Downsizing can be a perfect solution for people wishing to release equity in their property for other things; to save money on utilities or simply because your priorities and lifestyle may have altered. However, do always take into account the cost of actually moving house; to buy a property in England costing £500,000, for example, the average cost of moving would be £20,000 including Stamp Duty, legal fees and other costs such as removals.
Many people consider downsizing, either once their children have flown the nest or as they get older and decide that their present property is too large or the garden becomes too much to manage. However, downsizing is not just the prerogative of the elderly or empty nesters.
Before downsizing do consider the areas you are happy to lose in order to have a smaller property. You may want a smaller house or a flat but are you prepared to downsize your garden or perhaps lose all outside space entirely? If you have a dog, would a nearby park or footpath be sufficient for his needs and will you be happy to take him out in the dark in the pouring rain for his last walk when previously you could just let him out in the garden? On a sunny afternoon would a stroll in the park or a drink in a pub’s beer garden be an adequate substitute for sitting in your own garden?
One enormous hurdle to downsizing is finding space for your treasured belongings. Downsizing means being ruthless and de-cluttering. Sort through your belongings and only keep those which you really need, cannot live without or are going to be practical in a smaller home. Taking things to auction or even doing a car boot sale can be fun and will raise additional funds. Ebay is another option or you can advertise larger items on local Facebook marketplace groups or in the local paper. Many charities such as FRAME and the British Heart Foundation will collect items of furniture from you.
One trap people often fall into is trying to buy a new, smaller home around their existing furniture. Whilst it can be an upheaval to change, sentimentality must be put aside as a new house is probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy so should always be the most important consideration. One of the easiest methods of freeing up space is to get rid of any unnecessary furniture – your new house may have built in wardrobes where previously you had freestanding ones which are now surplus to requirements – or the large dresser which stood proud in a farmhouse kitchen will swamp a small cottage. Swap large 3 seater sofas for a smaller 2 seater with a separate small armchair and your huge family dining table for a smaller one that can extend out to cope with Christmas and other family occasions and this will give you far more options.
When looking at potential new properties remember that rooms can be dual purpose. You may be used to having a separate dining room but consider instead having your dining table in the kitchen or conservatory of your new home. You may need a study but do consider whether this would double as a spare room for occasional guests if you put a comfortable sofa bed in there; thus saving on an extra bedroom.
Downsizing can be the perfect answer for many people and, if you bear these points in mind, may well be the right solution for you. If you are thinking of downsizing in West Wales, do give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. Not only can we suggest options for you and find you your ideal home, we can save you time, stress and money.