Dreaming of Downsizing?
What does downsizing mean to you? Freedom from the shackles of financial responsibility? Or the first step on the slippery slope to decline and dependence? Estate agents have noticed downsizers increasingly choosing to buy property in picturesque villages or pretty market towns, where shops and other amenities are within walking distance. So, what are the pros and cons of downsizing and top tips to make the transition as painless as possible?
First and foremost, celebrate not having to consult a checklist of schools and stations, and enjoy the fact that this property decision can be made entirely with your heart. Another reason to be cheerful is that financially you’ll be much better off, without expensive mortgage payments, heating bills and costly upkeep and repairs. The inevitable decluttering will also be liberating and a favour to your children, who will be spared the job of wading through a lifetime of hoarding when you inevitably shuffle off this mortal coil.
However, brace yourself for the emotional side to downsizing. Saying goodbye to the family home where your children grew up may feel like losing a part of yourself, so allow enough time to come to terms with this. There is also the physical problem of what to do with generations of cherished belongings. Dining rooms are often the first to go in a downsizing move, leading to a furniture problem as yours was the only house big enough for grandmother’s bespoke dining table. A call to the auction house may be timely, with any sale income handy to put towards moving costs.
Once you’ve decided to downsize, chat to local estate agents and get a feel for what you want, and when viewing properties, be practical. Winding stairs are charming, but won’t be suitable when you’re pushing eighty. A house with a kitchen and living area big enough for family gatherings will soften the blow for disgruntled children, as will a spare room for when grandchildren come to stay. And when the decision has been made, get the ‘big’ house looking its best, and mentally start letting go…
Are you thinking of downsizing? Michael Graham estate agents would love to hear from you, and for town and country properties for sale, visit michaelgraham.co.uk