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Would you consider downsizing when you retire or have you already done so?

The housing market’s spring selling season is underway – and for some, this may mean downsizing from a family-sized property to a new smaller home that better suits their needs at this stage in life.

This can feel like a massive change, of course, and moving is often a big upheaval. But with some careful consideration, downsizing can be a really 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 which suits your lifestyle,” says Mark Bentley, NAEA Propertymark president. “Moving to a smaller property also releases equity trapped in the property, gives you a home which is easier to manage and, depending on the location, it could mean better access to local amenities, which will improve your quality of life.”

Considering downsizing soon? Here are some tips from NAEA Propertymark to help keep the process simple and cost-effective…

Are you still in your family home or have you downsized already? Would you like to downsize and release some equity to spend in your later years? Or are you happy to keep your family home for your grandchildren to enjoy?

Would you consider downsizing when you retire or have you already done so?

639 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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surveyor
3rd Mar 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
We were able to make our own decision before others made it for us due to really old age
sparrer
28th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Circumstances meant that I had to sell my home and move to a housing association property some 18 years ago. I was fortunate to be allocated a lovely almost new 3-bed semi in a small rural town and have good neighbours. Now in my 70's I have copd, heart problems and arthritic knees so would love to move to a bungalow. Trouble is people who want 3-bed homes want grass for their children, not my small hard-landscaped garden. I don't want to leave but accept the fact that it's the right thing for me and I can make a property into a home wherever I live.
SueC62
28th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
My house is a 2 bed cottage, although the rooms are quite large so there isn't much scope to downsize. My plan is to sell this year, spend the summers in my UK static caravan and the winters in my apartment in Turkey for a few years. In the summer it is rented to holiday makers and earns me 5% pa. Long term, I will spend more time in Turkey as they offer foreign property owners a resident permit without the need to be fiscal.
Jeaniewigs
4 days ago
0
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That’s interesting Sue I wish you lots of luck with your plans sounds exciting.
granny 24
28th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I downsized 2 years ago when I was 69. My grandchildren are growing up and visit less and if the whole family (11) visit I can afford to rent a property for them nearby. I’m lucky enough to live in Cornwall so the children love visiting. The house is cheaper to run I can walk to the high street in 3 mins and the bus and train are less than a mile away. The garden is small but manageable and downsizing has made me jettison some of the “rubbish” I have accumulated over the past 60+yrs. For me downsizing has meant I have more time and money to go out and do the things I want to do.
biker babe
28th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Makes good sense, Cornwall is a beautiful part of England!
Bonted
28th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
We’ve had to do it already, mainly due to ill health.
Mik
28th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
As soon as the kids were in university we moved from a 4 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom, still a room if they want to visit but they can fend for themselves
bob scott
22nd Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes. I wish I had take the right steps before I had retired! but after a life time of paying mortgages the last on my mind was to extend it for any reason. but we had a grown up Son at home and we wanted to down size, but our Son said he wanted a larger house, so he had like a self contained flatlet. So I said if that is what you want you take out a mortgage for the difference, which meant he now has a third share in our property. So we are never going to get our little snug.
Hind sight is a very good thing.
ecarg
22nd Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I moved to a small bungalow just over 18months ago as with most things in life there are pluses and minuses.
Major minus was the plus I had to add to the finances in order to purchase a bungalow having sold a mid terrace ex council house
A plus was no longer having stairs.
A minus is the change of location from an area with a wide range of people of all ages to a street where most of the people are older than me which instantly makes me feel aged.
Less housework is fine trying to find other things to do more of a challenge.
Being nearer family has mixed blessings to but reassuring to us all to be available if needed
Lionel
23rd Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
We looked at downsizing about a year ago. Our present home is a large, rural three bed former council house with an enormous garden. Tenth of an acre. This home was ideal while raising step grand kids but now ...

As ecarg says, more money would be required for a bungalow with a small garden. More for less is not sound economics.

