advice on downsizing, please give us a call. We’re happy to advise and guide you.

Free downsizers guide

Michael & Rhiff Larkings

As a specialist team, focused on Caringbah South and the surrounding suburbs, we've been providing real estate services for over 20 years. With numerous real estate awards to our name, we're in the top echelon of licensed real estate agents in the Sutherland Shire. We regularly set new street, suburb and area sales records. Most importantly, we understand that real estate is a ‘people’ business where the development of relationships and trust, with both our clients and purchasers, is vital to achieving your all-important sales result.

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