Downsizing can be a daunting prospect but, with so many possible benefits, it isn’t surprising that most of us will make the decision to downsize at some point in our lives. Maybe your current house is too expensive and difficult to maintain, or you want to take the opportunity to relocate — whatever the reason, downsizing can prove helpful in accommodating these lifestyle changes.
So, what questions should you be asking yourself before investing in a smaller property? Read on to find out.
What property type do you want?
With a wide selection of home sizes and types to choose from, it’s common for people to be confused with where to start when choosing their new home. When deciding on where you want to live, it’s important to be upfront with yourself about the property’s purpose which will give you an indication of the size and space needed. If you are used to having a lot of space to work with, it may not make much sense to downsize to a really compact space as this may interfere with your existing lifestyle and preferences. However, downsizing can be advantageous with the reduction in cleaning, clutter and costs — just be sure to have enough space for any visitors!
What can you afford?
One of the most common reasons behind downsizing is retirement, with equity release and lower running costs giving leverage for the finer things in life, your bucket list will be thanking you!
If the reason behind your move is financial, it’s important that the property you invest in is sustainable in line with your household income and savings. As well as considering the cost of your new home, it’s also crucial to consider how much it will cost to move from your old house. Transferring your possessions can be one of the largest costs within a move, even if you’re renting a van yourself, so be aware. Despite these extra expenses, the costs of a smaller property are bound to save you a lot more than you spend on the moving process.
Which items will make the move and which won’t?
Moving house is quite stressful in itself, but when downsizing many people are worried about the loss of numerous belongings in one go. However, this can be a blessing in disguise as it forces you to be particular and logical about the things you can’t live without and which you could sacrifice for your new home.
With the evolution of online marketplaces and traditional car boot sales still going, it’s easy to make quick money for your unwanted items, making the transition to your home much smoother.
What location is best for you?
For most downsizers, being close to a major city isn’t a priority, whereas being within walking distance of shops and parks is. It’s a must to consider what type of area you would feel safe and comfortable in and other deciding factors such as proximity to family and friends. Other things to consider may include whether the surroundings are suitable for any pets, and how good the transport links are. Trial runs in the area you are considering moving to are really important: above all else to see if all of your needs can be easily accommodated.
Do you need to think long-term?
For most older downsizers, this will usually be their last move to a new home. For this reason, many of them will choose to relocate to bungalows or park homes, as their single-storey structure will accommodate any current or future mobility issues.
It’s also important to think about how hard the space — whether internally or externally to the home — will be to maintain. For example, a large garden might be attractive now, but how you will maintain this as you grow older?
It's a big decision to downsize, but with the above 5 tips to consider you are now well equipped to get searching for your perfect new home! Downsizing: 5 questions to ask yourself first.
About the author
David Brock is managing director of the park home warranty provider, GoldShield.Last modified: May 30, 2018