Selling a House and Trading Down in 2012

publication date: Mar 19, 2012
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Selling a House and Trading Down in 2012


If you're trading down, the likelihood is that you've paid off your mortgage and are moving to somewhere smaller locally or nearer to friends or family. You've probably owned your home for ten or more years, so negative equity isn't an issue, nor is securing a mortgage.

The key issue for you is making sure you only move once, rather than several times. All too often, couples move to a property in the country or seaside and buy a third floor flat with great views. Then one of you becomes ill resulting in a quick sale to facilitate a move to a ground floor property nearer to hospitals and family.

In a market which could be depressed for some years to come, having to make two moves in quick succession could cost you significantly - both financially and from a stress perspective - so you must consider these critical factors when you're choosing what to buy:-

  • Easy access to local transport
  • Somewhere close to doctors and hospitals, friends and family
  • The ability to live on the ground floor, if it becomes necessary
  • A safe and sociable place, particularly if you are on your own
  • Low/easy maintenance of both the property and garden

It may be that you want to consider a retirement property, such as those offered by McCarthy and Stone or Pegasus. These companies can take all the stress out of trading down as they offer part-exchange deals, which means you sell to a third-party company that guarantees to purchase your home. The retirement company may also ‘top up' the offer, so that you don't end up feeling you've lost money on the sale of your property.

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