Downsizing – not just the preserve of ’empty nesters’
For many it’s the time of the year when the children have moved off to university, the home feels empty, and just that bit too big, and thoughts turn to downsizing.
But there are plenty of other reasons why moving to a smaller property makes good sense. Not only is there less cleaning and smaller annual household bills, but any profit from the sale can be used as a welcome cash bonus to improve your life quality (taking into account the cost of further education and Freshers’ Weeks!).
Downsizing was once the preserve of ’empty-nesters’, who no longer needed so much space once the children had left home; however, it’s now becoming a sensible option for a wide cross-section of people.
Those days of soaring property prices are but a dim and distant memory in the vast majority of areas but the idea of trading down is alive and well in these more austere times with homeowners of all ages looking to make the best potential use of their property.
Some downsize in order to finance their progeny through university. The cost of a degree education soared in 2012 and many parents have chosen to help with the financing, which can amount to tens of thousands of pounds.
It can, without doubt, be a wrench to leave a much-loved home with years of family memories carefully nestled under its roof but the practical side is the release of monies to help now when it’s needed.
Releasing money for whatever reason doesn’t mean that downsizing equals down trodden.
Many people use some of the released equity to improve the smaller home to their taste with loft or garage conversions, stylish new windows and doors or the addition of an orangery or conservatory.
“Not only does this give them more space within close confines,” explains Steve Thorogood, Managing Director of Admiral Homespace, “it also gives that all-important stamp of individuality on a new abode.”
Research carried out by Righmove earlier this year revealed 40 per cent of those intending to sell in the next year were motivated by a desire to trade down.
‘Be aware of the costs though,” cautions Steve Thorogood. “It is still a relatively expensive exercise to move home once estate agent’s fees, legal costs and stamp duty have been taken into consideration. Think carefully of what you want to achieve. Think also of how you are going to downsize your possessions. Clever storage or an additional room will help make the transition more enjoyable.”
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Published October 25, 2012