We all dream of owning a large house with a big garden, when we’re young. But when you’ve lived that dream for ten or twenty years it’s only natural to start questioning whether less really is more. Do you need all that space extra space you never use? Isn’t there more to life than weeding, trimming hedges and mowing lawns? What’s the point building up equity in your home if you can’t enjoy it? If these questions have crossed your mind recently, you’re not alone. A recent Prudential survey shows that almost 2.5 million homeowners are currently planning to downsize from their present home.
So what's standing in your way?
The most common reasons people give for not moving are emotional rather than practical, which means they can be quite difficult to overcome. However, if you open you mind the solution is often surprisingly simple.
For many people, the biggest barrier is the attachment they have to their current home. When you’ve lived in the same property for many years it’s hard to imagine being anywhere else. But in reality, it is only bricks and mortar you’re leaving behind. All those treasured memories will be with you forever, wherever you go.
The stress of moving
Moving home is always a daunting prospect. And, this is particularly true if you’re moving to a smaller property because that inevitably means you can’t take everything with you. However, when it comes to it, decluttering can be surprisingly liberating, and when it’s done most people wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.
What will other people think?
When you’ve worked hard to move up the property ladder it can be difficult to imagine living in a smaller property. But, downsizing doesn’t have to be a step-down. In fact, it can be quite the reverse. It’s all about choosing the right property in the right location. Get that right and the size of your home is irrelevant.
Reduced living space
We all like our own space, and plenty of it, but do you really need two or three spare bedrooms and a dining room you never use? Measuring the rooms in your home that are rarely used and subtracting this from the overall area of your house, will give you a good indication of how much space you really need to live comfortably. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.
The upside of downsizing
When you look at downsizing from a rational point of view there are very few arguments against it. Especially, when you weigh up financial benefits.
More money to spend on you
Moving to a smaller property allows you to release the equity in your present home. If you’ve owned your home for ten or twenty years, that could be £100,000 or more. That’s money you could use to top-up your pension pot, help your children through university or travel the world.
Reduced monthly outgoings
With a smaller home comes lower bills and maintenance costs. And, your insurance premiums are likely to be lower too. In fact, you could save £100’s, or even £1000’s a year by moving from a traditional three bedroom house to a modern, energy efficient, new-build apartment.
Larger homes can be costly and time-consuming to maintain, especially as they get older. There’s always something that needs doing whether it’s in the house or in the garden. With a newly built apartment, on the other hand, there’s no exterior woodwork to paint or grass to cut. Your boiler and kitchen appliances are all brand new. And, there are fewer rooms to tidy and clean.
More time to enjoy
With less jobs to do around the home and more money in the bank, you can do whatever you please. Whether that’s flying off on more exotic holidays or spending more time with your friends and family. You’re free - to do whatever you like, whenever you like.
So there you have it. Downsizing is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. But all things considered, it makes sense whether you follow your head or your heart.