To Down Size, or Not To Downsize, That is The Question ?

Posted on October 15th, 2017.

Downsizing is a big decision and never an easy one; the house you are in has memories packed to the rafters, good and bad. The children have gone and the commitment of running a household with surplus rooms is difficult to manage and maintain. So what are the options?

Firstly, do your research; there are many things to consider.  For example, do you follow your dream of living by the coast or move near your children?  Will you miss the extra space in the house? can you maintain outside space?

Housing for older people report was written with this interesting piece of information when looking to downsizing-

“One of the main barriers for older people and pensioners wishing to sell their family home and relocate is the lack of suitable choices. In June 2015, Legal & General commissioned a report which found that when last time buyers are looking for a new home, the most common preferences are being close to family and friends (32%), being near their current neighbourhood (18%), having easy access to healthcare (16%) and being located near shops (10%).1”

In reality all of these need careful consideration as downsizing is a major upheaval and there are significant costs involved, so it’s essential to factor in before you make you move.

Apart from the money you may have collected by selling your no longer useful house belongings, smaller living spaces are generally less expensive and incur lower monthly maintenance cost, lower mortgage or rent payments, lower energy bills, fewer items to fix around your smaller accommodation.  It’s no secret that the housing costs take up a huge chunk off your disposable income and any way to decrease these expenses will let you have more breathing room when managing your finances.  Some 37 per cent downsizing as a way to fund their retirement.

This is also a good time to get rid of any unwanted furniture or lots of household items that is no longer required, what needs to be considered will it fit into your new planned abode?  All these items can be either given to charity or if they are in relatively good condition sold to provide welcome cash welcome cash injection to help offset the cost of the move.

You’ll not only have to pay estate agency costs for selling your home, but you’ll also have to pay stamp duty on your new home, as well as covering removal costs and legal fees.  These costs, combined with the stress of a move, can be too much for many people, who may want to consider alternatives to downsizing to free up funds from their property.

The easiest way of getting the most up-to-date information that you need about moving home is to consult a respected, local professional.

In essence, downsizing doesn’t have to be a hassle or a traumatic experience and parting with the things you own can definitely be emotional, but try to think about the life you’ll get in exchange for the things you’re giving away, I believe the term is ‘Less is more!’

If you’re moving into a smaller accommodation in the area you’ve always wanted, try to make sure that the new life is as happy as possible.  If you’re downsizing because you need to save money, think about the money you’ll save and all the money you have received from selling unwanted goods, use it as an incentive to never get stuck in a tricky financial position again.  Whatever your reasons are, attitude matters and the more positive you can make the process, the smoother it will go.

  1. Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee inquiry – Housing for older people Written submission from NAEA Propertymark March 2017


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