We have seen many sellers come through our doors at Century Residential over the last few months, but there is one kind of seller that has been on the rise, and that’s the downsizer. There are many reasons why you may be considering downsizing to a smaller home. You could be looking to release some equity to help your children or to add to your savings pot for the years to come. Maybe you have some dreams of adventures that you wish to fulfil and an easier to maintain property is just what you need right now instead of redundant rooms just gathering dust. Whatever your motivation, it is essential when downsizing that you honestly evaluate your expectations so you can make the right decision for you. So how do you know you’re ready to downsize?
Just because you’re moving to a smaller home, doesn’t mean it will necessarily save you money. Should you be moving to a different location, the property values could differ greatly. The type of property you are looking for may have amenities and so there could be additional monthly charges that you need to take into consideration for things such as maintaining grounds and communal areas. The home you are looking to buy may need renovating or some upgrades; even with a budget, there could be things that turn up that you weren’t expecting so make sure you build in a contingency pot that won’t eat into your savings.
Often, those looking to downsize find it a difficult decision to leave what is often their family home. Their house has so many memories and family members such as children could be upset at the thought of saying goodbye to the house that was a huge part of their childhood. We are sure that no matter how much you have loved living there, there will be some things that have niggled at you over the years that honestly you won’t be sad to leave behind.
Maybe you had a large and beautiful garden but it takes a lot of work each year to keep it looking its best. If you live in a period property, you will no doubt have an endless list of jobs that need doing, and you’ve been happy to do them but now you would prefer an easier life. Remember, this move is not about the past, it’s about the future, so if you start to have doubts, focus on why you made the decision and how your future will look in your new home.
We all become attached to things in our home, from furniture which may have been passed down to pieces we’ve bought and can’t bear to part with. Instead of worrying where all your furniture will go in your new home, start to think about what items you definitely want to keep. If you’re moving from a large house to a more diminutive one, not everything you have now is going to fit – nor do you want it to. Think about the style of your new home, will your furniture work in the property or might it be fun to have a completely fresh start?
You may not have thought about an apartment but, depending on your future plans, it could actually be the ideal choice. Should you be looking to travel then you know you can lock up and leave with peace of mind that the grounds will be maintained and neighbours around to keep an eye on things. There are many stunning apartment complexes now that are designed for those of retirement age but are certainly not aesthetically doddery. With stylish and high-specification finishes, spacious balconies for entertaining and communal spaces that feel like a quality hotel rather than an apartment building, they are certainly something you should look at and not dismiss without investigation.
Just as you would when looking to buy any home, you need to ensure the floorplan is going to work for you now and in the years to come. Just bear in mind that you’ve been used to a certain amount of space and that will be reduced, but this might in terms of the number of bedrooms rather than the amount of living space. You may wish to have more of an open-plan space that brings everyone together, or a hobby, work or visiting family may mean you lean toward having separate spaces. You may even find that the floorplan in your new home works better for you than the one you have now.
Location is particularly important with this move, as you may be thinking about what you need for the short and the long term. Being closer to family could be a key factor in the move, as it is for many who are looking to downsize after the stresses and strains of the pandemic. Would you be happy driving to amenities or would you prefer to be able to walk to the local shop, pub or café for that morning coffee and sneaky slice of cake?
If you’re not familiar with the area you’ll be moving to, it’s important to do your research. Feeling at home is a priority and our team are always on hand to offer advice. Just remember, a house can be altered and decorated but a location cannot be changed. Really think about what you want and need from this move so that when you decide on a location, you know that you will be happy living there. If you can see yourself living in another town, village or even in another street, it can make that thought of moving a little bit easier.
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is: are you ready? Yes, you may be looking at smaller homes, and you could have talked about this move for months if not years, but knowing it’s something you want to do and being ready to do it are quite different. When you’re not ready you will be hesitant and sometimes over-critical, as you subconsciously try to find faults and flaws and delay progress.
This can lead to a frustrating and stressful process, which is something that no one wants, especially whilst undertaking what can often be the emotional move of downsizing. Make sure you’re clear in your mind before you start, as being ready for this move will make it a much happier experience for everyone involved.
At Century Residential we have helped many people and families to downsize, we understand the emotions and also how to find the right next home for you and your plans. If you’re thinking of downsizing and have any concerns, please chat to a member of our team on 01634 570057.
Content contributed by The Federation of Independent Agents.