Is bigger always better? Downsizing, the move for all generations.
Downsizing has been in the news recently, after the government released a white paper on housing strategy. One of their plans was to encourage the older generation to downsize to make way for families looking to move up the chain. This controversial plan angered many homeowners, who have worked hard for their property and also have no plans to leave the home they love.
People decide to downsize for many reasons, from the practical to the financial, and it is becoming increasingly popular for those looking for a different kind of lifestyle.
Typically we think of downsizers as the retired, who are rattling around in large homes and struggling to maintain them. To many, the decision to downsize may be a practical one; a change in their mobility might make stairs a struggle, or the cost of running a large home may have become a burden. One thing is for sure: the decision to downsize is a big one, and should not be taken lightly.
Three years ago we met a couple who had lived in their home since they married, and 40 years later they were making the difficult decision to move. The husband had health problems and struggled with the two flights of stairs to their bedroom; however, the emotional ties to the property were too strong for the wife. It took them two years from the initial idea to actually being able to let go; the wife knew it was the right decision to move, but it just had to be the right time for her.
They lived in a very close-knit neighbourhood where they knew all the neighbours, the challenge was to find a property within very close proximity to where they lived. Eventually, that property was found and they moved home. One of our team saw the wife only a couple of weeks ago, and we were eager to find out how they were getting on.
“I have to be honest, it was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. My home was filled with so many memories of our girls growing up, and I loved our house. Now we are settled and have decorated our new home to our taste we are so thankful we made the move. Heating our old house was costing us a fortune, never mind my husband’s struggles to get to bed each night. We are completely settled now, moving was the right decision.”
It is understandable that parents look to downsize when their children have flown the nest, but what about when they are still at home? Why on earth would you want to downsize then?
We met one family who were looking to sell, they had lived in their property for several years; they had added value to their home by building an extension and upgrading the decor. But instead of moving up the ladder, they were looking to move down. When they’d had their house valued they realised they had a lot of equity in their home, and their dream of being mortgage-free could actually happen sooner rather than later if they moved down the ladder.
They moved to a smaller home that had the right number of bedrooms and a lovely garden, with a mortgage that would be paid off in a relatively short space of time. “Life is for living. Being mortgage-free will mean we can travel more and create countless memories.” How can you argue with that?
No matter whether you are looking to upsize, downsize, or just change location, with Bidmead Cook we will get you where you need to be.