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Are you up for the downsize challenge?

Top property downsizing advice


If you're thinking of trading your family property for a slightly smaller home now that your family has flown the nest, there are several important considerations you should bear in mind. Although in principle the idea of having fewer rooms to clean and a smaller garden to tend to might appeal, it is vital that the decision is not taken lightly. Whether your choice is based on the need to reduce the amount of work involved in the upkeep of a larger home, or if you simply wish to release some equity in order to supplement your pension, it is highly important that you understand the various elements involved.


The stress factor

Firstly be aware that moving home is one of the 10 most stress inducing events in family life. From the property search itself, to selling your current home, organising a survey, arranging the legalities and ultimately physically moving your furniture and belongings from one property to another, it's hard work. Add to this the extra task of squeezing your many belongings from say a 4 bedroom house into two bed apartment, and you could face a daunting task.


Before embarking on the downsize process you should consider factors such as your health and well-being, and your support network. It's unadvisable to embark on a move if you are unwell or if you don't have family and friends around to provide a helping hand should you need it. On the plus side, an individual in their twilight years is likely to have more time to concentrate on organising the property transaction and the move.


All change

Aside from the physical demands of a property move, you should also consider the impact any such change could have on your peace of mind and mental well-being. It's very possible that your current property has been your home for a long time. It's likely to contain lots of memories and many individuals underestimate the attachment they have to their homes and the feelings of melancholy that can result from leaving it. Additionally, consider how much you value the location in which your current property is situated. Do you have good neighbours and friendly local shops that you will have to bid farewell to? Thirdly, are you ready to give up your extra space? Think about how often you entertain friends in your home or how often you have your grandchildren over to stay. Will downsizing mean that you no longer have the space to do those things? These are not elements to dissuade you from downsizing, rather just questions you should ask to ensure you are making the correct decision, not one you will regret when the time comes to leave the familiarities of your current home.


The big sale

If you decide that downsizing is the right choice for you, selling your property will be an important element. Follow these steps to ensure a successful sale

1. Choose a good estate agent who will:

- Conduct a valuation to tell you how much your property is approximately worth.
- Help you arrange a legally required Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
- Market the property.
- Negotiate offers.
- Provide advice - guidance on conveyancing and surveying.
- Facilitate the whole transaction process from start to completion.


Estate agent's charges are usually commission based and calculated as a percentage of the selling price. They must confirm all charges in writing within an official agreement as part of the process of acting for you.


Once you have chosen an estate agent, you must decide on what basis to instruct them:

Read the full article on property downsizing by clicking here (pdf format)


Written by Nicola Severn, Countrywide Group



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