Thinking of Downsizing?
by Katie Mamo
Downsizing can be a sensible and positive move for many homeowners. As well as freeing those with larger properties from the responsibilities of high monthly outgoings and extensive upkeep, it can also release equity. While the decision to move will always be a significant one, many who have taken this step find themselves relieved at being freed from the responsibility and cost of maintaining a larger property.
What’s more, the process of finding your new home and making it your own represents a great opportunity to start afresh and even discover a new part of the world. Below are four points to consider if you’re thinking about making the move.
At Attik Property Services we regularly work with people downsizing their properties for a variety of reasons. Below is our handy guide to downsizing. If you have any questions or would like an informal initial chat, please get in touch.
Doing your research
Because downsizing is such a big decision, it’s important to look at your finances, both in terms of the price of your future home and the profit you’re likely to make on your current property. While opting for a smaller place should earn you a healthy lump sum, there are a couple of things to bear in mind when you come to sell.
Firstly, conveyancing and stamp duty can, of course, be costly, so factor them in early on to avoid unexpected outgoings further down the line. Secondly, the area you’re moving to could have higher property prices than your current location, so it’s worth taking that into consideration when you’re planning your move. Part exchange is a popular option because the sale of your property is guaranteed, there’s no chain, so delays or last-minute offer withdrawals won’t happen.
As well as the initial lump sum from the sale, downsizing should reduce your monthly payments, given that you’ll be heating a smaller space. This is particularly true of new builds, which tend to be more energy efficient than older properties and require less upkeep. On average, monthly utility and property maintenance bills can drop, leaving you with enough extra per month to spend on the things you really enjoy.
Finding your perfect home
A lot of downsizers move to be nearer their children and extended family, while others are looking for a change of scene and the new lease of life that moving home provides. Whatever the reason, the area that you choose has to be right for you. Perhaps you’ve always lived in the countryside, or maybe you’re naturally more of an urban dweller who couldn’t imagine being away from people and busy city streets?
Retirement villages are an increasingly popular option with the over-55s, many of whom are looking for an exciting, sociable, luxury living situation to downsize to. After years of worrying about a larger home and all of the responsibilities that this entails. There are also lots of new build developments going up currently as well as some beautiful properties in Norfolk and Suffolk’s market towns.
It can be particularly difficult to make the move when you’re one half of a couple with different needs and priorities, and sometimes it might feel easier to stay put in your current property and act later. But this can make the process more difficult further down the line, if you or your partner requires care, for example. So, while the decision to move house and downsize is, of course, a huge one, Attik can help you find your dream home in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Making the move smooth
When it comes to downsizing, a big deterrent for a lot of people is the prospect of decluttering. When you’ve lived somewhere for a long time – particularly if you’ve had children there who have since left – you’re likely to have amassed a lot of things. Attempting to sort through and, in some cases, throw out, all of those belongings seems so daunting that it feels easier to bury your head in the sand. But sifting through it all can be a refreshing, cathartic process that will free up space and make the whole moving process a lot easier. Attik can help here too. We can offer a decluttering service and can even help to empty your loft. Speak to us about this, we can save you so much hassle.
To get started, it’s worthwhile making a floor plan of your new space. Measure up the items of furniture you know you want to keep and work out where they’ll fit best. Built-in shelving, cupboards and under-bed storage will make the most of your extra space, but there will be items that you don’t need anymore. Here are a few tips for when you come to tackle the big clear-out:
- Don’t feel like you have to get rid of everything – for those items you just can’t make up your mind about, offer them to a family member or put them in storage until you’re in your new place and can see if they will fit.
- If something’s beyond repair or you haven’t used it for years, be ruthless: you probably don’t need it.
- If there’s anything you don’t want to keep but can’t sell, take it to the local charity shop.
- We can arrange for your antiques and collectables to go into auction, and provide free valuations too.
- If you’re more tech-savvy, websites such as; eBay, Gumtree and Freecycle are also great ways of passing on everything from books and homewares to large pieces of furniture.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect and you’re looking for some expert support get in touch.
Making it work for you
The biggest worry a lot of people have when downsizing is that they’re at risk of losing their independence by leaving the family home – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of those who move did so precisely because they were looking for a greater degree of independence. The money that can be freed up from a larger family property can be significant. It can pay for holidays, a helping hand for grandchildren or just to give you that little bit of luxury you haven’t been able to afford previously.
Give Attik a call if you are thinking about downsizing, want information on our de-cluttering services and even if you would like to live in a certain area and would like us to find a property for you there. We can help.