I've made changes to this home since my wife got MS a few years ago. Lots of changes and these expensive alterations and adaptations would be required in a fresh property and probably more as time goes on.

There were other financial concerns, but over riding all these was the underlying truth that we are content here with our dogs. Remote, peaceful, largely unaffected by traffic and living with the rhythms of the seasons surrounded by thousands of acres of fields and woodland.

There are downsides. The nearest hospital is twenty odd miles away, nearest bottle of milk six and if we need a supermarket that is fifteen miles.

Yet, we are hugely privileged to have contentment, an ease of mind mostly free of stress and anxiety. It's not a bad place to be chronically sick, overall. In fact, it's priceless.

We'll stay here.
Yagala
21st Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
When I retired and my wife as well we decided both to get a smaller house with a little garden as we really did not need a large house as we do not entertain a lot of people in retirement and thus we could live comfortably in a smaller house. Now that my wife has passed away I am glad we decided to downsize our habitat, which in itself sems quite to me now I am on my own.
ElainePeony
21st Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Oh, yes, I should have said I employ a gardener, a window cleaner, people to service my car, and a gas boiler engineer, a plumber, a gutter clearer, a taxi driver, hairdresser and lots of people who help me when I need it, I pay them at least £20.00 an hour, for their services, which is the right rate for any one who is self employed, paying NI, supporting a family, with their Insurances, overheads, travel, vehicle costs and maintenances...any one who complains about paying less than this needs a reality check!

I am proud to employ people who help me, and to pay them for their time, reliability and expertise...my Gas Engineer ( self employed) paid £7.000 to get his CorGi gas safe qualifications and more to get the Worcester Boiler ones....

The one service I can’t seem to get is a house cleaning company who understands what a deep clean means in a domestic situation. Sadly, the language competence demanded by me can’t explain that I need strong workers who can lift furniture, vacuum underneath, remove cobwebs, dust and wipe skirting boards etc, beds, mattresses turned over and vacuumed.then replace everything where it was ..and so on...and so forth.

A friend suggested I ask if the local fire station could lend me a couple of helpful people, in return for a substantial donation to the Fire station
of course.
ElainePeony
21st Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I like my large space & it has been valued as to what residential care it will eventually buy me if and when I need this. Alternatively I have room for a live in Nurse/ Carer which I’ve told my Solicitor I want, as my preferred care provision . Medical decisions over riding this, or course.

The Solicitor has my 2 Enduring Powers of Attorney.
Health & Welfare, and Wealth registered and in place, with two Solicitor Executors for these and my Will named on the documents.

I have always believed in people providing for themselves in old age thoughout their working lives, hence my wish to pay professional people, like Solicitors to provide a paid for service to be remunerated in their charges for fees to arrange what I need. No family responsibility to execute and monitor my needs and wishes is necessary nor inconvenience for them incurred.

Hence, I keep my house as a financial asset, which will pay for me as needed..equity release? Possibly?
sue58
21st Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Preferably like to move to a small bungalow but there are not building any at affordable prices.
jeffsoo
21st Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Downsizing is not that easy, if you sell at the going rate you have to buy at the going rate. If it was simple we would have done already.
Retiredyorkie
21st Feb 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Downsized before we actually retired. Very stressful but long term was worth it.

Smaller bills, less housework, and not as much garden to maintain.

On retiring found we had more time and money to do the things we wanted to do.

