Contributed by Attwells Solicitors
If your youngest has finally made the leap and moved out of his beloved bedroom, you may be looking at the empty space and thinking about what to do with it. For some, that means an opportunity to create a mini-gym, guest bedroom or sleek home office. For others, it’s an opportunity to unlock some of the capital from your property, streamline your lifestyle, reduce your bills, and move to a more desirable location. But would downsizing work for you? Here, Attwell Solicitors share some of the pros and cons of the process, to help you decide.
The pros of downsizing
Money. Aside from paying the rates for keeping a larger family home heated, taxed and running, you’re also sitting on what for most people is their largest financial asset. Moving to a smaller property, even one in a more prestigious location is likely going to mean that the sale of your current property is going to raise more money than you need to buy a smaller property. It could mean you don’t need a mortgage, whilst providing a nest egg to support you through your later years.
Better location. As we get older, our priorities change. The decisions that led you to your current house may not reflect your present lifestyle. Downsizing gives you the opportunity to move into a new area, perhaps closer to friends or family.
Easier to manage. Downsizing gives you the chance to free your time up, and reduce the amount of upkeep, maintenance and general care a bigger property requires. If the large garden your kids once enjoyed is now just an expanse of overgrown lawn, then maybe its time to accept that you’re not so green fingered and move to pastures new. On the other hand, if you’ve always wanted a larger garden, it’s perfectly possible to downsize to a property that comes with a bigger garden.
Declutter. We spend years of our lives amassing things, until our lofts and cupboards are filled with memories… not to mention discarded VHS systems. Downsizing your property gives you the chance to clear out the clutter and keep the things that are most important.
…and the cons
Less space. An estate agent might try and sell you on everything from the location, to the style of the house, but the fact is that when you downsize you’ll be living in a smaller space. You have to be sure that you’ll be fine with this. After all, we become accustomed to things over the years, and you may find the sudden lack of extra space isn’t quite what you wanted after all.
The emotional aspect. While there are many valid financial reasons for downsizing at a certain stage in your life, money isn’t everything. For many, a home becomes more than mere bricks and mortar. They are filled with memories of happy family times, which makes leaving all that behind a strange and unsettling experience. For some, keeping the family home going, even when the kids are no longer there, may make more sense on an emotional level. Besides, you may still need room to ensure everyone can fit around the table for Christmas dinner.
Change isn’t for everyone. The idea of moving house may be exciting, especially when you’re looking around new properties and getting a taste for your next steps in life. However, settling into a new neighbourhood takes time and effort. So, before you commit to downsizing your home, make sure you’re happy with your choices.
Costs. It’s no secret that a house move comes with many unavoidable costs. So make sure that the money you stand to gain from the downsizing process is enough to cover all the main expenses of the house move process, from estate agent fees to conveyancing. And remember, you’ll likely have to spend money on things like new furniture, possible higher costs if your travelling expenses will be increased, and if you’re a hoarder, you might need offsite storage for your stuff.
Thinking of downsizing?
If you’re involved in the exciting process of downsizing to a new property, then our instant online conveyancing calculator is the first step to ensuring the conveyancing process runs smoothly. You’ll have a quote in an instant, and our transparent service means you won’t find any hidden extras on your final bill.
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