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A Guide to Downsizing Your Home

Posted May 20, 2013 by Amy Sawyer to Real Estate 0 0
This post was written by a EasyFinance.com Community member. The views expressed below may not reflect the views of EasyFinance.com.

Downsizing has long been a popular option for many homeowners for a variety of reasons. Fewer rooms to clean, a smaller garden to look after, smaller heating bills and a very pleasant cash injection are just some of the main reasons for selling up a large property in favour of a smaller home. If you are considering downsizing yourself, here is a guide to making sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Houses on Coins

Be Clear On Your Reasons for Downsizing

The first thing that you need to do is to be very clear about why you are downsizing in the first place, and to then keep this in mind throughout the process. For example, if you want to get access to some more cash by freeing up the equity in your home, don’t let yourself be tempted by a charming little cottage that, whilst smaller than your current home, will cost you just as much. So define the purpose of the venture early on, and never lose track of why you want to move in the first place.

Understand the True Financial Rewards

It is easy to do a quick calculation and find out that you could be left over with £40,000 after selling up and buying a smaller place. However, it is not always as simple as it seems. The costs of moving home can add up very quickly when you add in the agent’s fees, stamp duty and legal costs, and you may well find out too late that you are not going to get access to the amount of cash that you originally expected.

You may also have to invest in new furniture for your new home. Your king-size double bed may not fit in your new bedroom, and you may have to buy a new fridge if there is no space in the kitchen. You may even have some decorating or repairs to carry out. All these things will reduce the amount of money you have left over, so it is a very good idea to do your sums carefully before you sell up.

houses for sale sign

Consider the Practicalities

Downsizing is a big lifestyle change, and you need to prepare for it accordingly. If you only think about the amount of money that you will receive from selling your property, you may forget about the practicalities of the move.

For example, a smaller place could mean no space for your car, so you will have to consider the transport links in the area. A smaller property may mean less space for entertaining guests or looking after grandchildren. There are lots of practicalities that come with downsizing, so make sure you carefully consider how it will affect your lifestyle.

Clear Out Your Unwanted Possessions

The biggest problem for many people when they downsize involves what they will do with their possessions. The fact is that you are probably going to have to make some difficult decisions. You may find that you have a lot of junk lying around, but you may also have to get rid of some larger items that are still worth something.

Consider all of your options before you start throwing things out. For example, you may want to sell some of your used items through eBay, or donate them to charities. If you want waste to be discarded in an environmentally friendly way you could use a van clearing service like AnyJunk, or you could even give things away to your friends and family. Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to start clearing things out as early as possible so that you can avoid having to decide what to do with everything at the last minute.

Good Luck with Your Downsizing

Downsizing can be a great idea for a number of reasons. However, make sure that you keep the above tips in mind when you start the process of looking for a smaller property. Then plan carefully, take your time over it and enjoy a successful and rewarding move into your new home.

About Amy Sawyer: Amy Sawyer is a freelance journalist based in London, she's written extensively about home moving in the past based on her own experiences of too many house moves in too short a space of time!

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