Down sizing is not for everyone its a matter of choice and life style.
HappyHippie
21st Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
we downsized 6 years ago as I could no long manage stairs easily, having less housework to do is a bonus as we now have more time to enjoy ourselves
Ian123
21st Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Moving home is allegedly one of the most stressful experiences of ones life, not that i have ever moved home.
I would consider it if health or financial concerns forced my hand, but other than that i am staying put, plus my young grandson has asked can he have it once i have popped my cloggs. ( My words, not his! )
His infant sister has less lofty expectations. " Granddad, when you die can i have your computer? "
It is new.
Its heartwarming that they are planning for their future at such a young age.
MrsPat
21st Feb 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Yes we may have to downsize as our pensions are not covering our monthly outgoings. It is sad as it's all about money and having worked most of our lives we thought we would be fine in our latter years.
Margaret Hart
21st Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I would love to downsize into a bungalow but my husband won’t. He has bought a stair lift so I can get up and down stairs but we have a 4. Bedroom house and I am disabled and it is far too much for me.
myfairlady
21st Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
like so many WASPI's i am finding it hard to find work in my late 50's so selling maybe the only way to not starve.. sadly many of my friends have had to sell to pay bills and eat.. Sadder still many had to move far away away from loved ones..
Bald123
21st Feb 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
We have discussed downsizing many many times. The children have all left and the garden is too large. What we are considering is to sell and buy a small flat down in Portugal by the sea. My wife has always loved the idea and maybe we will one day soon. We need to stop dreaming and get on with it.
Wilf
25th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
My wife loves the sea as well. We have looked at north Devon
biker babe
28th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
You can only do it once, i hope you can make it happen , good luck to you both x
GabriellaG
21st Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Why downsize a) when its taken three quarters of your life to find the place you now live in and b) your children have children of their own and if they don't live nearby you need to be able to put them up. Also sorting through a life-times' possessions in your 80's, recycling etc. is exhaustingly hard work.
CaroleAH
21st Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
But if your pensions don't exceed the ever increasing cost of utility bills etc plus the extra maintenance (cleaning, decorating, gardening) needed for a large house then there's often no choice but to move somewhere smaller.
As for having to put the family up - surely they would rather see their parents living comfortably than having to scrimp and save to meet the bills or, even worse, getting into debt.
Wilf
21st Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I agree Carole-my folks are in their 90s and we have thought for some time about moving them into a flat which would also help as no stairs plus they can release some more spending money.
CaroleAH
21st Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Excellent idea, Wilf and as the housing market seems to be on the move again, now might be the time to start looking. It is quite traumatic trawling through possessions and deciding what to keep and what can go but I'm sure that many of us hang on to things "just in case" and we don't actually need them.
Wilf
21st Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes at last the housing market is moving. My brother in law is an estate agent and the last 3 years have been dire but he said its much better now.
SilverPixie
21st Feb 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
We downsized ,Carole, from a 4 bedroom house to a 3 bedroom bungalow. Every room we cleared we said we could only take half of it ... why pay the removal men to move stuff that only goes to the charity shop in the end ?
Even after 2 years here we are still getting rid of stuff and adjusting to life in a bungalow ... but it is the best move we made. Near shop, pub and bus stop 🙂
Wilf
21st Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Luckily Carole they have been chucking out stuff for years in the clever knowledge that one day they will downsize.
CaroleAH
21st Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
That's brilliant, Wilf. Good luck when the time comes for the removal. 🙂
granny 24
28th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
What a very sensible attitude xxx
granny 24
28th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree and getting rid of old possessions means less for the family to sort out once we’ve passed on.
Little3
3rd Mar 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
'Traumatic' may be an overstatement - plus there is a positive side to decluttering? 😉
Surfer Pete
21st Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
We've been looking to downsize as the children have left home but the availability of suitable property is very restricted. Plus the kids keep coming back!

All the bungalows within walking distance to shops have been turned into massive luxury houses and the new 'retirement flats' are ridiculously expensive for the amount of space you get.

The point of downsizing is to release a bit of cash to help the kids out but the maths don't always work out with stamp duty and other fees to take into account.

I think we may be forced to stay put.
Wilf
26th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have to say Pete Bungalows are useful as you get a lot older. My folks are thinking of getting one.
Surfer Pete
26th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
They'll be lucky to find one at a decent price Will .... they are like gold dust around here!!!
Wilf
26th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Bit like hens teeth Pete..maybe cheaper in Devon?

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