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Taking the decision to sell a home that has been in your family for a long time, is not an easy choice to make. Leaving a property with many memories, where you have raised children, or where you have shared happy, or sad times, can be an emotional rollercoaster. So, what can you do to make downsizing to a new property an easier and simpler transition? Here we look downsizing and what your options are when you take the next step?

What is downsizing?

Downsizing is the process of purchasing a cheaper and usually a smaller property. Many people choose to downsize when children have left the family home, if retirement is on the cards, or you need access to cash to fund your retirement needs or ongoing care needs.

Why do people want to downsize?

There are many motivations for wanting to downsize a property, at whatever stage of life you are at. But when it comes to retirement and before you decide to sell, it is important to look at why you are wanting to move in the first place, here are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself before taking the next steps on your downsizing journey:
  • Why do you want to move?
  • Where do you to move to?
  • Why doesn’t your current house suit your wants or needs anymore?
  • Do you have the financial means to cover the cost of moving?
  • Do you have a mortgage, loan or other monthly outgoings you need to continue to pay?
  • Do you need a cash lump sum from the proceeds of your sale?
  • What type of property do you want to downsize to, ie: bungalow, retirement community?
  • Any personal or health care needs that the move must address?
  • What do you do with all your furniture and belongings accumulated over the years?
  • Do you have pets you will need to consider?

What are the advantages of downsizing?

Meet your own needs

Your once busy family home may now feel too big or empty at this stage of your life. Rattling around in a large property that requires lots of upkeep, cleaning or maintenance can feel overwhelming. Maybe your children have left home and started their own families, or you have suffered the loss of your partner, or need to pay for your ongoing care, or you simply want to have a smaller more manageable home.

Release equity

For those wanting to gain access to some of the equity in their home or boost their retirement pot, selling a property can give you the money you need. There are ways to release equity in the home, by selling, or by means of an ‘equity release scheme’ – you can find more information on equity release schemes via the Government Website or Age UK.

Cheaper living costs

Downsizing can not only provide you with a more suitable property to meet your needs, but it can also be an opportunity to reduce your monthly outgoings and bills. If you pick your new home near a location with good transport links, or with shops and amenities on your doorstep, you could save money by not needing a car anymore thus eliminating the cost to run, tax and insure the vehicle.

What are the dis-advantages of downsizing?

De-Cluttering

You will have to sort out all your belongings and make some tough decisions about possessions you have accumulated over the years. Your current furniture may not fit into your new home – so you need to decide what you can take with you and what you can’t. It’s a good idea to create lists of ‘keep’, ‘sell’ and ‘bin’. This way you can work out what you can take with you and what you can’t, but you may need to be ruthless, which can be a hard process, so give yourself time to plan emotionally, physically and mentally for the task ahead.

Make sure you can afford the move

The average cost to move home, according to Barclays Bank is £8,885 and can vary dramatically on where you live, so make sure you have the funds to start the move in the first place. Remember to consider any taxes, stamp duty, legal fees, survey fees, mortgage fees, removal firm costs etc, into your downsizing plans. Also, factor in costs associated with any works needed on your new home, such as decorating, new carpets, plus if you need new furniture, remember to also add that into your budget. Once you have worked out how much the move will cost, make sure you have budgeted for anticipated monthly expenditure, and if you must pay for any care needs, that you have the financial means to meet those commitments on an ongoing basis.

Location, location, location

Where you choose to live when you downsize can often reduce your monthly outgoings, but depending on where you choose, it can be more expensive. Desirable village locations, coastal towns or properties with popular amenities on tap, can often command higher asking prices and also face stiff competition from prospective buyers that can drive prices up. Purpose built retirement villages or communities are a great choice for downsizing, but do your homework and look at any ongoing service charges that may apply once you have moved in.

What type of property is right for you?

Choosing the right property could be key to the happiness of your retirement. Look at what you want from your retirement and plan around that. Do you want to be near family, shops, or the coast? Do you need to live on one level to suit any mobility issues? Do you want a garden or just access to outdoor space? Fancy being part of a community to meet new friends, be with like-minded people, or take up new hobbies? These are just some of the considerations you may wish to look at, so take your time and write a list of your ‘must haves’ to get a clear idea in your head as to the right type of property for now and in the future.

Made the decision to move – how can Spring help?

Selling a home at any stage of life, can be stressful, but for many of our downsizing customers, they have never sold a home before and it can feel like a daunting process knowing where to start and how to sell a property.

Spring’s home buying service takes away the hassle of selling your home on the open market. We remove the need for buyers coming to your home to view and we can complete your home sale on your timescale, giving you greater flexibility on when you want to move.

Throughout your property journey with Spring, you will have your own dedicated property advisor to guide you through the process. Our trusted and transparent pricing, all backed by our Spring Price Promise, ensures your home gets the best price it deserves, offering a simple, easy and stress-free way to sell your home.

If you would like more information on how Spring can help get your downsizing plans started sooner than you think, contact us today and lets us help you start the next chapter in your life.

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