Downsizing brings with it a number of benefits, but as with any property purchase, there are a few things to consider. Here’s what you need to think about, plus the areas that are popular with downsizers.
When you’ve got years of fond memories associated with a family home, downsizing can be a difficult decision. However once made, you’ll find it comes with a wealth of benefits. There are a number of reasons why you may choose to downsize later in life. It may be that your current home has an unnecessary number of rooms and facilities now that offspring have moved out. Perhaps a recent or unforeseen change in circumstances, such as health or a bereavement, requires you to reconsider your current living arrangements, or you may simply want to move closer to family. Whatever the case may be, downsizing is more often than not, an excellent strategy. It affords the opportunity to move into a more manageable property and the chance to select a more favourable location. Above all else, moving into a home that is smaller than the one you’re in, will often save you a lot of money. Smaller homes generally require less in the way of maintenance, they can reduce your monthly outgoings on things like energy bills, tax and mortgage repayments and they can free up equity locked in a larger home.
With all things considered and when the time is right, downsizing may seem like a no-brainer. However, as with any property purchase, there are a number of things to take into account. The accumulative costs of buying and selling a property can be considerable and should be accounted for before downsizing. These include Stamp Duty Land Tax, agency fees and conveyancing fees. There is also the matter of decluttering, a task that shouldn’t be underestimated. Start this sooner rather than later and explore all options when it comes to getting rid of things. Try selling things online, use local charity shops and offer items to family and friends. The council may be able to collect items for free.
Although there's no right or wrong time to downsize your home, people tend to begin the process when their children have grown up and left home because they no longer require the extra space. Another popular time to downsize is at retirement age. A lot of people at this stage may find that they are rich in assets, but cash poor. As previously mentioned, downsizing can release equity from a home. In general, if you have more space than you know what to do with and are tired of having to spend time, money, and effort maintaining your large property, it might be time to look for somewhere a bit more manageable.
Somewhere like Worthing is a popular choice for younger retirees as it delivers a mix of coast and countryside. With an overall average price of £316,261, it’s more affordable than neighbouring Brighton and ideal for anyone wanting to remain in a coastal town, while releasing money from their property. Average annual pensioner income in West Sussex is £19,000, above the average of £17,085 and beaten only by Surrey and Buckinghamshire. The area is already a magnet for pensioners, with almost a quarter (23%) of the 843,000 people living in West Sussex aged 65 and over. It also has the highest movement of pensioners into the county, according to ONS data.
Clifton Road, Worthing
2 bedroom house
A picture-perfect cottage oozing character with a modern twist. Recently refurbished to a turnkey finish, the bright interiors are both welcoming and homely. The property benefits from having double glazing and period fireplaces throughout, guaranteeing warmth and comfort year-round. Clifton Road is located just outside the shopping area of town within a level walk of a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops, entertainment facilities and the mainline station. The perfect home for anyone wanting to move to the coast.
Contact Winkworth Worthing or call 01903 216219 for more information
Some downsizers may prefer to go for a dinky town house within walking distance of shops and station. Exeter has a real sense of individuality, its varied cultural scene is embraced by proud locals, and the diverse mix of eateries means it is renowned as one of the foodie capitals of the South West. The city's location in the heart of Devon, surrounded by miles of countryside and close to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, means it is the perfect location for those looking to leave London’s ratrace, while remaining in a town. Last year most property sales in Exeter involved terraced properties which sold for on average £256,838.
2 bedroom house in Exeter
A beautifully presented, spacious Victorian two bedroom end of terrace house in St Leonards. Finished to a high standard, filled with charm and character, this property has an attractive appeal. Key features include a wood burner surrounded by an impressive fireplace and a large bay sash window in the living room. The low-maintenance, pebbled garden will appeal to many; it’s an ideal spot to soak up some sunshine on the deck.
Contact Winkworth Exeter or call 01392 271177 for more information.
Combine the pretty townhouses and heritage cottages near the centre with the weekly markets, theatre and colourful Medieval past, and you can see the appeal of Devizes. Around 40 minutes from Bath by car, Devizes is close enough to city life, yet is a quiet and retiring spot for those looking to downsize to a slower pace of life. Its rich history and enviable location makes Devizes a great town for anyone looking for a peaceful lifestyle without compromising on local amenities and transport links. The majority of sales in Devizes during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £405,250, however the overall average price for property is around £292,515.
Bath Road, Devizes
1 bedroom flat/apartment in Bath Road
Price on Application, Leasehold
With an on-site bistro, flexible care and 24 hour emergency call systems, the latest development from McCarthy & Stone offers Retirement Living plus apartments in the heart of popular medieval market town Devizes. The property is within easy reach of the stunning Salisbury plain and the local towns of Salisbury, Chippenham, Bath, Melksham and Trowbridge. The range of both one and two bedroom apartments come with a host of thoughtful details that are designed specifically with the needs of the over 70s in mind. These include raised height electrical sockets, lifts to all floors and mobility scooter storage.
Contact Winkworth Devizes or call 01380 729 777 for more information.
If you were looking to move to an area which has the highest number of similarly-aged denizens, Dorset is the place, with 28% of the 422,000 people living in the county aged over 65. In Highcliffe itself, the average age is 63, while the median age is higher at 69. The average property costs £402,254, and while a detached home will set you back £498,544 on average, you could pick up a semi-detached home for around £370,150. Highcliffe is a pretty seaside town, renowned for its castle and superb beaches. The town affords spectacular views out across the Isle of Wight and is primely located on the Dorset-Hampshire border with easy access to both Christchurch and the New Forest. Local attractions include Highcliffe Castle - an impressive, Grade I listed Victorian building which was once the home of shop mogul Mr Selfridge, and the ever-popular Avon Beach to the southwest.
Stuart Road, Christchurch
2 bedroom flat/apartment in Stuart Road
A fantastic second floor two bedroom apartment, offering spacious modern living. The property has been finished to a high standard throughout, with no forward chain, and is located on a popular residential road between Highcliffe high street and cliff top. Rothesay Court is within easy walking distance of Highcliffe village amenities which includes a number of restaurants, shops and a building society. The sea front is also only a short level stroll away with beautiful sandy beaches and cliff top walks.
Contact Winkworth Highcliffe or call 01425 270 055 for more information.
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