If the demands of maintaining a large house and garden are proving to be a challenge then you may consider downsizing to a smaller property. If your cash is tied up in your property then downsizing may free up some cash for you to enjoy retirement.
Whatever the reason for moving to a smaller property, here are a few tips to help you manage the process.
Finding a new home
Whilst you already know that you want something smaller, it’s important to think about your other requirements:
Downsizing typically occurs when buyers are moving into their retirement, looking for somewhere to live out their lives in comfort. Whilst you may have dreamt of living in that period cottage by the sea, try to think about how practical those narrow, winding staircases may be in years to come.
Whilst some people downsize to a neighbouring property in their area, others may choose to change area completely. Some may be looking to move to a purpose-built retirement development. If you are worried about losing your support network, remember that retirement developments can offer an established community of like-minded people.
Make sure you consider the amenities in your preferred location. Are there shops close by? Health services? Is your new home served by public transport? These are all essential things that you’ll need as you get older so that your quality of life isn’t compromised by your move.
Coping with emotions
Moving out of a much-loved family home can be a difficult chapter, even if it is a necessary move. Although you have cherished memories of your home, try to focus on the future and the positive aspects of the move. A smaller, more manageable space could improve your wellbeing and financial status.
One thing that can be a struggle is letting go of certain objects, particularly those that have an emotional attachment. However, it’s important to remember that by downsizing, you are likely to have less space so you may need to be a little ruthless.
Try to split down your belongings into three categories: “must have”, “can live without it” and “I can easily replace it.” Large items such as your bed, kitchen appliances and TV can be considered essentials. Smaller, non essential decorative items can be dispensed with, as these are likely to clutter up a smaller space.
Also don’t be afraid to get rid of family heirlooms if they aren’t practical. They do hold a lot of emotional power but try to think whether you logically need them. Is there another family member that would like them instead?
Seek mortgage advice
If you’re downsizing to release some cash, then it’s probably a good idea to seek some independent financial advice. You may not actually have a mortgage, however if you do, you should consider speaking to a mortgage broker. They can search the market to help to find you get the best deal to make the most out of downsizing.
The above post does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. The information within this article is the author’s own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or So Smart Money.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.