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When is the right time to downsize

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Downsizing is a natural part of a homeowner’s life, and one that we hear a huge amount about but don’t tend to get a lot of details. When should I downsize, how easy is it, is it worth it? We’ve put some answers together for anyone asking the questions and wondering if it’s time for their downsizing journey to begin.

  1. When should I downsize?

A lot of homeowners are unsure of when the right time to downsize is, and while research tells us that 64 is the best age, there is more to consider than just age. For some, the trigger of downsizing will be retirement which could be before or after that age depending on your situation. 

However, downsizing doesn’t always coincide with your retirement plan, especially if you’ve been able to retire early or are planning to continue working. One of the biggest reasons that homeowners actually take the leap to downsize is due to their physical health. Especially if you’re living in a house with a large garden that’s becoming hard to maintain or if you’re struggling with stairs, this is a big factor that you will need to consider. 

Another common reason for downsizing is the financial aspect. This can often pair with retirement, as your income will generally lower which can be difficult if you’re still paying a mortgage as well as your living costs. The most important thing is to downsize when you’re ready, and not when others think it’s the right time. 

a house
  1. How easy is downsizing?

Moving house is always a stressful process, and so it’s important to be mindful of this when you’re looking to downsize. There are ways that you can ease the stress, to make your move as smooth as possible –

  • Use the right estate agent:
    One of the biggest reasons that homeowners get stressed in their move is down to miscommunication and not knowing each step. A lot of this is down to not picking the right estate agent, so make sure that you do your research. If you know someone who’s sold a house recently, ask them how they found their agent and if they would recommend them. You can also look at online reviews, and the best way – speak to someone in that agency and see how helpful they are when you enquire. If you’re already chasing them before you sign with them, this is a bad sign. This is especially important if you’re keen to downsize soon and have been asking yourself “how can I sell my house quickly?”. Picking the right estate agent is a huge factor!
  • Know the process:
    There’s nothing worse than feeling lost and out of the loop, and the process of buying and selling a house is an incredibly complicated and long-winded one. It’s easy to lose focus and end up stressing in this situation, so make sure that you know each stage and are fully aware of the timeframes. Did you know that conveyancing can take over 16 weeks in some cases? For someone who doesn’t know that it can feel like you’re out of touch and losing your sale or purchase, which is incredibly stressful. Learn the process and don’t be afraid to ask questions to make yourself feel comfortable.
  • Plan in advance:
    Doing things last minute is another guaranteed stress inducer, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to outline what you’re doing and when it needs to be done. Start packing early so you don’t feel overwhelmed and get rid of the items you can’t take with you, whether you donate them to family and friends, a charity, or sell them on. Having a plan in place will always help you reduce the stresses of moving, making it much easier for you. 
a picture of a bungalow with a grass front lawn

Is downsizing worth it?

This will completely depend on your reasons for downsizing, but as long as you’re doing it the right way, then yes, downsizing should be worth it for you. If you’re downsizing to lower your costs but end up moving from a country location to a city centre, the costs are likely to increase, in which case it isn’t. However, if you do your research, focus on why you want to downsize, and make sure that the decisions you’re making is the right fit for you. 

Taking all of these points into consideration will let you know that you’re downsizing at the right time, and doing it in the right way for you to be able to enjoy no matter your circumstances! 

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