Downsizing your home

05 July 2018

Moving to a smaller property or downsizing your home is becoming increasingly popular in today’s straitened times.

Man in suit holding a house model in either hand

Making the move work for you

Downsizing is often prompted by a change in personal circumstances like retirement or children leaving home. Your house can be an important source of income or capital so, for people of any age, downsizing to a less expensive property can release equity as well as potentially reducing your financial outgoings.  
 
Taking the decision to move to a smaller property can mean making tangible financial savings. You may have lower mortgage repayment as well as lower council tax and utility bills. But, this is not a decision to be taken lightly; your home represents a considerable investment, both financially and emotionally.

Careful consideration

Research has shown that the anxiety of moving house is one of the most stressful events that can occur throughout your life.
 
The combination of looking for a new house that meets your needs, waiting to hear if your offer has been accepted, packing up your belongings and the actual moving day itself. Making the move and downsizing your life needs careful consideration.
 
  • Do you want to stay in the same area?
  • If you want to move what is important to you in the new location?
  • What type of property are you looking to move to?
  • Will the move result in a change of lifestyle?
  • Will you spend or invest the equity you release from the sale of your home?
Roger and Irene took the decision to downsize to coincide with their retirement. “Our initial plan had been to sell our family home and buy a smaller property in the UK and a house in Spain and then split our time between the two” said Roger.
 
“We had been in our old house for over 20 years, it had been our family home but with three of our four children having left home it was just too big. It was also at the bottom of a hill, which was becoming more difficult for me to walk up” explained Irene.
Our new house is smaller and a new build property so there is minimal maintenance. One of the other benefits is we are heating a smaller, more energy efficient property which is a lot more economical

Roger, retired

The move was not without its challenges, the house in Spain didn’t materialise in the end but this meant that Roger and Irene were able to buy the UK property outright, doing away with any mortgage payments, and giving them more disposable income.

Downsizing tips

Having made the move Roger and Irene have some advice for those thinking about downsizing your home:
 
  • Declutter the old house well before the move and prioritise the loft you’ll be amazed at how much stuff is up there – it’ll take a lot longer than you think! Our ‘cutting the clutter’ article gives five top tips to get you started decluttering your home.
  • Moving to a smaller house means less space so there need to be benefits to making the move – the community, the property itself, relief from financial pressures. There needs to be something to make you glad you made the move.
  • Once you have made the move don't keep harping back to your old home, thinking about the big garden you have lost for example. Instead look forward to all the spare time will have to enjoy your new home or a new interest.