Downsizing: What you need to know
Whether you are looking to enjoy the profits from your home that you have lived in for your entire life or simply just looking for something easy to maintain and enjoy, Downsizing can be a real life-changing opportunity.
Should I downsize?
There a plenty of reasons why someone may consider downsizing their home, The common ones are things like " I can't keep up with the maintenance, "My kids have left home"
Largely it will come down to making your decision based on a balance of facts and emotions.
What are the benefits?
Downsizing can prove to be hugely financially beneficial especially if you live in an area which has seen good uplifts in values. Purchasing a new home which is smaller will most likely mean you will keep some of your hard-earned equity in your pocket once you complete the sale of your new home. This can mean things like More holidays, fewer hours in work, New car, The list goes on... Downsizing can also mean less upkeep and running costs ultimately making it a win-win scenario.
What are the disadvantages?
Naturally, we are creatures of habit and living in a home for most of your life will most likely mean you have become accustomed to space and your routine. Moving into a new home which is smaller could take some serious getting used to and dare we say "regret" Its important to make sure that a smaller home is truly something you need and are ready for.
Downsizing for financial gain alone may not necessarily be the best option for you as there are numerous ways you can release some of the hard-earned capital you have built up in your home over the years such as equity release etc.
If you have made your decision and downsizing is an absolute must there is the potential problem and stress of not finding the right home to move to. Interest rates are at an all-time low and banks are introducing more mortgage products for first-time buyers making the market a lot more competitive than it may have been when your previously bought your home. It's important to do some research into the particular area and house type you are looking for so you are fully prepared.
Top tips on downsizing your home
Commitment - Look at the reasons for downsizing and make sure there are no other options that may suit your current circumstances better.
Market Research - Do your research into the areas you are looking at buying. Find out what properties are selling for and how long they are on the market for before they are sold/ Rented.
Financials - Make sure you have carefully planned your finances ahead should you find your property under offer or sold. Do you have enough money to comfortably move onto your next home or will it put you in a vulnerable position financially in the months ahead?
Prepare - Look through you belonging and decide the things you want to keep and the clutter you want to throw away. Planning ahead and removing unnecessary things could prevent you from paying hefty removals fees at a later date.
Freshen up - Start preparing you home for marketing and viewings. It is crucial you market your property in its best light to attract the most interest from potential buyers.
Get out there - Start talking to local agents in the areas you are looking to buy, Get familiar with them and the process of viewing properties and placing offers.
Ultimately downsizing is a big step and not something that should be taken lightly. It is only natural that you will have a connection with your current home especially if it has been a home where your family has been raised. When you are looking at downsizing it may be helpful to start distancing yourself from your home and looking at it as a property for a new family to begin their life. There are many advantages of downsizing such as less maintenance, lower running costs and more money in the bank which for most people is a no brainer.