The trend for downsizing is on the up, particularly with the over 50s. This generation is increasing in size and half of people aged over 65 are considering downsizing as a viable option.
Many homeowners want to live in a smaller, cheaper and more manageable property, as well as wishing to grasp back some of the equity they have fixed in their current property. It makes sense that the more equity is available, the better the lifestyle and, if properly executed, downsizing is a clear way to achieve this.
If you are planning to move into a smaller home, do be sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Maybe you would like to get away from the hustle and bustle now that the children have grown up and moved on themselves. However, it is important to keep in mind where you are moving to, rather than on where you are leaving.
No doubt you will be taking many memories and sentimental items with you to your new home, but also you can take the opportunity to get rid of some clutter. It might be a good time to sell some of your items, maybe via a good old fashioned car boot sale in your local area or by registering with Ebay!
The children might be able to help and the move could certainly prompt them to pick up any of their own belongings which are still hanging around the house. This will certainly give you less to physically manage during the move.
Have you thought about how much space you are prepared to lose? A one bedroom character cottage might sound ideal when there are perhaps just the two of you, but if you are used to having a lot more space, then you might miss having that extra room. If you are in any doubt, it might help to view a smaller property and think about how much living space you really need, as well as the potential of the property to add a garden shed, conservatory or an extension at a later date if necessary.
The average cost in the UK for moving home is circa £12,000, including agency fees, legal fees, the stamp duty and surveyor costs. But it is not just the cost of moving itself that you need to consider. A different house means different everyday living costs. Regular journeys in the car, perhaps just to get the groceries, may affect your petrol costs; the council tax may differ and the house will be likely to vary in energy efficiency. Ideally you would probably like easy access to amenities, main roads and an energy efficient property, perhaps not too far away for your children to visit and vice-versa.
If you are retiring, you will especially wish to consider what sort of location and home will a happy one, where you will want to spend your time. Possibly somewhere quieter, such as a small cul de sac in a picturesque village area, where you can spend time enjoying the local attractions such as canals and countryside walks. Maybe you would prefer to be in a lively town centre location.