Knowing when it’s time to downsize can be difficult and it’s not something you can rush into. As you get older you may want a home that is easier to maintain, closer to amenities and within easy reach of friends and family.
Downsizing can give your life fresh perspective, allowing you to enjoy new hobbies, friends or expanding family ties.
Your home is likely to be one of your biggest and most important assets so downsizing could even free up funds to help you enjoy your later years.
If you’re thinking about downsizing, it’s important to take into account some considerations – here are some of the things you should be thinking of.
When you retire your income is likely to be lower, so you may find that after bills you have less money to run your home. Downsizing can be the solution, enabling you to maintain the same lifestyle as when you were working as the running costs could be considerably lower.
Consider moving to a home that is future proofed – one that is set over one floor, with lift access or a bungalow. You are likely to need fewer bedrooms and open plan living could be a good option if you are downsizing as it will increase the sense of space in your home.
Is the area you live in still right for you? As you get older you might want to live closer to the shops, friends of family so that you aren’t relying on either the cost of a car or public transport. Familiarise yourself with different areas to ensure you’re making the right decision for your desired lifestyle. Be practical and look at the transport and parking options, whether there are local groups, amenities and the proximity to friends and family.
As you get older you may want to spend either more time in the garden or less time maintaining your outside space. Consider how easy it will be to maintain both the interior and exterior of your home and choose a newer property if you don’t want the extra hassle.
You might want to downsize to free up funds to travel, help a family member to buy a property or simply to enjoy more luxuries in your day to day living. If you do want to help a family member, make sure you talk to a financial advisor to get the facts on inheritance tax and gifting or lending money.