Thinking about downsizing your home?
According to recent data, the average UK homeowner moves homes every 23 years. It’s common to move around the time of retirement or in preparation for it, both for practical and financial reasons. And during this life stage, many homeowners choose not only to move, but also to downsize.
Downsizing is a personal and often difficult decision to make, but there are some signs that suggest you could benefit from it. For example, you may find that there are rooms you simply don’t use anymore or that are rarely occupied. The average home in the UK has 3 bedrooms, which makes sense for families with children or for those who have relatives visiting often and need a guest room. But if spare bedrooms aren’t used, you’re actually paying for space you don’t use, as bigger homes usually mean higher council and property taxes.
Maybe you have a definite plan of what you’d like to do after retiring. Retirement years are a great opportunity to have more time for yourself, and keeping a large property in good condition can interfere with that. After all, it’s only fair to want to have more time to do the things you enjoy, instead of cleaning or doing house maintenance. From a practical point of view, you may find that downsizing home can make your life more manageable.
Lastly, moving to a smaller property is a good way of releasing equity that can complement a pension or generate additional retirement income. Liquidity is always important, so it makes sense to optimise the money you have on hand to ensure you’re prepared to cope with unforeseen expenses.
The Benefits Of Downsizing Home
- More free time for hobbies, active living, or to be with your family.
- Lower bills – especially energy bills, which can make a big difference to your overall living expenses.
- It’s easier to relocate if you have to.
- Linked to the above, living in a smaller home can lower the cost of removals and storage if they’re needed at some point in the future.
- It can help you become more selective with your purchases. There are only so many appliances or furniture you can fit in a smaller space.
Downsizing Home The Smart Way: Things You Want To Keep In Mind
Still undecided? Here are some considerations that can help you decide if downsizing is right for you.
- The lifestyle you want to have in the years to come, and whether your current home suits your goals.
- How active your social life is: do you plan on hosting large dinners or family gatherings often or are you okay keeping your social circle small?
- How easily you adapt to change.
- Whether you have pets that wouldn’t thrive in a smaller home.
- Health issues. Even if you’re healthy now, mobility or accessibility issues are likely to appear in the future. These limitations are easier to address in smaller / one-storey homes.
If the idea of downsizing is starting to look like the right thing to do, there’s one more thing you’ll need to consider. The obvious challenge is fitting lots of stuff into a smaller space, so if you’re downsizing your home decluttering is a must. Decluttering can free up additional living space and help create an enjoyable home environment even if you move to a smaller home. Not only that, but decluttering can also have a positive impact on your emotional well-being.
Having said that, getting rid of belongings is partly an emotional decision, just like moving to another home is. So if cannot bring yourself to throw old belongings away, you could consider recycling them. Some household items can find a new life if donated or taken to a recycle centre. We’ve written a blog post with suggestions on how to declutter, but usually white goods, furniture, clothes are electronics can be easily recycled, and in some cases you can even make some money by selling them online.
The next question is how do you sell your home in the way that is right for you? Depending on where you live the selling process could be easy. High demand areas with attractive properties often go quickly and at a premium, that being the case you could chose to go through a traditional estate agency, which in London would carry a fee between 1% – 6% of the property value. The cheaper alternative would be through an online only estate agent, which in London pitch themselves at around £1600 to sell your property.
If you are struggling to sell your property, however, it can be frustrating to unlock your situation and facilitate your move. Especially if you see your ideal home pass you by while you are trying to sell. In this instance there are companies that will buy your home within a short period of time, often within a matter of weeks. This option is not for everyone, however, and should be investigated thoroughly. For more information on this type of we buy any house company, visit Spring.
The last thing to consider would be the logistics of the home move. Never underestimate the importance of choosing an experienced removals company, as this can help ensure the process is stress-free. At Volition Removals we’re experts helping London homeowners move irrespective of their home size. Get in touch with our team if you’re going to be downsizing your home decluttering, or needing storage soon. Our goal is to help you settle smoothly into your new home.