Ten Tips For Downsizing

Downsizing is a word many people dread, the children have flown the nest, the expansive space is costing more in utilities than you were once able to comfortably afford but you realise the caveats of downsizing might mean sacrificing some of the finer things in life; entertaining guests, large dinner parties and the space to store everything and anything you own to name a few. However, this doesn't necessarily have to be the case. Fair enough, you may need to have a bit of a clearout but otherwise, you'll find yourself climbing over mountains of belongings just to get to the kitchen of your new home.

It isn't anything to frown upon, moving into a slightly smaller home that's more suitable for your needs. In fact, Prudential carried out some research and found that over 3.9 million people over the age of 55 intend to downsize for the convenience of a smaller home, rather than the financial incentives it comes with.

The research also found that 47% of over-55 homeowners plan to move to cheaper homes in later life and that on average they expect to raise around £112,000 in equity by downsizing. Only 13% said they could not afford to retire unless they downsized whereas 74%. said that convenience was the main reason for downsizing.

The Home Owners Alliance list several reasons why you might want to downsize and amongst them are:

  1. Equity release,
  2. Reduced outgoings (savings on utilities and other bills), and;
  3. Reduced maintenance.


Follow these tips to make downsizing just that little bit easier:

    1. Do your homework, it's important to know how much it is going to cost to buy your new home and how much you'll likely be able to sell your current home for; you may be interested in letting your property out to earn an income to supplement your cost of living, in which case, feel free to get in touch and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.
    2. Start De-Cluttering, you won't be able to take it all with you and the likelihood is, if you were to let out the rooms, you may have to clear out your valuables and items of sentimental value.
    3. Accept help from anybody who is offering it and give things away if you don't need them anymore; this saves on removal costs (including your own petrol and dumping fees if you're doing it yourself).
    4. Use charity shops, eBay and recycling centres and the tip to really get rid of the rubbish you don't need or want; what you think is a tatty old table that nobody wants might be a student's low-cost desk in their temporary student accommodation.
    5. Anticipate what you may need to buy for your new home and what built-in features you want to have already in your new home.
    6. Start looking at properties in your desired area and gain an idea of the sort of purchase price you expect to pay so that you can work out a proper budget.
    7. Find a reputable estate agent who will give you an accurate valuation and guide you through the process and put your property on the market quickly and can assist you with your budget if you're struggling.
    8. Arrange for a deep clean and style your home, if you choose to enlist our services, we can arrange for our partners to do this so you don't have to. By cleaning and styling the home, you'll usually increase the achievable value of your property as well as potentially increase the likelihood and speed of sale.
    9. Tidy the garden, especially if it's been left to get out of hand for similar reasons as above. One less job for the new owners will certainly position your home as a favourable option over a property of similar characteristics. We have our own in-house gardener who will be happy to quote for any work you need doing.
    10. Be selective about your new home. This may well be your last property purchase and therefore, it has to be just right. You need to choose carefully, houses don't typically come with a great returns/refund policy, unfortunately.

So, you've decided to downsize? That's great. But, does that mean it'll really be cheaper? Not necessarily. If you're looking to move closer to family, you may be restricted in where you can actually move to and may end up competing with first-time buyers, especially if your family are also first-time buyers, you may also be competing with landlords and property developers if your family live in areas where many houses have been converted into flats and HMOs, there may also be new families looking for their first home and the like who are also looking for smaller properties with gardens, good amenities within walking distance and fantastic transport links.

You need to consider the following costs:

  • Stamp duty,
  • Estate Agency fees,
  • Conveyancing and surveyor fees, and;
  • How much council tax you'll pay on your new property.

By following these tips, you'll find downsizing to be stress-free but you should certainly consider letting your rooms out, especially with low stocks of suitable housing which is really pushing property values up, you may find it difficult to downsize a suitable home at a price which will make moving worthwhile. You do have other options from shared ownership, leaseholder agreements, part exchange or even converting your property into two individual properties and renting one out. We'll be happy to talk you through all of your options.

Did you know, we could help you generate profit from the rooms in your home that you no longer use? This will allow you to live in your home should you not want to downsize but feel you have to because you no longer use the rooms; by letting these rooms out to reliable, professional individuals, you could earn upwards of £85 per week per room! Give us a call and we can help you every step of the way, from collecting the rent to, where necessary, evicting bad tenants. Call us today on 0116 321 4970.

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