With property prices at an all-time high, and times of austerity upon us, it’s no wonder the amount of people wanting to downsize is on the rise.
When the kids up and go, often parents are left rattling around in a house that is just too big for their needs and therefore decide to sell up and move somewhere smaller.
Whether they’re motivated by releasing equity for retirement, relocation or simply some extra cash to help their children purchase their first home, in the past few years it is evident that many family homes are being sold on after 40/50 years of ownership.
It can be a difficult process both emotionally and physically to make the all-important move from a much-loved family home, which is why it’s important to make it as smooth and stress-free as possible; here are our tips for downsizing success:
If you’re moving house to release equity in order to help younger family members onto the property ladder with a deposit or mortgage re-payments, you’ll need to be careful about the amount you promise to give away. Take into consideration stamp duty and other moving costs before you decide on an amount; typically downsizers will save 70 percent of the equity for themselves and give away the remaining 20 percent.
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In a large, lived in family home, it’s inevitable that a large amount of clutter has accumulated over the many years of living there – especially with children! When downsizing you won’t have as much wardrobe space, a loft or even a garage, so some of it is going to have to go.
An added bonus of staring the de-cluttering process before you sell up and get to your new house is the fact that it may even up your properties worth; clutter free houses view and photograph much better.
If you feel throwing things away is a waste then take things to a charity shop, have a garage sale or even visit an auction house to make yourself some easy money!
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Leave your Property Be:
If you’ve lived in your property for a long time, chances are it won’t have been extended or modernised in any way – and this is a good thing! Many people are tempted to put in a loft room, re-do the kitchen or update the bathroom in order to get a higher selling price, however it is in fact better to leave your property just as it is and give your buyers the opportunity to modernise it exactly to their requirements. These sort of properties with refurbishing potential are highly sought after in the current market, and could make your property value soar.
If your property is looking a little tired though, a lick of paint here and there is a good idea – be sure to use a neutral colour so as not to put off any potential buyers.
Choose your Location Wisely:
There’s a perception that downsizing goes hand in hand with moving out of a big city and into the country, however this isn’t the case! Many downsizers choose to remain in London where they can stay within easy reach of public transport, restaurants, cinemas and ships.
Being within easy reach of entertainment and the main city is something to consider – especially if you are of retirement age and looking to fill your free time with activities!
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Don’t over-do it:
It can be tempting when downsizing to buy a much cheaper – and therefore smaller – property; with children gone it’s easy to underestimate how much space you’re going to need. The reality of the situation though, is that even though there are less of you now, you’re likely to still be used to a relatively large kitchen area to do the cooking, or lounge to relax in etc. – so don’t go too small!
Moreover, if you’re going to be having grandchildren and the like over to stay, having a spare bedroom and a bit of extra space will be necessary.
Think carefully about your current and future requirements when choosing your new property – after all – a house in a long-term commitment.