Downsizing is all about moving to a property that better suits your needs or time of life.
A savvy move at the right moment can save you money and free up more time and cash to do the things you love.
Many downsizers take advantage of equity in their current home, one that they may have lived in for years. They may have just about cleared their mortgage, if not paid it off completely.
All going well, the property will have increased in value, so if you are moving somewhere smaller you will likely have reserves of cash to put down.
Being a cash buyer gives you a big advantage in the market. You can respond to sellers quicker than those prospective buyers trying to arrange a mortgage and you can often avoid the stress of a property chain and agreements falling through.
Downsizing can offer a greater quality of life. While it can be emotive to think of moving out of a long-standing family home and leaving behind treasured memories, it can be a positive step.
Of course, changing life circumstances are often the determining factor in a decision to downsize. It can be positive, but on the other hand, people do reluctantly move to smaller homes for financial reasons, because they are facing bereavement or family breakdown, or they have declining health. Many downsizers will be ‘empty nesters’ going through a host of mixed emotions as their children grow up and move on.
The best advice is always to consider carefully what your needs are before you actively look for a new home.
At this time of huge pressure on household budgets and the cost of living, downsizing may well be a choice driven by energy bills, mortgage rates and the other costs of property upkeep. Understanding the full financial picture is essential.
Leaving a bigger home for a smaller one doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move out of the area. You may have family, friends or neighbours you want to be in contact with. On the other hand, perhaps you want a fresh start in a completely new location.
Also, while you may want a smaller home, does the same go for the garden? A smaller space will mean less of a commitment than you currently have but perhaps you actually want a bigger garden because you love gardening and now have the time to finally indulge your passion.
If you are at a point in your life where managing the stairs is becoming difficult, you may want to go for a bungalow or a ground-floor flat.
One issue you will certainly have to sort is the amount of possessions you have. As there is inevitably less space in a smaller home, you won’t be able to take everything with you. Meeting this challenge positively, you can view downsizing as a golden opportunity for a thorough clear-out of items you no longer need. And you don’t have to throw it all in a skip. Some things you will naturally want to take with you, others you can sell, donate to charity or give to family or friends.
If you are thinking of downsizing to a new home, talk to us. We can guide you through the whole process, beginning with a detailed expert valuation of your current home, advice on how to market it and help with your property search. For more information on our support for sellers, visit our sell pages.
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