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Retirement Living: 5 things to consider before downsizing to an apartment

The thought of selling your family home and moving to a smaller space can bring on feelings of anxiety. But whether it’s a practical, budget-conscious move or a lifestyle change, downsizing can be a very positive move for retirees. 

In their Retirement Guide, Sorted.org.nz outline a long list of possible housing options, along with their pros and cons, for retirees to consider. Amongst the options of co-housing, retirement villages and how to remain in your own home they also mention downsizing to an apartment or townhouse.

As trusted property developers of over 25 years we are definitely biased towards apartments, having helped many buyers of retirement age downsize to live their best years in a Safari Group property. So, if you are thinking about moving into a more manageable space, have a read of our list of our five things to consider before downsizing to an apartment.

1. Reduced Living Costs

The first thing to consider when downsizing to an apartment is the potential for reduced living costs. Apartments, and smaller spaces in general, are much cheaper to heat in winter and cool in summer. New apartments are also well equipped with modern heating and cooling built-in that tend to be more energy efficient.

Downsizing to an apartment can often mean a reduction in your home and contents insurance, and council rates. As an apartment owner you do pay annual Body Corporate fees towards the management and maintenance of the building but these can reduce costs (and stress) in the long term by including insurance and services like rubbish collection and the cleaning of communal areas – which brings us to the next point.

Image credit: Augustus Park, Parnell.

2. Apartments are easier to maintain

Moving into a smaller space is going to mean less time spent cleaning and general upkeep of your home like mowing lawns, weeding, painting and other types of home improvement.

Love gardening? For many senior citizens, giving up their abundant vegetable garden is just not an option. But for those who are ready to spend less time gardening, or sadly are forced to through reduced mobility, apartments are perfect for large indoor plant collections. Even mini veggie gardens or potted flowers can flourish on the balcony, making you feel more at home.

Newmarket courtyard apartment

Image credit: Apartment courtyard at The Residences, Newmarket.

3. Convenience and accessibility

Open living spaces, large bathrooms and lift access make apartments the perfect option if you have reduced mobility. Even if you have no issues right now, you can relax in the knowledge that your home is already set up well for you, whatever happens in the future.

Apartment blocks are generally built in urban areas close to key amenities like public transport, supermarkets, medical services, cafes and restaurants – our apartment developments in Parnell and Ellerslie are no different. 

Augustus Park, Parnell overlooks Fraser Park on the cusp of Auckland city. It’s within walking distance to Countdown supermarket, Parnell Train station, bus stops, and of course the many casual and formal dining options that the area is so well known for including Britomart and Commercial Bay.

Specialist medical centres are located in the neighbouring suburbs of Newmarket and Remuera, a short drive or bus ride away.

The Residences in Ellerslie are located in the new Central Park complex which includes co-working spaces, food and beverage options, a gym and shared outdoor spaces to enjoy.

Our apartment development includes a shared rooftop garden, and cafe downstairs. It’s 2minutes walk to the train station, 5minutes to Ellerslie Village, close to the motorway on ramp and a short drive to the airport.

Even though apartments are superbly located, make sure you consider your loved ones and social networks before downsizing. If moving takes you far away from your social connections and support then all the amenities in the world won’t make your transition an easy one.

4. Security and flexibility

Downsizing to an apartment from a stand alone house can mean increased security for yourself and your belongings. Most complexes have swipe cards or pin codes to access the building and  sophisticated security cameras which also makes them great for ‘lock up leave’ situations like when you go on holiday.

Living in closer proximity with your neighbours can also give a sense of increased safety and security. Balconies and shared spaces, like the rooftop garden at our Ellerslie development, are also a great place to socialise with your neighbours or entertain guests if you need a bit more space.

5. Furry friends

And the final thing to consider before downsizing to an apartment –  there is no need to stress about whether your beloved pet can come with you! Our apartments, like most, have flexible pet policies, allowing for cats and small dogs.

Time to downsize?

Is downsizing to an apartment for retirement sounding like a good option? If you’d like to chat with one of our friendly sales team about our Ellerslie and Parnell apartments contact us here. 

And if you are after some more advice or information on what to think about before downsizing, or just general information to help you financially in retirement, here are some great resources:

Wise Up


Retirement Commission