Friday 16 October 2015

Finance Fridays – Downsizing Your House

Downsizing your house home property moving retirement retiring
Welcome to this week's Finance Fridays. Last week we were looking at solar panels on top of your house and this week it's all about the size and location of your house. For many people the idea of downsizing your home is simple. You sell one large property in order to move to a smaller one. The facts and figures behind this can be a lot more complicated.

Moving in retirement

Most people who downsize their property have retired. The situation is very simple in that they are living in a house designed to accommodate far more people. Downsizing can offer the following benefits:

If your new property is all on one level it can be easier to get about in.
Smaller or no garden to maintain.
Fewer rooms to clean.
Lower monthly bills in the form of council tax, gas and electric and possibly even water bills if you are not using so much water in the garden.

Downsizing to a cheaper area

If you move into a house as a couple and then have children you may soon find that the house that was plenty big enough for two becomes a tight squeeze for three or more. One way to upgrade the size of your property is to downsize your location and move to a cheaper area. In many areas the next town or village a couple of miles away can have less expensive property in it but just not as fashionable. Do your homework though as to other reasons why property prices are lower. Is it scheduled to have a big, new road or HS2 rail line going through it? Is it under a noisy flight path? Does the local factory emit a lot of smells?

The costs of downsizing

One of the aims of downsizing is to save money but of course moving house has many costs attached to it. Do you have the immediate funds to enable your house move? You can spend thousands on legal fees, surveys, estate agent fees and removal costs. Don't forget the dreaded Stamp Duty as well which needs to be paid on completion.

Once you move you'll be wanting to put our own mark on the property with new curtains, light fittings and flooring. If you are moving further away from shops, schools and your work also factor in the increase in fuel costs for your car.

Alternatives to downsizing

If you find you can't move there are ways to make your current home work for you. If your home simply feels too big perhaps think about taking in a lodger. If you have an university near you some students may prefer a more homely environment. You will also get a break from them when they got home for the holidays! Under the Government's Rent a Room Scheme you can earn up £4,250 per year tax-free by letting out furnished accommodation in your home.

If your house seems too small have a major declutter. Do you need all those books, CDs and DVDs. Do your children still play with all those toys? Have a clear out of your loft. Are you storing stuff just for the sake of it? Old clothes you will never wear again, boxes for electrical equipment you've had for years and broken TVs and games consoles can all go. If you find you now have space in your loft perhaps think about a loft conversion.

Do you need to move house? What are your property plans for the future?

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  1. My property plans are to stay where we are for now - but I'm sure we'll think again when the kids are older and need somewhere else to live....

  2. My parents are in the process of downsizing from a very large 3 bedroom house, to a smaller 1 or 2 bedroom bungalow. For us, we're looking to upsize, as we've outgrown our house >_<

  3. So many people we know have downsized recently, starting with both sets of parents! We need to upsize as we have outgrown our flat.

  4. We are staying put until the children are over 18! The house is in a great location near town, schools etc but the street does get crowded at school run time so I'd like to be out of that when the kids leave home!

  5. I think there can be many great reasons to downsize - we however are as downsized as we cold go at the moment. x

  6. I am not sure that I ever want to downsize. We talked to my mum about it when my Dad died and she wanted to stay put, plus her furniture wouldn't have fitted

  7. We need to upsize desperatley but need people to downsize so there are houses available

  8. I like my 4 bedroom though one day I will have to down size probably

  9. I don't know if we'll ever down size. Maybe when the girls are settled with their own families but for now it's stay as we are or up size maybe

  10. we only have a two bedroom house so it would be pretty impossible to downsize much. As it is the kiddos are going to share a room but totally makes sense if you are not using the space! x


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