There are many reasons why you might consider downsizing your home when you get to a certain age and the children have left home. But also a number of considerations it’s best you know about in advance.
On one hand, a smaller home is easier to clean and to maintain both inside and outside in the garden. Cheaper to run too with lower energy bills. It’s estimated, for example that you can save £500 a year by moving from a four-bedroom into a two-bedroom place. Downsizing can free up money you could use to pay off the remainder of your present mortgage or it could provide you with an income into your retirement. The average downsizer can save roughly £112,000 by selling up and achieve an income of £14,000 per annum by claiming the state pension and investing in an annuity.
On the other hand, the thought of downsizing can feel daunting. Breaking emotional attachments to a long-standing family home, the fear of imminent claustrophobia or where to start in your search.
Older people tend to fall into the category of asset rich, cash poor. Freeing up equity in your home can go towards helping your children or grandchildren afford a deposit to buy their own homes.
If you’re living somewhere rural, you might want to consider moving closer into town where you’re closer to amenities – to a high street, a leisure centre and a doctor’s surgery. Somewhere with good transport links.
Buying a new place, you will need to pay stamp duty – 2% on houses priced between £125,001 and £250,000; 5% on homes above £250,000. There will be the removal costs too. And you will also need to pay legal fees and an estate agent’s fee. Some agents charge as much as 2%. Incidentally, we charge 1% and offer what we consider a comprehensive package of services to help you sell.
There is no right time to downsize. Although retirement age is a typical time people think about doing it. These days, when people are often healthier and fitter than any previous generation at this age, there’s a lot to be said for upping sticks when you’re much better at dealing with the stress, hassle and time involved in a move rather than later when you may not be so mobile. More time too to establish yourself in a new area and make new friends.
When you’re ready to make the plunge, come talk to us about houses for sale in Swindon and let’s see what there is for you on the market.