buying advice downsizing Research

Downsizing done right

Q3 2015

Charlie Evans, head of Strutt & Parker’s Salisbury office, gives advice on how to downsize.

Charlie Evans, head of Strutt & Parker’s Salisbury office, gives advice on how to downsize.

Downsizing is a lifestyle choice most sellers make after the family has left the nest. Where it was previously seen as a gloomy experience, buying a smaller property and allowing more financial freedom is now a common trend in the current baby-boomer generation embracing a new exciting chapter in their life.

Since the recession, there has long been an attraction to simplify your life and reduce mortgage and utility costs. Choosing the right property to move to whilst selling your current home at its best possible price is something that needs the careful expertise of an estate agent alongside your own research.  

Downsizing is one of the most common reasons for people to move and needn’t be in any way a negative thing. Far from it, a property and location offering a new and inspiring way of life could be the best move you’ve ever made! Barn conversions with panoramic country views and perfectly formed town houses continue to be popular for these types of buyers, as well as lock up and leave homes that allow you to travel.

Downsizers have often lived in the family home for 20 years or more, so the decision to move should not be taken overnight. Photos taken with the garden looking neat and tidy and windows or outside paintwork overhauled will make your house look its very best, and that will attract more viewings. The most successful sales often come on the back of two or three years of preparation with the agent offering advice from the outset. 

It is also important to remember that buyers’ wishes have changed. Large family kitchens are now more popular than formal dining rooms and busy roads have become a bigger issue than they did when you bought your house 20 or more years ago. High specification bathrooms and appliances are becoming commonplace, now affecting how much your property is worth.

De-cluttering is also key. Most of us have more possessions than our houses were designed to hold.  Putting possessions into storage, giving away anything you don’t really need and rearranging furniture will make the rooms feel bigger.

The most important message is not to be afraid of change. Some of our happiest buyers have been downsizers who have bought a completely different property – whether it is an apartment with all the mod cons or a house in the heart of the village - like The Poplars, currently on the market with our Salisbury office - it is a chance to try something new.