There are many reasons why people downsize. Some no longer need the space after their kids grow up and fly the nest. Others do it for relocation purposes, perhaps moving from a rural area back to the city, where house prices tend to be higher. Indeed, one in three people are either considering or expect to downsize, but what is the best way to do it? Is house downsizing worth it? And is downsizing an emerging trend? Here, we’re covering how to downsize your home with handy tips about moving to a smaller home.
In the face of the cost-of-living crisis, there are growing signs of an emerging downsizing trend in the housing market according to the Q3 Property & Homemovers Report. Looking at the report, most UK regions now have between 2.5 – 3 months of supply as of September 2022, this number is up from two months last quarter. We could interpret this as a sign, that homeowners are reassessing their current housing situation. When looking at the peak of the pandemic, demand for rural 4+ bedroom houses were high.
With further financial pressure on households and with the rising cost of maintaining a 4+ bedroom house, it might be of no surprise that homeowners are looking into either selling their home and downsize to a a two- or three-bedroom property.
What is downsizing?
Downsizing is when people move to a home smaller than the one they currently own. One of the most popular reasons for downsizing is due to the homeowner’s children growing up and leaving the family home. Consequently, the extra space is no longer needed.
Why do people downsize?
Children flying the nest isn’t the only reason for downsizing, it all depends on someone’s personal situation. There are more common causes for why people decide to move to smaller homes. These include:
Moving back to the city
How to downsize your home when in a divorce or break-up
When couples divorce, they typically move into a smaller place as they no longer need as much space
Some people downsize to save more money. If they feel there’s no need for the space, they see downsizing as a way to buy a cheaper home and build up their savings. They can also save on day-to-day living costs, such as energy bills.
How to to downsize your home to release capital
Another reason to downsize involves releasing equity in your home. This might be to invest in a second property, perhaps abroad. Or it could be to purchase a buy-to-let home.
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This handy how to downsize your home checklist will help to ensure you consider all the factors when downsizing. Download your copy today – just sign up for Free!
Pros and cons of how to downsize your home
Downsizing can be a smart move for many homeowners, whatever their reason for doing it. But it’s not a decision you should take lightly, and it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons before committing to a smaller property.
- Financial advantages – moving to a smaller home will likely mean lower utility bills. Plus, you may be able to save money from selling your larger home
- Easier to run – smaller properties tend to need less maintenance than larger houses, especially if they are new-build homes
- A chance to declutter – downsizing offers the opportunity for a simpler life with fewer possessions.
- Fewer possessions – of course, if you happen to be a fan of having stuff, then downsizing means you’ll need to make some important decisions about what to keep and what to leave behind
- Space restrictions – less space means you might feel a little cramped, especially if you’re used to living in a much larger home
- No room for guests – downsizing might mean eliminating the guest room and saying goodbye to having people come and stay.
How to downsize your home
If you’ve decided to downsize, you’ll want to ensure you do it right and minimise stress. Preparing in advance can help smooth the process, so you’re ready to go on moving day.
Start as soon as possible
Ideally, you should begin the downsize of your home about three months before the move. It’s not like a regular move, as you’ll have to decide what to do with the items you can’t take with you. Do you put them in storage, or perhaps you’ll sell them. Whatever you decide, it takes time to move your belongings. Don’t get caught out leaving it to the last minute.
Measure your new space
Measure your new space if you’ve already found somewhere to live. This will give you an idea of how much you can take with you and what to expect from your new home. Even if you haven’t found somewhere yet, you can look at floor plans on the property listings to get an idea of spacing in potential new homes.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help on how to downsize your home
Letting go of items isn’t always something you can do easily, especially if they have sentimental value. It might be worth asking friends and family members for advice. Plus, it can be a lot to handle. Asking for help with the move will lighten the load and maybe even give you a new perspective on possessions and belongings.
Think about your new lifestyle
Downsizing can come as a bit of a shock to the system for some people. But you can avoid surprises by preparing in advance and thinking about the bigger picture. Ask yourself why you’re downsizing and look at it as a chance to reset and begin a new chapter.
How to downsize your home can be a new, exciting chapter in your life. As long as you’re well prepared, moving from a large to a smaller home can take place without a hitch as you prepare to settle into your new house. For some extra help, download our downsizing checklist so that you have every angle covered.
Last Updated: October 30th, 2023