Tips on Downsizing

January . 2024

Downsizing to a more practical and convenient property is a decision that most people must make at some point. It may be that you are in a remote location, too far from facilities or family, or perhaps you are rattling around in a substantial house that’s now too big for your needs and becoming a burden to look after. It may be that the children have just fled the nest, prompting a desire for a change of scene or the need to release capital.

For many this can be an emotional time and the whole process appear terribly daunting, especially if you have been in your house for decades.

There are initial steps in the downsizing process and having helped many clients with this particular type of move, we can share some of these with you.

The first task is to decide where you want to move to and what sort of house you would like to live in. Ask yourself searching questions: do you want to be closer to your children or friends, in a town with amenities on your doorstep or in a village with facilities and a good bus route? Are your priorities to do away with stairs, having less maintenance to worry about or preferring a more manageable sized garden?

Having pinpointed these requirements, you obviously need to do your sums. The starting point is for us to provide realistic advice on what you can expect your house to sell for and the costs involved in the moving process. You can then factor in how much capital you might want to release and the net result will provide you with an idea of what you can afford to spend on your next purchase.

Armed with this knowledge, you can start to look out for specific properties. Although at this stage you may not have put your own house on the market, it’s sensible to get your eye in on value and to visualise the sort of space that you can expect to go to. However, do bear in mind that few sellers will take your interest in their homes seriously until you are in a position to proceed with a purchase.

It is never too early to start de-cluttering. It can be extremely cathartic, but some find that one of the most emotive things about downsizing is deciding which pieces of furniture and possessions they are able to take with them. You may have collected and inherited a huge amount over the years and family members might not be able to take your things on, so you may have to be ruthless and call in the local saleroom to help.

Gradually, the process will begin to look less daunting and the light will suddenly appear at the end of the tunnel. Many people take years to finally make the decision to downsize, but once you start the ball rolling, it’s amazing how the rest falls into place.

Our role is to help our clients move and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but we are here to offer bespoke advice on sales strategy and timing as much as being a shoulder to lean on throughout the process, so if you are thinking about downsizing, do call us in at an early stage for an initial and discreet chat.

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