'For sale' sign outside a home
Articles

Are you ready to downsize your home?

5 minutes

Deciding to move out of your current home to a smaller house can be a difficult and emotional decision.

After all, this is often the place where your children grew up or where you’ve made memories with family and friends. 

However, downsizing can have a range of benefits. A smaller home could mean lower costs in terms of bills and home insurance. There’s also less space to clean and maintain, leaving more time for the things, and people, that matter.

Before you take the leap and downsize your home, read our guide to find out some of the key things that are worth bearing in mind. 

What is downsizing?

Downsizing is the process of moving to a smaller house. This is often because children have left home and parents find themselves with a property that’s too big for them.

How do you know when to downsize?

Many people choose to downsize after they retire – or when the kids have all left home – but you can do it at any point in your life. A good sign that it’s time to downsize is when you find you no longer need all the space, or you begin to struggle at home. This could be due to health reasons, such as finding it tricky to climb stairs or difficulty keeping up with the maintenance. 

Whether your children have flown the nest, or you’ve filled a room with knick-knacks, consider if you’re really using every space in your home. 

Once you retire, your income is usually lower than it was when you were working, so selling your home – as well as cutting some of those hefty bills – could be the way to go.

Alternatively, you might just fancy a lifestyle change, or want to move closer to family so you can see more of them, or like the idea of having a lump sum of money to head off on some far-flung adventures.

Common reasons for downsizing your home 

  • Pay off debts 
  • Home is too much maintenance 
  • Reduce living costs
  • Fund travel/different lifestyle
  • Help with retirement

What are the benefits of downsizing?

Each of the most common reasons to downsize comes with its own benefits. For instance, if you want to reduce the costs and maximise your pension funds, home insurance for over 50s is usually cheaper for smaller spaces. 

Maintenance is often a big factor in why people choose to downsize. Having a smaller home not only saves you money on repairs and cleaning, it also cuts down the time spent on household jobs. This means you have more time to spend with the family or to take up a new hobby.

Often it can feel that the bigger the house, the bigger the stress. By downsizing effectively, you could lead a better lifestyle. There could be benefits to your physical health, for instance if you have limited mobility, or to your wellbeing from having fewer outgoings and more time to relax.

Moving home also encourages you to declutter, helping you to maximise your new space and clear out any old bits and bobs you’ve been hoarding but never got around to getting rid of.

How will downsizing affect my lifestyle?

Downsizing could have a positive impact on your lifestyle, both in the short-term and over the long-term. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your home’s upkeep costs or insurance, downsizing your home will also help downsize your bills. This could leave you with more money to put towards your pension, or to spoil the grandkids with. 

When staying in one place for an extended period of time, it’s natural to accumulate and store more items than you really need. Moving into a smaller home will help you to organise and prioritise your belongings, so you can live free from stress and clutter. 

Downsizing could also help you look towards the future. A smaller house will be easier to get around and maintain as you get older.

Downsizing is the process of moving to a smaller house. This is often because children have left home and parents find themselves with a property that’s too big for them.

How do I start downsizing?

Are you ready to start a new chapter in your life? If so, here’s how you can start preparing for the move. Firstly, you should evaluate your needs. Picture the type of house you would like to downsize to. Here are a few things worth thinking about:

  • Size – How much furniture do you have, and how much space will you need? Consider if there’s anything in particular you want, such as a big living room to fit the whole family or a spare room for guests. 
  • Functionality – Picture yourself there in the next 10 or so years, would a house still be suitable, or would a bungalow be a better option?
  • Location – Where do you want to be? This could be closer to family or maybe you fancy a quiet spot in the countryside. 
  • Costs – Plan out your budget, factoring in any estate agent fees or stamp duty costs you’ll need to pay when selling your home.
  • Additional features – This is what makes a house a home. Do you want a garden for the grandkids to run around in? Do you love to cook or bake and want a kitchen that can help you rustle up some amazing creations? 

You’ll also want to start sorting through your things as early as possible. Give yourself plenty of time so you’re not overwhelmed. It’s a good idea to break this up into 15-minute tasks every day, or a room a week.

Try to think practically as well as sentimentally. Will you have space for this in your new home, or will it be left in a box or sit gathering dust on a shelf?

Moving to a new house can be stressful, but with LV= home insurance it doesn’t have to be.