Doing The Downsize
by Linda Nightingale
With time on your side is it time to move? Start a new chapter of your life by releasing cash from your home.
If you are around mid 50s or older, 2017 could be the year that you seriously consider how you wish to enjoy your ‘golden years’ and more importantly, how you can achieve it.
Currently some 3.3 million older people in England want to downsize but are not doing so according to a new report from the Intergenerational Foundation.
You may be a young 55+ with a long life of retirement to look forward to but need a cash injection to follow your dreams. Your current home is probably worth more than any savings you have accrued and if your family has departed, do you really need such a large sized property?
The Land Registry’s data for November shows that house prices across England have climbed by 7.2% in the 12 months to November 2016 and as a result in most cases offer a much better investment than savings accounts.
RE-ASSESS YOUR LIFE STYLE
Now may be the time when you need to take stock of how you want to live your life and a move can make financial sense. If there is a mortgage outstanding downsizing could eliminate this debt. If your home is mortgage free then the amount you can realise when you have bought a smaller property can be significant.
You may wish to put your released funds into your pension pot or your bank account, or maybe you would like to help your children on the property ladder. Access to money can give you peace of mind should you urgently need an operation. Readily available cash could also pay for a regular gardener or cleaner. Now wouldn’t that be a luxury?
Holidays could be a regular feature of your new life style and so could nights at the theatre, gourmet dining, social events or a new car. The possibilities are endless.
DOWNSIZING NEEDN’T MEAN LOSING LIVING SPACE
Finding a home that fits the bill in terms of releasing capital need not necessarily mean going substantially smaller. If you move away from commuter towns you will find good value for money. A well built modern home will afford much lower maintenance offer clever storage space and a manageable garden. Or maybe think mews style homes; these can be smaller but very stylish. Clever lighting, modern bathrooms and pretty courtyard style gardens can make them very homely yet carefree.
A GOOD ESTATE AGENT IS YOUR FIRST STEP
A good estate agent can help. The first step is to get them to value your current property and decide how much you want to invest in your next home allowing for moving costs of course which includes agents, solicitors, stamp duty etc. Once you have the price you want to spend a local agent can be of great assistance. The more they know you, your likes and dislikes, the more they can appreciate the type of home which might appeal.
Establish a good rapport with them and together you can find your dream home and begin enjoying a totally different life style with money in your pocket – literally.
Results from a YouGov Survey show the following reasons people give for downsizing
- Lower maintenance
- Reduced bills
- Children having left home
- Health reasons
- Release of equity
- Family death