Downsizing can become attractive to those for a number of reasons, with a growing number of over 55s in the UK making the decision to do so. Whilst some people may have grown accustomed to living in their larger family homes and have no intention of moving anytime soon, there is a wide range of reasons why downsizing may be the best option for others. This can include but is not limited to releasing equity – being cash rich over asset rich may become more attractive especially if you are looking to help out children or grandchildren, or maybe even looking to purchase an investment property. Reducing monthly outgoings is also a major factor, especially considering the increase in energy costs this consideration is probably more relevant than ever. People simply cannot afford to unnecessarily pay to heat and maintain a larger house and therefore choose to downsize to a home which is more suitable for their needs.
The first step to downsizing is putting your property on the market. Whilst this may seem like a daunting and backwards first step if you have not yet found a property to move into, in the current market it is always in your best interest to put yourself in the best possible position for when the right property pops up. The right buyer for your property will understand and respect your timescales and position and are more often than not happy to allow you time to find, after all who is better to empathise than someone who has just come out the other end of navigating their own property search!
Whilst finding a property that looks perfect for you is also exciting, it can be incredibly disheartening if you then miss out on it because you are not yet in what is described as a proceedable position.
Beginning the process of marketing your home should start with organising and decluttering. Try and be as sensible and consider that the amount of things you currently have in your big detached five bedroom house may not fit quite as comfortably in a smaller two or three bedroom property, although do not panic and think you have to completely empty out all of your belongings. Consider if things are still necessary for you, for example having a large family may have required you to have sets of lots of plates, bowls and other kitchen crockery however if your kids have all moved out you may be able to reduce the space these things take up. Approach the task tactically, taking things one room at a time and step by step.
Now you have instructed and agent and are marketing your property, you should start to have a look at available properties to see what options you have, if you haven’t already been doing so. When you spot a property you are interested in, look at the floorplan and dimensions so that you can really visualise yourself living there and how you will make the space work. Another thing to consider is whether there is potential for rooms to be multi functional. If you would like a bedroom to accommodate family members when they come to stay but also would really like a home office, could a bedroom double as a home office whilst the guest room is not being occupied?
Storage is the next thing to consider, again as mentioned there will be the inevitable difference in storage space between your larger family home and smaller property. Consider not just the obvious storage space that is readily available with the property for example under stairs cupboards and even loft space, but think of ways you can get creative to maximise room.
The positives of downsizing can really be worthwhile which is why so many people reach the stage where it feels like the best step for them. You may have enjoyed your large garden for many years however the level of maintenance may no longer feel justifiable to you in comparison to how much use it truly gets. There is obviously also the money saving aspect which can play a big factor in people’s decisions. This is even more relevant now considering the costs of energy and heating a large home.
If you are thinking of making the step to downsize and are looking to market your property and find your new home, contact us today to see how we can help you.