Downsizing is becoming more and more popular in the UK, especially among retired people. So what is downsizing, and what are the benefits of downsizing? Let’s take a look…
What is downsizing?
As the name suggests, downsizing is when you buy a smaller home than the one you are currently living in.
Why do people downsize?
There are many reasons for downsizing, some financial, some not.
In later life, it is often a decision made so you can choose a property better suited to your changing needs.
Maybe you don’t want to live in a rambling home if you have been widowed or divorced, or if the children have moved out and there is too much space you just don’t use or need.
Perhaps you need to go easier on your legs or back and would like to move to a home where a lift is installed (see here for an example).
Do you have a large garden that you can no longer maintain? Swap it for a smaller garden, maybe somewhere a gardener can help to look after it.
Maybe you just want a change, or don’t want to deal with the upkeep of a larger home any more, with all the associated costs.
What are the financial benefits?
It may be that you have been living in your own home for a number of years, and the value of your home has risen. You may also have paid off your mortgage, or be close to doing so.
If you buy a cheaper property, it could release a lot of equity - often tens of thousands of pounds.
You can use this for whatever you wish, to help you live a lifestyle of your choosing in later years, to do all the things you wanted to but haven’t yet got round to doing.
To travel the world maybe, while always having a lovely home to return to (even better if it is being looked after for you).
Maybe you have enough equity to purchase your new home as a cash buyer, and live mortgage-free, while financing a happy retirement.
Your new home will be smaller by the nature of downsizing, and this brings further financial benefits with lower energy bills, for example.
Is it easy to downsize?
A lot of research in the UK points to the fact that around half of over-55s have considered downsizing, but many do not because they cannot find suitable properties.
Scalesceugh Hall & Villas, on the edge of The Lake District National Park, prides itself on offering a range of wonderful villas, varying in size and price, with innovative features and helpful services to make life easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable in later years.
If you are considering downsizing to beautiful Cumbria, in a stunning rural location, still close to urban living, have a look around and download a brochure here.
3 Top Tips When Downsizing
Be realistic about what you can fit in your new home
Downsizing will obviously mean that you will have less space to store what you currently own, so see this as a chance to focus on the future, on what you really need going forwards. Having a spring clean is good for the home and for the mind!
Start the clearout straight away
Don’t leave your decluttering until the last minute. You’ve probably accumulated a lot of possessions over the years and it may take a while to move these to a new home, if they are not being thrown away.
You could consider donating items or selling some at a car boot or table top sale. Or even put things up for sale on websites like eBay.
Measure up first
Check the floor plans of your new home (like this example here). You don’t want to move in and discover that your furniture is just too big for your new home.
Plan your layout, what goes where in each room, before you even think about packing.