Is it time to downsize?

It is an inevitable fact of life that as we grow older, our needs and capabilities change. This affects many aspects of life and particularly our homes.

It’s common to upsize your home when your household is growing – to accommodate a growing family, to provide extra room for a home office or simply for prestige. But what once was the perfect home may become hard to manage and maintain in your golden years. 

At Continuum we are looking at the subject of downsizing.

What is downsizing?

Many people find that their homes are too large once their children have left and have homes of their own.

If you are wondering about the financial impact of downsizing, call us for a free initial consultation.

Of course, we love our homes and we can be reluctant to consider leaving them. It means leaving a home where you’ve spent many years growing a family and building memories. But we know that as we get older, we may have less energy to spend on looking after them. 

Even if we are still fit enough to look after a large home now, we need to think about the future, when climbing ladders and even things like vacuuming start to become a challenge.

Making the decision to downsize to a smaller home can be emotional. But downsizing your home is also an opportunity to upsize your lifestyle. Leaving behind a large home can reduce the time spent on home maintenance, giving you more time to do the things you enjoy.

Many people may consider downsizing due to different factors such as :

  • Retirement or a major birthday
  • Increasing bills for things like heating and council tax
  • The realisation that the property needs work they no longer feel keen on doing. 
  • Discovering that costly repairs are necessary
  • Concerns about retirement income
  • Mobility concerns which could make things like stairs or bathrooms unsuitable

You could wait until one of these triggers affects you – or take a proactive approach and start considering downsizing before it becomes unavoidable, making the move itself less stressful.

Fortunately, we can go down as well as up the housing ladder to get to the level – and the home – we are comfortable with for the future.

How do you downsize?

The simplest way to downsize is of course to sell your existing home and buy another smaller property that will be better suited to your needs now and as the years go by.

Alternatively, if your property is suitable and you have sufficient funds, you could buy a smaller home and let out your family home.

Your new home could be in the same area if you want to stay close to family and friends, but many people take the opportunity to move, often to a country or coastal area they like.

The financial side

Getting the financial side of downsizing right is vital, and this is where Continuum can help.

If you have owned your own home for any length of time, it has probably proved a very rewarding investment and for most people it represents a substantial store of wealth. So not only can you afford to buy the home that’s right for your future, you may be able to release surplus cash.

We can help you use that surplus to support your lifestyle, selecting investments that can potentially deliver an income to supplement your pension.

Using your wealth

Downsizing your home can release wealth which you can use in many different ways. Call us to see how our expertise can help you make it work for you.

If you are among the increasing number of people approaching retirement who still have a mortgage to pay off, downsizing could even be the simplest way to deal with it.

Whatever your financial situation, downsizing will have an impact on it. At Continuum we would be pleased to help ensure that it is a positive one.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable mortgage products, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. 

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