Like many parents, you will have raised your children in your current family home, but after they have fled the nest to attend University or start the next chapter in their life, you may find yourself in home that feels too big.
Lorna and her partner recently downsized their property; take a look at their top tips below.
“With our daughters having left home and living their own lives around the world, we decided that it was time to sell our family home and downsize to a smaller house. “
Reasons to downsize
- Empty Nesters. Like us, you might be empty nesters who now rattle around in the large family home and just need a more suitable property for the number of permanent occupants. I do sometimes think about how we will accommodate any potential grandchildren, but I think that’s a long way off and wasn’t it loads of fun to camp out in a put-you-up bed at Grandma’s when we were kids?
- Less maintenance, etc. For me this is a great incentive to downsize – less rooms to clean! It obviously depends on the style of property you choose, but a smaller property usually means less maintenance, smaller household bills and less garden to look after. Less time spent on your house will mean more time to pursue other things, such as your hobbies and visiting your offspring.
- Release equity. Selling to downsize could release some funds so that you have a cash injection for that dream trip you’ve always promised yourself, or to realise other dreams you may have.
- Mortgage payments. If you sold your current property and bought a cheaper property then you could pay off your mortgage or move to lower monthly mortgage payments, releasing money for other things.
Suitable properties for downsizing
- Location. Obviously you’ll need to decide this first. Do you want to stay in the same location as your current house, or is this your chance to try something different? Move to the city vs move to the country, move closer to the kids vs move further away!
- Property Type. It might be a bit of a cliché to suggest a bungalow or a flat as your downsize options in later life. But it might be best not to be tied to those options as you can always move again later.
- New Build. Thinking about having less maintenance then a new build property might be an excellent choice. Click here for our hints and tips on buying a new build.
Downsizing to a smaller property means that you are inevitably going to need less things. A good rule of thumb would be to keep only things you love and get rid of all the rest, or maybe it’s a moment to buy all new things! If you do need to get rid of a lot of items then these are some options:
- Ask an auction house or house clearance company for a quote
- Sell some things on ebay
- Give things away to family and friends
- Take things to charity shops
- Have a garage sale or sell at a car boot sale