What is Downsizing?
In short, downsizing is the process of moving into a smaller property, it is often associated with families whose children have flown the nest, but whether you have sent young’uns into the big scary world or not, there are plenty of pros to moving into a smaller home. In this article we will look at the benefits of downsizing and some of the cons you may want to keep in mind before making the decision.
Reasons to Downsize
While the decision to move is always a tough one (especially to a smaller home), downsizing can bring distinct benefits that make the move worthwhile. These reasons tend to revolve around the financial benefits of owning and maintaining a smaller property.
Downsizing can increase your cash flow, if you’re spending less on your mortgage, you have more to spend on other needs and desires. Depending on your current home and how you choose to downsize, the process could also raise money after buying a less expensive house with the proceeds from your sale.
If desired, it can also be used as a chance to move to more expensive areas, while you may not raise as much money from the sale of your home. You will still make savings on the cost of running the home itself. A smaller home will cost less for general maintenance, council tax, and the energy required to heat up extra rooms, something that is particularly important in the current climate.
The incentives aren’t all financial however, downsizing also offers an opportunity to move into a property that is easier to manage – this can save you the stress and time of managing everything that comes with a larger home. Think of the time it takes to clean extra toilets, maintain bigger lawns and gardens, vacuum unused guest bedrooms, rummage through things in the garage. In fact, when asked about their primary reasons for downsizing, around 25% of people said that they did so due to their previous homes being too difficult and time consuming to maintain.
Potential Disadvantages of Downsizing
Even though smaller homes are on trend at the moment, they do come with some potential disadvantages you should be aware of.
Having less space means you may not be able to fit all your furniture and possessions into your new home. The chances are that you will have to speak to your inner Marie Kondo and make difficult choices about what you want to keep and what you will sell, give away, or even throw out.
And it’s not just possessions, having less space also means less space for people. If family and friends come from out of town for a big holiday meal, they may have to stay in a hotel (although depending on what you think about guests this could be another pro)!
There is also less space for you and your family to manoeuvre in the house, it might be hard to escape and find some peace and quiet away from other family members. This is something a lot of people experienced during the lockdowns with their houses suddenly feeling a lot more ‘full’.
Is there a good time to downsize?
There is little difference between choosing to downsize in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market but selling in a seller’s market will generally leave you with more cash in hand after completing the sale. Selling in a seller’s market and buying in a buyer’s market would be the best of both worlds, however, it is usually impossible to time the market.
Overall, if you have been contemplating downsizing, now could be a good time to take the leap. We are approaching the tail end of a seller’s market and with the rising cost of living and energy bills rocketing, using less energy and cutting those utility bills could make a lot of difference. You just have to ensure that having less space won’t impact the lifestyle that you want.