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Top Tips For Downsizing

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Have your children flown the nest or perhaps your current property has far too much space. Downsizing could be for you.

Downsizing provides numerous advantages, especially for those who make use of the available equity to travel, start their own business or help their children buy their first property.

If you are considering downsizing your property, you are not alone.  One in five older savers would like to reduce the size of their homes to release equity, but a lack of available properties and the cost of moving provides many challenges.

Fortunately, the Tory government has sought to amend this with a policy to encourage more good-quality, new-build sheltered accommodation for older people.  There are also calls for stamp duty to be waived for over 55s who wish to downsize.

If you are looking to free up equity to enable you to enjoy your ‘third-age’ to the full, here are our top tips for downsizing your property.

Take some time to work out where you want to live and the type of property you desire

Remember, this is likely to be the last move you make so you want to ensure you get exactly what you want.  Think about location first.  If you are relishing the idea of regular trips to the theatre, restaurants and shopping after spending the last two decades bringing up your family.  Then moving to a sleepy village, far from a train station is probably a mistake.  If on the other hand, you have spent your career burning the candle at both ends in the City, an escape to the country may be just what is needed.

If family is of importance to you might also need to consider your family.  You may have a life-long dream to move to Cornwall, but what if this means living hundreds of miles away from your grandchildren?

Dump the clutter

Downsizing also provides the perfect opportunity to rationalise the possessions you have accumulated over the years.  Although a trip up into the attic may invoke feelings of dread at the thought of sorting through decades of books, school work and kitchen utensils that ‘might just come in handy one day’, a clear out will need to be done. 

Think about what you will need.  Does your new property have a garden?  If not, most of the contents of your garden shed can go.  Getting rid of clutter can be incredibly liberating, so embrace this opportunity to start anew.

Get good advice

If you are downsizing to a new-build property or apartment, it is crucial that you instruct an experienced solicitor to handle the sale of your existing property and the purchase of your new home.

New build properties can come with a raft of snagging issues.  Your conveyancing solicitor will ensure you have appropriate warranties in place, including a two-year warranty for fixtures and fittings.  Apartments and new builds are often built on brownfield land, previously occupied by industry.  Although brownfield land is checked by the developers to ensure it is environmentally sound, problems can still arise. 

In summary

Downsizing is an exciting time, a chance to free up capital and enjoy your freedom.  Whatever you choose to do, Bird & Co will be by your side to advise you.

At Bird & Co, our conveyancing solicitors are property experts. We have years of experience helping clients downsize their property, with customer service at the heart of what we do.  If you are considering downsizing, you need the experts at your side. Get in touch with us today on 01636 600 656.