Michael Hardy Blog, News & Updates

How to Downsize Your Home

5 November, 2021

You might be considering downsizing, essentially the process of moving into a smaller property, for a variety of reasons. It could be to boost your finances, reduce your expenses, help you pay for care, or to move into a more suitable home or better location.

When more equity than ever is tied up in our houses, downsizing has become an increasingly popular option for those in later life. In fact, a recent study showed that almost half of this demographic is considering moving to smaller homes[1].

It's not surprising that so many people are looking to downsize — it often makes practical and financial sense. But it is a big change that takes a lot of planning. If you are thinking it might be a good idea but don’t know where to start, we can offer some guidance.

When it might be a good idea to downsize

Your current home is too big for your needs

If your kids have flown the nest or you have more space than you need, moving to a smaller property could reduce your mortgage repayments or even allow you the pleasure of being mortgage free. Your other monthly outgoings will also be reduced giving you far more cash to enjoy.

Your existing property requires too much maintenance

If there’s always something that needs fixing or it’s becoming impossible to keep on top of the gardening, it could be time to move to a property that suits your needs better.

You're looking to raise funds for your retirement

Property in this area has increased substantially in value over recent years so a move to a smaller home could release a considerable amount of equity.

You would like to move to a new area

It could be the answer if you would like to move to a pricier area but know that you won't be able to afford a property that's the same size as your own. It's common for people to take this approach when moving into a city or any area that's in really high demand.

You're planning to move abroad or travel

If you're planning to live abroad but don't want to give up your foothold in the UK housing market, downsizing could help you retain a base at home.

 

What are the options for downsizing?

Once you have decided if you are staying in the area, want to relocate to be closer to family, or even fulfil a lifelong dream of living by the sea, you’ll need to think about what type of property would be most suitable. There are a number of choices:

A smaller house or flat

A smaller property should be more manageable but consider how many bedrooms you realistically need, and whether you can make certain rooms multifunctional. For example, could you pop a sofa bed in a living room to make it double up a spare bedroom.

Bungalows/single storey

A single-storey property can be a great choice if you want to future proof your purchase. The lack of stairs ensures they’re accessible and easy to navigate so ideal for those who struggle with mobility or are concerned it might be an issue in the future. In addition, they tend to be quite compact, so they're easy and relatively cheap to maintain and heat.

Retirement homes/villages

If you're approaching retirement age or have already left the workforce, moving into a retirement village could work well for you. There are plenty of benefits to this: you'll still have plenty of freedom to live as independently as you like, but the facilities will be designed to make life as easy as possible for you. For example, they'll typically offer services you might need as you grow older, such as housekeeping and visiting hairdressers. Plus, these properties are built with accessibility in mind.

Park homes

More than 250,000 Brits live in park homes, and the vast majority of these are retired people who have decided to downsize. They are a very budget friendly choice and just like bungalows are completely accessible and easy to heat and maintain.

Want to learn more about downsizing? Read our five practical tips for downsizing now!

If you would like a no-commitment valuation on your current home, please do not hesitate to contact us on Wokingham 0118 977 6776 or Crowthorne 01344 779 999.

 

[1] Research by McCarthy Stone reported in The Independent