There are many reasons why it might be time to downsize. Maybe the kids have flown the nest and the house feels unbearably empty, or maybe the maintenance of such a big property is starting to take its toll. Whatever it is that’s making you question how much space you really need
, downsizing could be the answer to your property problems. Maybe next year is the year you make your move!
Here are 5 reasons to downsize in 2020.
Live a simpler life
There are many ways in which downsizing can simplify your life. The first one (and probably one of the biggest challenges you’ll encounter when planning to downsize) – your stuff. You’re moving all your belongings from a big house to small house. You do the maths – it’s unlikely that it’s all going to fit!
Here comes the first opportunity to simplify your life – moving to a smaller place will force you to declutter like never before. You’ll be more ruthless and more motivated because you’ll have an end goal in sight.
Read our article on how to declutter effectively
Decluttering is about more than just making space. It’s about letting go of things you don’t need, haven’t used and never will. A lot of these things will have been kept for sentimental reasons, or because you’re determined to use them one day, or fix them so you can sell them. But that just means that they’re physical manifestations of things you’re putting off, and they weigh down on you emotionally. As a result, clearing out can be incredibly freeing. It’s especially therapeutic if you sort through all your old items with family, as you can spend time together getting nostalgic and working out what everyone wants to keep.
Living in a smaller house also makes your life much simpler on a day-to-day basis. There’s less to clean, fewer things to tidy, and a smaller garden to look after. Essentially, small houses require much less maintenance than big ones. Think about what you could do with that extra time…
Also, you’ll find that living in a smaller house is just easier! Everything is closer together, especially if you decide to downsize to a flat or bungalow. Everything you need in the kitchen can be at your fingertips, the bathroom is nearer to the bedroom, and there are fewer steps needed to get from the sofa to the kettle!
Bring on that glorious simplicity!
Be money savvy
There are so many ways that smaller houses can save you money. The initial and obvious one is that equity is released by selling your bigger home and buying a more modest one.
What could you spend that money on? Could you choose to buy your next house mortgage-free
, or fund your retirement? Or maybe those travelling plans that have been on hold for years could finally become reality…
Smaller houses are also significantly cheaper in the long run. If upgrades or repairs are necessary, they tend to be cheaper to fix (for obvious reasons, repairing a big roof is more expensive than repairing a small one), and they’re easier, and therefore cheaper, to heat.
Council tax also tends to be cheaper for smaller properties because houses are put into bands according to their value. The average yearly council tax bill of a Band A house in England is £1,114, whilst for a Band H it’s £3,343. It’s worth checking out the tax bands in your local area to see how much you could save.
Also, your mortgage repayments (that’s if you even get a mortgage) may well be lower as you’ll probably have borrowed less. You’ll be paying back a smaller amount each month, it won’t build up as much interest, and you might be paying it back for a shorter period of time as well.
There are so many ways in which downsizing can save you money, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it a long time ago!
Have more family time
Whether you’re downsizing with the kids in tow, with a partner or on your own, smaller homes are more sociable. Rattling around in a big house can feel lonely, especially if you live alone or with just one other person, even if you enjoy your own company!
Whilst personal space is important, cosier social spaces like the kitchen and living room feel warmer and encourage a closeness with family that you might not have in a five-bedroom house. Replace calling to each other from opposite ends of the house with quality family time in a cosy living room in front of the fire, or proper conversation over dinner in a cute, compact kitchen.
Obviously it has to work for you – if you’re a social butterfly who loves to throw parties every other weekend, opting for a smaller house with fewer rooms might not be ideal. But if Christmas is the only time you ever fill the space, downsizing might be the more sociable option. It can be someone else’s turn to host next year!
If you can’t decide whether downsizing is a sensible option, remember that you don’t have to go all in – no one is telling you to throw out all your belongings and move to a studio flat!
Downsizers often keep a spare bedroom for visitors, grandkids or returning adult children. If it’s important to make sure you can still have friends and family visit then there’s no need to downsize to somewhere tiny
. Just take a step down to something more workable and take the pressure off yourself!
Have you always had an image in your head of how you’d like your house to look, but you weren’t sure how you’d afford the changes?
Having half the number of rooms means having twice the budget for each, so you can finally splash out! Hardwood floors, fancy bedding, marble countertops – whatever it is you’ve always wanted, now’s the time to get it.
Why not start a Pinterest board for inspiration? Start building an idea of your perfect living room, kitchen, bathroom or bedroom now, so you know what to look for when viewing properties and once you’re moved in to your new home you already know exactly what you want to do with it.
The word ‘downsizing’ is a little bit misleading, because it doesn’t have to be a step down – it can be a step up to living the life of luxury you’ve always dreamed of!
Read more about downsizing for a more luxurious life
Move to pastures new
Looking at smaller, more affordable properties might open up location possibilities that were previously way out of your budget. Highly sought-after locations like London, Oxford, Edinburgh and Brighton might have been far too expensive when you were buying a family home but can become affordable now you’re downsizing. If you’ve always had a dream living location, why not give it a go?
Read our guide on choosing your new neighbourhood
or check out our list of the top 5 places to live in the UK
And who says you have to be limited to the UK? Your new financial and material freedom means no place is off limits. Spain? France? Or even somewhere further afield like Australia? You might be amazed at how far your money can take you!
You can check out our guides to moving abroad
and then use our international removals quote form
to get a rough estimate of how much an international move would cost, so you can do your dreaming without having to commit yet.
If Christmas has got you wondering whether life could be simpler, 2020 could be the year you downsize. It can take some work, sorting through a lifetime of memories and items, but think – you’re freeing up your lovely house so another family can fall in love with it. And it might give you the chance to fall in love with something new and exciting all over again.
Read more on whether downsizing is right for you