Thinking of downsizing your home? Here's what to consider.
Having spent more time in their homes recently some homeowners may be questioning its suitability for the future and whether the demands of repairing, maintaining and cleaning it will become even more onerous over time and, as personal circumstances change, if now might be the time to downsize. Here Your Move provides some ideas if you are in the midst of making that decision.
Consider what’s important to you.
Whilst your home might once have been a great family ‘bolthole’, or a big property you’ve shared with others, it’s worth considering what’s most important to you now. If that’s spending more quality time (and money) doing the things you like most - rather than spending it on your house - now might be the time to make a move. Perhaps as an empty nester, a divorcee, someone bereaved or reaching later life - consider what you really need the space for now. Think too about your future health and well-being and how you might cope with staircases, hard to maintain fixtures and fittings or even the big garden on your own or as you get older. Is the location of the property also suitable now or would you prefer to be nearer others? It’s about prioritising what’s most important now, and in the future.
What would your dream home be?
Consider what, and where, your perfect home would be and if your current one doesn’t ‘fit the bill’ start searching for what else might be around. Browsing on estate agency websites, like Your Move, or some of the main property portals should help you in understanding what’s on offer and the options that might be available to you. Perhaps a city centre flat, a smaller property, a bungalow or even a rental property might be more suitable for you.
Think about your finances too.
The running costs of any home can be high but if you are paying excessive amounts to heat rooms you no longer use or even paying standard water bills that are more suitable for a growing family than a person living on their own, or as a couple, you could make huge savings. If you’ve got a mortgage too, and associated insurances, that come with a bigger house you could also make savings if you were to downsize. It could even lead to you being mortgage free and, of course, if you choose to sell and buy a smaller property that costs less, there could be cash available from your sale to spend on others things that are more important or beneficial to you.
What could you do with the spare cash?
It’s a big decision and probably depends on the amount involved. You could choose to treat yourself to well-earned treats or holidays or gift money to relatives, a charity or a cause close to your heart. The Bank of Mum and Dad is often very popular and you could consider helping any younger members of your family to get on the property ladder themselves. If amounts are reasonably high, or there’s a chance that you can still gain a mortgage, you could consider buying a buy to let property, in addition to a new home, in the hope that you could generate some income to support your existing salary or pension. It’s advisable, however, to gain professional financial advice to help you decide as well as the support of a qualified mortgage advisor.
It can be a big decision to downsize and often not one to take lightly. Perhaps discuss ideas with friends and family and, as before, consider what’s best for you. Understand too what your current property is worth and the likelihood of it selling, remembering that what might be too big for you now, could be the perfect home for another family or couple only too eager to buy and care for it, just like you have.
If you are considering downsizing, and would like to understand the value of your existing property and what other properties may be available to you, why not contact one of our branches for support. Following government guidelines, you can still visit our branches – with a pre-booked appointment – or simply contact them via phone. They will be happy to help you.
YOUR PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.
Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity.