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Property: Making downsizing work

PUBLISHED: 11:47 07 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:47 07 April 2015

Downsizing frees up over £100,000 on average

Downsizing frees up over £100,000 on average

Archant

A new study shows more of us are downsizing to save money for retirement or to reduce bills. Sue Snaith of estate agency Harrison Murray gives a guide to scaling down with success

According to new UK research by Lloyds Bank, an average of £121,686 is saved by homeowners in larger properties downsizing to a semi-detached home. Downsizing to a bungalow is the most common option for freeing up cash, with those moving from a detached house enjoying a £103,715 windfall. The report also found that more than half of homeowners (52 per cent) looking to move in the next three years are considering downsizing.

We know that people tend to accumulate everything from pieces of furniture to kitchen items and gardening equipment and so much more over the years.

However, when it comes to downsizing, a move to somewhere smaller ultimately means less space and fewer storage opportunities. Sorting out belongings before the move will ensure you take only what you need or have room for, while having a clear idea of the space in your new home will maximise its potential.

Top tips for effective downsizing

1. Plan your packing well in advance. Packing up a large home can be daunting. Think about where you will be unpacking items and which room your belongings will be placed in – using colour codes or labels will help with the unpacking at your new home.

2. Don’t take what you don’t need. Downsizing is your chance to have a thorough spring-clean and focus on exactly what you want in your new home and what you don’t. You may have furniture which is unsuitable or that won’t fit in your new property, so think ahead and make sure you have taken proper measurements of your new home so you don’t end up struggling on moving day with items you probably shouldn’t have brought with you. Selling your unwanted belongings will also bring in more funds, or you can hand them on to friends and family.

3. Set up your utilities as soon as possible. Check with your estate agent and obtain details of the previous utility providers so you can call them to set up new accounts. Also make sure your phone and broadband services are ordered prior to moving in as these often take a number of weeks to become active.

4. Maximise space. Your new home will have less room, so think carefully about the layout, and look at ways you can get the most out of the space available. You will then be able to tailor the rooms to suit your needs.

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