Deciding to scale down the size of your property can make a lot of sense for all manner of practical reasons – to release equity, to reduce the bills, to find a house which requires less maintenance, to move to an area more suited to needs. But, resolving to sell up and move away from what may have been a family home for several decades can be a difficult, and often emotive decision.
Property developer Newby has seen a great deal of interest from those entering a new phase in their life, in its Springfield Court development in Harrogate, which launched in March. “Taking the decision to leave a cherished family home can be an emotional one, but it can also bring with it excitement and a new lease of life,” said Francesca Kaye, Marketing Manager at Newby. “We’ve had lots of interest in Springfield Court from couples looking to move from homes they chose at a different time in their life, when their needs were perhaps more focused around schools and playgrounds rather than the hobbies and interests they now enjoy. It can be quite liberating to think about what they really want from their home now – and that was something we very much had in mind when designing Springfield.”
Newby has developed some advice for those thinking about downsizing:
- Plan for the everyday, not the once a year – Think about what space and rooms you need day-to-day. It can be tempting to think about what might happen if all your family and friends came to stay all at once – but for most of us, they are rare occasions. You shouldn’t plan your home around one weekend a year.
- Think about local amenities – For many people, having a grocery shop within easy reach is key, but if you like to socialise in a pub, a good local will be vital, and if you like to eat out, having good restaurants on your doorstep could be the clincher. Make a list of your essentials.
- Hobby time – Often downsizing coincides with retirement. How would you like to spend your time? Would you like to volunteer? Are you an active member of a golf club or WI? Your new move may bring you closer to activities you’ve always wanted to have the time to do.
- How essential is your car? – Perhaps you’d like to do less driving, or not feel so reliant on your vehicle. If so, is there a good public transport network, or plenty to do within walking distance?
- Community is key – Feeling isolated can take a terrible toll on mental and physical health. Will a new property give the opportunity to make new friends? Living in an apartment can often bring more chances to meet and socialise with neighbours. Is there an active wider community?
- Don’t take on too much – It can be tempting to take on a project if you’re retiring and will have more free time, but tackling a big renovation can be tiring. For many, downsizing is about reducing the amount of upkeep their home needs. A new build ensures that easy maintenance – but always make sure you do your research on the developer and look for reassurances on quality of build and finish.
- Channel your inner Marie Kondo – You will likely need to declutter on a fairly serious scale. Start well ahead of the move itself, so you have time to sell, pass on or recycle items you will no longer have room for. You may need to be tough with yourself and try not to get upset if people don’t have the same sentimentality about items you do.
- Embrace the emotions – It’s perfectly normal to feel emotional about a big move, but think of it as an exciting new step, which will help give you a better quality of life. A new beginning!