A guide to downsizing

A guide to downsizing

27th Jul, 2018

The majority of people, at some point in their life, decide to downsize their property. This can be for many reasons, but the most common one is that your children have flown the nest.

The size of your family will determine how many spare rooms you are left with – a full house can quickly feel like a very empty one.

Not only can moving to a smaller home save you a ton of money, it can also free up some of the time you would usually spend on cleaning and maintenance.

Here are some simple steps to take towards making this a simple process…

When is the right time?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this, it is simply up to you – and it can be a difficult decision for a lot of people. A good way to know when this is, is when the demands of keeping your property and garden clean and tidy become too challenging.

It can be hard to come to terms with sometimes – especially if you are very fond of your house – but it can be the perfect opportunity to move to a new area and have a fresh start – or stay in the same postcode!

How do I make the most of selling up?

Selling your property comes with its own set of stresses, but there are many more factors to consider when doing this to go smaller. The place you will be moving in to will usually cost less than the current space you are living in, so it is important to work out exactly how much money you want to walk away with.

So, think carefully about estate agent fees, legal costs and stamp duty tax, as well as being realistic about the asking price of your house.

Can I make it sell quicker?

A few really quick and easy updates can help you get the most for your home. Repainting walls to a neutral colour, fitting new carpets in hallways, updating taps and replacing anything that looks cracked or worn, can make your space instantly feel more attractive.

How do I fit everything in my new home?

Downsizing means less storage for all of your belongings, so it creates the perfect opportunity to declutter. But do this before your house goes on the market – not only will it make your property look more spacious, but it will also mean you won’t have the big job of doing it when it’s sold.

Can I protect myself in case a sale falls through?

If a sale falls through, we all now know, that this can cause a lot of stress, time and money – something you especially want to avoid when you’re trying to save the pennies! Ask your solicitor or conveyancer if they offer Residential Abortive Transaction Insurance – for a small fee of around £60-£90 you will be covered if your sale goes off track.

How do I choose a smaller home?

Keep in mind that this is a house for your future, and it is likely that this could be the last property you ever buy. Try think practically – you may not always be able to move around as freely as the years pass. So that little cottage on the seafront with the winding staircase may not be the one for you – don’t let your heart rule your head.

Don’t settle for something that you know you won’t be happy with in a few years down the line either.  

And finally, here is a short checklist to ensure that your new home is right for you, and you have considered everything:

  • Is there enough space for you to be comfortable?
  • Is there room for friends and family if they come over?
  • Is there enough/too much garden?
  • Is the layout future proof? i.e. not too many stairs?
  • Is the location suitable if you are unable to drive?
  • Are there shops close by?
  • Are you close enough to family and friends?
  • Does the house need work and are you willing to do it?
  • Will you both be happy here?

We hope that this gives you piece of mind when downsizing. It can be a scary prospect, especially if you have lived in your property for years – but it can be a very positive chapter in your life!

If you’re looking for a smaller space, or want to put your home on the market get in touch with one of our helpful and reliable sales team.

View all posts by Amy Wray

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