Top tips for empty nesters: how to downsize

Have you been rattling around your big, old house for quite some time now? If so, downsizing might be the right thing to do.

A driving force for many to downsize is an empty nest. If the kids have grown up and moved on, having to look after a big, empty house can become a burden. Why would you waste time cleaning empty rooms and paying to heat them up every winter? If this sounds familiar to you, then moving to something smaller might be the right option.

Moving home can be emotionally tough, especially if you’ve lived there a long time and have many happy memories in that house. However, there can be many perks to downsizing, such as releasing your equity, allowing you to live more comfortably within your means whilst giving you a financial boost.

Potentially, you could sell your house and use the equity to buy your new home. If you have any money left over, you can decide how to use this. Whether it goes into a savings account or perhaps you keep it to one side for your children’s inheritance.

Consider your finances

Even though it’s obvious, it’s important you understand the financial situation you’ll be in by selling your property and moving on.

It’s an obvious point to make, but once it’s sold, it’s sold. So if your property goes up in value, you won’t be able to reap the rewards of this any longer.

The question to ask yourself is, are you happy to sell your house for what it is worth as it stands today? If you need or would like more money, then you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth staying put for longer incase the property’s value goes up. However, this is always a gamble as no one can predict which way the property market will turn.

Have a good sort out

Many people panic at the thought of downsizing. “How am I going to fit everything in my 4-bed house into a 2-bed?”. If you’re having thoughts along these lines, then don’t panic. You will make everything fit, because at the end of the day, it has to. However, you will have to put the hard work in before you move and have a good clear out.

Things you may have held onto for years, just incase you might need it, will have to go. It’s time to be tougher on yourself. Obviously some things will hold deep sentimental value for you (we’re not suggesting you just throw these out on a whim) but there will be certain things that you know, deep down, you could live without.

Approach it as though you’re having a spring clean, a house detox. You’ll feel cleansed and more optimistic about the move afterwards. Read our article on the art of decluttering, to see how you can start your house detox.

All in all, the timing needs to be right for you but sometimes it can be difficult keeping a clear head when your emotions are involved, so it’s always worth speaking to a mortgage adviser. They can help you look at the situation from a logical point of view, so you can weigh up whether now is the right time for you to make the move and downsize. If you decide it is, then your our mortgage advisers can search over 11,000 mortgage products, recommending the ones that are most suitable for you.