Did you know that homeowners aged 55 or over who want to downsize now own an incredible £938billion of UK housing stock, according to the latest figures from Legal & General? It’s not surprising – when children grow up and leave home and you don’t need all of the rooms you once did, downsizing is an attractive prospect. Not only can it help to release equity so you can enjoy more of your savings during retirement, but a smaller home can also come with lower running costs and fewer maintenance requirements. If you are downsizing, what should you be considering before you decide on the right type of property for the next chapter of your home-owning life?
- Be Flexible with your Location
Be open-minded about your search area. You may have chosen your current property based on your needs at the time – school catchment areas, ease of commuting etc. Now you need to select somewhere that’s right for you now. By choosing a more affordable location you could ultimately free up even more equity, letting you live a better lifestyle in a new area.
Be sensible though. Moving to a new area away from family, friends, good transport links and quality medical care is not the best way to approach a move in later life! If you need advice on areas, speak to a local estate agent.
- Have a clear out
Any type of house move means sorting through belongings, but when downsizing this is even more important. If you are downsizing from a four bed to a two-bed house, for instance, it is worth considering that you realistically will not be able to take everything with you. In fact, you will not need all of your furniture, bedding and soft furnishings. Be practical and rational to ensure your new home isn’t filled with clutter that you’ll only have to clear out again later. Try to think of it as a therapeutic exercise, like a detox for your life before you start fresh in your new home.
- Get organised
There is no doubt that downsizing may be the most daunting, emotional and stressful of all the house moves you’ll ever have, so try to take an organised approach in order to help keep stress levels to a minimum. Knowing in clear detail what you must do and how much time you have to do it will prevent any last-minute panics, or crucial tasks being forgotten about completely.
- Be Patient
It can take time to find the right property, so be patient and don’t rush into a decision. It’s better to wait for the right property than have to move again and cause yourself more expenses and stress.
If you need help finding the right property, speak to the professionals at Joyce Heeps Homes. We’ll be happy to help you with your search.