After spending decades in a much-loved family home, it can sometimes be a wrench to leave as a lot of time, love and money has been invested along the way.  But the forever family home may be becoming a thing of the past as more people are downsizing to fund their retirement, help the children and grandchildren financially or to go on an exciting new adventure.

Properties that used to buzz with the comings and goings of children are now quieter with just mum and dad there with parts of the house not being used and requiring maintenance.  Maybe the thought of packing and moving could be overwhelming and time is needed to get used to the idea.  However, once the move is completed, a new property feels like home very quickly with all its benefits, the garden being easier to manage plus lower running costs.  Many people want to move closer to family or to have more time and money to enjoy later life.

Thinking about making the move?

How long will it take?

On average, it takes 90 days to sell a house, but this can depend on the market, where you are located and how many buyers and sellers there are in the chain.

How much will it cost?

Downsizing is a good opportunity to free up capital, but you may save an average of £1,600 a year in bills by, for example, swapping a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom house.  However, don’t forget to factor in fees such as estate agents, solicitors, stamp duty and removal costs.  Try and set a budget and stick to it as it is surprising how many people don’t -you may also need to spend money to get your new house how you want it.

Will it affect my children?

Probably not, but anyone who owns their home when they die gets an extra allowance of £100,000 now on top of the £325,000 tax-free inheritance limit on estates.  This also includes people who have downsized or stopped owning a property after 8th July 2015.  There might also be some emotional impact as there can often be an emotional attachment to a property for your grown-up children and they might feel they haven’t been consulted.  Please also bear in mind if you are thinking of moving away it may become harder to see the family and grandchildren regularly.

Is Renting an Option?

Selling can offer flexibility and an excellent way to generate retirement funds.  It could also give you more available cash to help adult children with deposits on buying their own property or to take once-in-a-lifetime holidays.  However, there are also risks with renting as you find your pot of money dwindling over the years.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any of our regional offices.

01 /12/2017


by Emma Sisman
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