When you reach a certain age, it’s not unusual to consider downsizing your home. Perhaps you’ve raised your family, your children have moved out for good (or only return during holidays), and your current home is now too big for you. A larger house can be expensive to run, especially when you consider energy bills. It can also simply feel too large, with too much space to fill and to look after. If you’re thinking about downsizing, you’ll need to juggle selling your home and buying a new one. So where do you start if you want your plan to work?
Sell Up at the Right Time
Selling your house at the right time is one of the most important things to think about. Firstly, you need to think about when it’s the right time for you. Secondly, you have to consider the right time to put your house on the market for a good chance of selling soon and getting the price you want. When you sell might depend on whether you’re fully retired, to start with. If you still work, you’ll want to stay close to your place of employment, which means you need to wait if you’re planning to move away. Of course, you have more flexibility if you’re self-employed. However, if you’re retired, you can move when and where you want to.
You might want to think about selling up sooner than you may have previously considered. While some people don’t move until they’re in their 70s or older, doing it earlier has its benefits. Some properties can take a while to sell, particularly when the housing market isn’t very strong. In some cases, your property could be on the market for several years before you manage to find a buyer. Another thing to consider is coordinating the sale of your property with the purchase of a new one. What will you do if you buy an off-plan property but your current property sells before your new one is finished?
Be Prepared to Depersonalize Your Home
It can be tough leaving a home that you have lived in for years. You’ve spent time there with your family, and it holds a lot of memories. But if it’s time to move on, you need to make some tough decisions. Clearing out some of your things is one necessity, but it’s not all you need to do. If you want to sell your home, you might need to think about making it slightly less personal. When people come to view your property, they might want it to look lived in. However, some personal tastes might not match yours and buyers could find some of your decor choices offputting. Consider whether you’ll need to strip things back a little.
Deciding Where to Move
Choosing just where you’re going to move once your property has sold is important. You need to think about a few different things, from what type of property you want all the way to which country you want to live in. Some retirees decide that they want to move abroad, perhaps to somewhere sunnier or more affordable. Others want to move to a quieter area or would prefer to be somewhere less rural so they won’t be so isolated. You should also think about whether you want to be in a retirement community or if you would rather be in the wider community.
Know How Much You Want to Downsize
When you think about downsizing, how much to you want to downsize? You might start off with a house with three or more bedrooms, but now there’s just two or even one of you. You need to consider factors like how much space you need and the cost of running your home. You might like the idea of having a guest bedroom or space for your family to stay, but is it really necessary? Some people might move to a two-bed home, while others can decide on somewhere with only three or four rooms altogether.
Be Practical About What to Keep
Downsizing means having to downsize your possessions too. It can be hard to get rid of some things with strong memories attached, but you should think practically about what you want to keep. The amount of space you’ll have isn’t the only thing to consider. For example, if you decide to ditch your bed, is it going to be expensive to replace? Try to minimize what you’ll have to spend replacing items, as well as moving them to your new home.
Downsizing your home can be emotional, but it’s often the right decision. You can be happy in your new home and feel that it’s right for your later years.
Best Wishes, Susan