Downsize Without Compromising Lifestyle

Compromising on space does not mean compromising on lifestyle – especially for those looking to downsize to the Inner West!

This trend has become increasingly popular in recent years. Retirees are packing their bags, moving out of the family home, and relocating to apartments. Once the kids have grown up and moved out, empty nesters see little point in continuing to occupy a large, mostly empty, house.

Downsizing can also make financial sense. Retirees can access much of the cash that is currently tied up in a large asset. The cash can be used to boost super nest eggs or to fund other investments that will provide a stable income through the retirement years. Recently, the government announced measures to enable downsizers to make large contributions up to $300,000, or $600,000 per couple, to their super funds.

Many downsizers relocate from larger suburban houses, further out from the city, to apartments in areas like the Inner West.

The limited space in an apartment may require some adjustment. However, the range of facilities in new developments, as well as the Inner West’s enviable lifestyle and close proximity to the city, more than compensate for reduced space.

Some of the considerations for downsizers include:


This should be one of the most important considerations for any downsizer. Proximity to local shops, public transport and medical services all need to be considered. Downsizers should also bear in mind that living in an apartment will also likely mean not having a large backyard. Therefore, access to good local parks, or other recreational services, should also be a priority. Thankfully the Inner West is blessed with an abundance of local parks, bayside walkways, and facilities such as public pools, many of which offer recreational activities such as aqua-aerobics. Downsizing does not mean being less active.

Selecting the right community

Social engagement as a retiree is crucial. Downsizing to a new suburb may mean moving slightly further away from family and friends. Therefore, a strong sense of community is an important consideration to avoid social isolation. Investigate the range of social and communal activities in any suburb under consideration. Local clubs, such as an RSL, can be great places to meet new people and often arrange many activities for members. Councils also often run courses for seniors that can be a great place to meet new people.

Consider what is really important

Reflect on what is most important in life and look for an apartment that will ensure these things do not need to be compromised. For example, some retirees may enjoy cooking and entertaining. So, an apartment should have a large kitchen and dining space. For others, having the grandkids sleep over may be more important. So, one or two spare bedrooms would be essential. Apartments have limited space and require compromises. However, it is important that the most important aspects of life can still be enjoyed even in a smaller home.


Over a lifetime, most people accumulate a lot of items that are not really necessary. When downsizing, a lot of these items will need to be either sold off, given to family, or thrown out. Try to see this process as cathartic. In a smaller apartment, the old furniture from the family home may not fit. This could be a good opportunity to acquire some fresh furniture – all part of creating a fresh, new beginning.

Choosing the right building

Selecting the right apartment building is important. A northerly or easterly aspect to maximise natural light will make the space much more desirable. Take into consideration the amount of common space, as this usually helps facilitate more interactions between residents. However, some facilities such as pools or gyms, may not get much use but may add significantly to body corporate levies. Make sure there is elevator access between the apartment and the parking levels.

By taking into consideration these key points, downsizing from a house in the suburbs to an apartment in centrally located areas such as the Inner West, need not require any compromise in lifestyle. In fact, it could result in an enhanced lifestyle that more than makes up for the loss of space.

If you’re looking to downsize to an apartment in the Inner West, speak with us at Devine Real Estate. We are the experts in the local area and have many high-quality apartments that will tick all the boxes for those seeking to downsize.

Steven Devine 
Devine Real Estate 
T: 02 8789 0217 | M: 0419 202 930

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