What should you consider if you are downsizing your home?

publication date: Jun 1, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What should you consider if you are downsizing your home?

There are lots of things to consider if you are downsizing from a large to a small property and possibly even changing your location. According to Kate Faulkner, MD of independent property advice site Designs on Property, "Most people don't think enough about how and where they are going to downsize too, or worse still, they make a snap decision which they then realise when it's too late wasn't a good idea". Here Kate explains what to consider if you are downsizing your home.

The first thing to think through is that if you move, ideally you'll want to move just once. Moving two or even three times can cost you a lot of money in moving fees and potentially in things like stamp duty tax to the government.

Can you stay in the area you currently live, or do you need to move nearer to friends or family? Remember, if you do move nearer to your family, are they definitely settled where they are? The worst thing you could do is up sticks and move near a son or daughter, only to find a few years later they decide to move somewhere else!

Another option is to move to an area that has all the facilities you need ‘later in life'. A good downsizing checklist of amenities includes being near:-

  1. Family and friends
  2. Doctors and hospitals
  3. Good public transport
  4. Local shops
  5. A home which can be adapted to live on the ground floor

Finally, it's worth checking out living in a new area for some time before selling your main home and buying a new one. Ideally before you make the ‘big move' it is ideal to stay in the new area first. You can do this for a week in a B&B first, then consider renting in the area for three to six months. This gives you a much better idea of what it will really be like to live there before you commit to the move.

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