To downsize or not downsize
09 March 2015
A growing trend is emerging in the UK with one in ten older people choosing to downsize their home.
Local estate agent Jeremy Knight of Reed Rains, Evesham, who has more than 35 years experience in the property market, tells us that downsizing is not just a simple case of cashing in equity for buyers in Evesham.
Research indicates that three in five of downsizers aged over 55 are attracted by the convenience of running a smaller home, whereas just a third would do it because they needed to raise money.
Jeremy said: “Known as ‘last time buyers’, downsizers are usually 55 and above and are often ‘empty nesters’ who are keen to free up their time and cut down the cost of living by moving to a smaller home. We are finding that new developments in established communities, such as Persimmon Homes’ Blossom Fields here in Evesham, are becoming increasingly popular with house hunters looking to downsize.”
In Jeremy’s experience the top 10 reasons to downsize are:
- Moving closer to family is a particularly popular reason for downsizers to up-roots to a smaller property. Many move back to their hometown to be close to a familiar community.
- The work involved in maintaining a larger and often older house has the potential to take up time and energy. Cleaning, maintenance, furnishing can all add up to a home that is stressful. Downsizing can be the first step to an easier life with a reduction in daily chores and maintenance which frees up time for leisure activities, spending time with family, getting more rest, and maybe loving your home more than loathing it.
- Many homeowners agree that smaller, cosier homes enable the family to bond rather than being dispersed in a large property. Instead of looking at a smaller home as a downgrade, it is considered to offer an improved and happier lifestyle.
- Anyone living in a larger property is aware that rising cost of household utilities and council tax can not only eat into savings it could also result in the property owner spiralling into debt.
- Buyers are also more environmentally aware and keen to reduce their carbon footprint by moving to a more efficient new home that doesn’t cost a fortune to heat or allow heat to escape through old windows and doors.
- Downsizing can potentially free up equity that can be enjoyed rather than keeping a large property that will ultimately be subject to inheritance tax.
- For many homeowners downsizing their home can be a new chapter. Whether they are an empty-nester who has older children who have moved out or someone who has suffered from a death of a spouse or partner. Downsizing can represent a way to start a new life in a new home.
- Furnishing a large house can be expensive and a bit of a chore for those who don’t have the time or inclination to style the space in exactly the way that they would like. A smaller space offers owners a chance to create functional space with key pieces to furnish their homes simply but stylishly.
- Moving to a smaller property is a great opportunity to de-clutter. Getting rid of unwanted items can not only free up much need storage space it can also be extremely therapeutic.
- Green-fingered house hunters are keen to enjoy outdoor space but don’t necessarily want to spend all their spare time gardening. A smaller garden offers the best of both worlds and can look amazing with much less effort.
Jeremy concluded: “My advice to anyone looking to make the move would be to work out costs including legal costs, tax, research the market to find out exactly what you want and the space you need.
“Whatever the reasoning, it seems that more and more people feel liberated and extremely happy with their choice to downsize.”