The housing market’s spring selling season is under way and, for some, this may mean downsizing from a family-sized property to a new smaller home that better suits their needs.
Moving is often a big upheaval but downsizing can be a positive experience, according to NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark.
“The most important thing to consider is that you ‘right-size’ and find a property that suits your lifestyle,” says Mark Bentley, the organisation’s president.
“Moving to a smaller property also releases equity, gives you a home that is easier to manage and, depending on the location, it could mean better access to local amenities.”
Here are some tips from NAEA Propertymark…
Be practical and ruthless
If you’re moving to a smaller home, you’ll need a clear-out. Treat it like the ultimate spring clean or a “house detox”. Your loft, garage and kitchen are good places to start. If an item has too much sentimental value to part with it, but you have no room for it, perhaps offer it to a family member, or put it into storage.
Make a list of rooms you need to clear out, the other tasks you need to complete, and the timescale. This will make the move less stressful.
Establish how much room you have
Don’t start throwing furniture out until you know how much space you have in your new home – it could be costly to replace it. Equally, if you over-estimate space, you’ll find it difficult to fit everything in. Draw a to-scale floor plan to see how your furniture fits in.
Think about the additional costs
There are various one-off moving costs to consider – estate agency fees, report costs, solicitors’ fees and removals.
Ask your buyer first
If you’re considering getting rid of items, ask your buyer if they may be interested in purchasing it. Your buyer may want made-to-measure items such as curtains.
See who wants your unwanted items
You could place items on online marketplaces or auctions, donate them to your local charity shop or advertise it as “free to a good home”.
Consider your new budget
Bills such as council tax, insurance and energy costs may change, and you may find you need to use transport more, or less, depending on the distance to local amenities.
Be clear when hiring movers
When you’re hiring a moving company, be clear about what your requirements are and make sure you know what you’re paying for – whether you need help packing or if you’re just looking for someone to move your stuff from A to B. Or cut costs by roping in family or friends to help.