A Guide to Downsizing

Post by Will Hemner

Many people buy a property based on whether it has adequate space for their young family. However, as the years go by and the children grow up and move out, many parents find themselves rattling around in a house that is now far too large for their needs.

For many people, staying in a house that is larger than their requirements simply isn’t practical. It means dealing with a larger area to clean and maintain, higher than necessary energy and other bills, and even security issues because you are only using a small section of a larger house. This is why many individuals and couples whose children have flown the nest decide to downsize to a more suitably sized property 

Tips to help you to downsize

Downsizing can provide many benefits, including saving you money on bills and maintenance, saving you time on cleaning and maintaining a larger property, greater security, and the chance to make some extra money from selling your larger property and downsizing to a smaller, cheaper one.

There are a number of factors you need to take into consideration when it comes to downsizing. This includes:

Assess your needs: So, you’ve established that the property you are living in is now far too large for you needs. Your next step is to work out what size and type of property is going to be more suitable. Think about how much space you need, taking into consideration not just who will be living in the property but also your belongings and furniture. Also consider whether you want to opt for a low maintenance apartment or go for a small, cozy house.

Think about the area: This is a great time to enjoy a change of scenery and move to another area. You may have chosen your current home based on your kids’ schooling or for other practical reasons. Now that the kids are independent, you have the freedom to consider moving to another area should you wish to do so.

Look at finances: Work out how viable it is for you to downsize by getting a valuation on your own property and then looking at average prices of suitable properties in the area you are looking to move to. Make sure you take into consideration any money you already owe on your existing home, such as any remaining mortgage balance or secured loans you may have taken out.

Look at how much you will be taking with you: If you are planning to downsize, this gives you the perfect chance to have a clear out. By reducing the amount of stuff you take with you when you move you can choose a new home based on your actual needs rather than based on the space you need for things you’ve accrued over the years but don’t even use. Don’t forget, it is easy these days to get rid of your unwanted goods. The Internet is invaluable for quickly and easily selling your unwanted furniture or selling clothes for cash, so you can really streamline the items that you take with you when you move.

Assess your new space: Once you have found a property that you are interested in, make sure you take some measurements so that you know how much wall and floor space you have available. This will enable you to plan where you will put things and will enable you to determine how much of your belongings you may need to look at getting rid of by selling or giving to charity.

Once the kids have moved out, this is the perfect time to consider downsizing. It is also the perfect time to get rid of a variety of items that you have collected over the decades and no longer use!

2 thoughts on “A Guide to Downsizing

  1. We waited one year after my husbands’ retirement to move. Even though he worked nights and I worked from home, there was a tremendous change when he retired and we realized that we need to have space for 2 offices. We did downsize, but with a year and a half we moved back into a bigger house that gave us a 3-car garage (for retirement hobbies), 2 offices (to keep the couple happy) with 2 guest bedrooms (when family comes to visit).

    This house was a great investment, both of us work to keep it up and it’s definitely not our final destination. We’re young (early sixties) by retirement standards these days and eventually we will move into a smaller space.