With 5.7 million people in the UK considering moving to smaller homes (according to research in 2017) – whether it’s because you have an empty nest or want something which requires little upkeep – if you are thinking about making the move to downsize your home, there are some important things to consider.
Will you want guests?
If you regularly host guests or the kids come home on special occasions, are you okay with recommending a hotel? Downsizing will, of course, see you with fewer bedrooms and space in general. So if you’re the home that throws the New year’s Eve party every year, you may need to find a new organiser – or a home which can still accommodate guests.
Are you willing to part with belongings?
This is possibly one of the toughest decisions you will have to make when you downsize: what goes to the new house. When you downsize you will have to consider how many rooms you will realistically need, going from a five-bed to a one-bed could cause more trouble than your current living arrangements.
If you are cutting a couple of rooms though, but aren’t exactly sure about what you will do with your new home, investing in a self-storage unit will allow you to take as long as you need to arrange the new rooms accordingly. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to store some of the children’s old things for them to come and collect when they’re visiting next.
To help you decide on what to keep, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you use it regularly?
- Is it in good condition – how long has it got left?
- Will it fit in the new home?
- Is it valuable? (monetary or sentimental)
- Do I need it?
Are you ready for a lifestyle change?
You will need to do a bit of research on where you want to move to before you make your final decision to downsize; a move to a new area could change your whole lifestyle. If you’re used to living on the doorstep of a big city, moving to the countryside with less to offer (entertainment, shops and sometimes neighbours) could be a drastic change. Also, consider how any hobbies you have could be affected by the move. If you enjoy swimming every night, you don’t want to move to an area where its nearest pool is 45 minutes away.
Don’t forget about transport
f you drive a car, you should check to see how, and if, your insurance will be changed. For example, if you move from a private gated driveway to a shared car park, you could see a slight increase in the price. If you move further away from work, your fuel usage will increase as will the time it takes to get to work – and vice versa if you move closer. And if you use public transport, you’ll want to ensure you have a bus service to your new area.
Downsizing can be an exciting time, but smaller doesn’t mean easier and will still need plenty of planning to ensure downsizing is right for you.