Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living

Rightsize your life on Sydney’s North Shore

Written by Matthew Bourn
In 2020, the buzz word in real estate is ‘rightsizing’.

While downsizing is mainly focused on retirees, rightsizing is about finding the right property for your lifestyle.

Take a look at how to make rightsizing work for you and your partner or family.

Retirement rightsizing

In days gone by, selling the family home and moving into a retirement village meant buying a poky, impractical apartment. It’s no wonder seniors resisted leaving their family home; the original retirement villages were truly awful!

Now, seniors have far more active lifestyles and retirement property developers have finally caught on that a ‘rightsized’ home isn’t simply smaller.

An ideal ‘rightsizer’ property still has guest bedrooms for the grandchildren and overnight guests. It is light, bright and airy. If it’s not at ground level, it is accessed via a lift that opens to a secure car park. There will be ample storage and a kitchen with a practical design.

Modern retirement apartments have small touches like video intercoms for security, bench seats in the showers and handrails to make life easier as old age approaches. Emergency buttons might be installed on the walls, which ring directly through to a support service.

Rightsizers also look for a facility with a communal swimming pool and gym as well as spacious grounds. This means having access to luxuries without having to take responsibility for them.

Family rightsizing

While retirees need less space, growing families need more. Small children like to be near mum and dad. As they grow, having privacy and an area they can call their own becomes a necessity.

When your children switch schools and hobbies, you might also find your location or the home you live in is no longer suitable.

Rightsizer families might look for larger blocks if they have outdoorsy teens who want space to roam. They might seek out a place with a garage or studio for their budding Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Jackson Pollock.

Split-style homes with granny flat or a separate ‘wing’ can suit larger families, giving either the parents or the kids a place to escape to for some peace and quiet.

One advantage of purchasing this type of home is that when the kids move on you can downsize to one area of the home without moving. Lease a granny flat or add a kitchenette and turn the extra wing into AirBnb accommodation for extra income.

When the kids come to visit (or if they move home between jobs), they can reclaim the space as their own. Having extra space laid out in this way can also benefit young couples who want to stay with mum and dad while saving for a place of their own.

Rightsizing might also be an option for young families who are welcoming grandparents as residents. In Sydney’s tight property market, bringing two families together to live in one home can be a smart economic move. Having extra space means mum and/or dad are close and can offer free babysitting but they still have an area to call their own.

How to rightsize

When it comes to rightsizing, it’s all about your goals.

Write down some notes about your lifestyle and what you want to achieve. You might be a busy young couple who loves to travel. In this case, a lock-and-leave townhouse could be ideal.

Think about your must-haves and deal breakers. Create a list of nice-to-haves and think of size, location and features. A 100 per cent perfect property might not exist but there should be options that tick most of your boxes out there.

Once you have a plan, you might realise you can upgrade your existing home to accommodate it. Adding a storey or granny flat can be a solution, or you could even consider dividing your home into two separate residences (with council permission).

Chat to the McConnell Bourn team for suggestions about the right sized home to suit your life.

Need help with a North Shore property sale?

McConnell Bourn, an independent agency working across four offices, has proudly represented clients selling and managing homes across Sydney's North Shore for the past 20 years.
Find out more about what we can do for you by calling 02 9496 2777 or emailing

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