Downsizing House 

Recent figures have shown that downsizing has been on the rise as homeowners make the choice to reduce outgoings and cut the amount of time spent on issues such as property maintenance and housework. Downsizing your house can also give you the opportunity to release equity to use for other purposes, such as buying a holiday home, travelling or helping your children into the property ladder. Here is our “Downsizing House Guide”. 

Below, we take a look at some of the potential advantages of downsizing and what you need to take into account if you are considering this option. 

At Lockings Solicitors, we routinely help clients downsize, tying in the sale of a larger property with the purchase of a smaller or less expensive one. We have many years of experience in dealing with conveyancing in East Yorkshire, the York area and further afield. The level of expertise we offer means that we can manage any potential difficulties effectively, reducing the risk of a transaction falling through. 

We are known for the level of service we provide and our clients often recommend us to their friends and family. We understand that moving house can be stressful and we will always do all we can to make the process as easy as possible. 

We will keep you updated as to the progress of your sale and purchase throughout and make sure that we are available to answer your questions and discuss issues as needed. 

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have at this stage. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the East Yorkshire and York area.

We are on the panels of approved solicitors of all major mortgage lenders and hold the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation in recognition of our high levels of legal competence, risk management and client service. 

Why downsize your home? 

Downsizing homes offers several possible advantages and is increasingly being chosen, not just by older couples looking for a retirement home, but by younger buyers wanting to reduce outgoings and free up more time to enjoy life. 

Some of the main benefits that downsizing may offer include: 

Less time involved in home maintenance 

The bigger your home, the more time the upkeep is likely to take. If you have rooms or outside space that you rarely use, you may want to consider whether you are prepared to keep spending your time looking after them.  

As well as regular upkeep, over time you will also need to pay for larger repairs and maintenance. This can be time-consuming and disruptive, even if you do not carry out the work yourself.  

Less expense 

A smaller home will be cheaper to run, generally having lower utility costs, lower Council Tax, smaller insurance premiums and less money needed on routine property-related outgoings. If you have a mortgage and you are able to pay this off or reduce it by downsizing, you will also save money on interest payments to your lender. 

Improved quality of life 

Having a smaller property that is simpler to run and keep clean can free up time to enjoy other activities. The costs savings on a smaller property could give you more money to spend in that time.  

You could also choose to move to an area that you prefer or that is more suited to your lifestyle, for example, a town with all of the amenities that you want or a home in the country or by the sea. 

Unlock capital in your current home 

Another popular benefit of downsizing is the release of capital. A lump sum can give you the option to help out family members financially or make some changes in your own life, such as choosing to travel, start a business or take early retirement. 

Move to a new area 

Downsizing your house can also give you the chance to move to a new area. Moving to somewhere smaller may make your money go further and give you more options when it comes to location. You might be able to consider more expensive areas that are better suited to the lifestyle you would like to have.  

Reducing clutter

Moving to a less spacious property generally forces people to reduce their possessions. This can be freeing, with less time needed to keep on top of tidying and organising items. The things you retain will generally be easier to locate and put away. 

Having less clutter has been shown to be beneficial mentally, as well as making your home more attractive and easier to live in. It can reduce levels of anxiety and stress and provide a higher degree of satisfaction with life. 

How do I downsize? 

If you are thinking of downsizing, you need to be clear about why you will be making the move and what you would like to achieve to ensure that you are happy with your new home. Points to consider when downsizing include: 

Finances 

While downsizing homes generally means a reduction in overheads, you should think carefully about how much equity you would like to release, what you want to do with this sum and what your ongoing expenses will be. 

Some properties might be smaller but still involve similar expenses. For example, if you move to a retirement apartment in a complex with monthly service charges, you might not see any reduction in outgoings.  

Making sure you have worked out how much you will need and ensuring you have a safety net is essential. If you are releasing a lump sum, plan how you will protect and invest this and make sure that you retain enough of it for your long-term security. 

Location 

When downsizing, people often move to a new location. This might be near family or somewhere they have always wanted to live. You should make sure you research the area thoroughly, looking at issues such as: 

  • Property prices and whether these are on an upward or downward trend compared to other areas 
  • Amenities, to include those you might want in the future, such as buses and healthcare facilities 
  • What changes are proposed in the area, for example, developments or new roads or rail links 
  • Crime rates 
  • Flood risk 
  • How busy the area is at different times of day, such as school run times, rush hour and during evenings and weekends 

Property type 

If you are moving to a smaller property, you may want to choose a different type of home. For example, a flat, retirement apartment or bungalow might be right for the next stage of your life. If you are planning on staying there long-term, make sure you think about what you might want in the future. For example, you might find that a very large garden becomes harder to manage over the years. 

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area conveyancing solicitors 

If you are considering downsizing and you have any questions about the conveyancing process we would be happy to hear from you. We can also let you have a costs estimate, to include Stamp Duty where applicable. 

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have at this stage. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the East Yorkshire and York area.

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