With the notable exception of children, smaller is generally cheaper. This is usually very true when it comes to housing (on a like-for-like basis of course, a studio flat in London might well cost more than a house in rural Wales). Because of this, there’s an obvious financial attraction in downsizing property once children have flown the nest. As is so often the case in life, planning ahead can help to keep costs down and maximize the money you can call your own after the move is complete.
Prepare your own house for sale
Even though the UK has a shortage of housing, meaning supply is generally tight, it still makes sense to present your house as attractively as possible to get the best possible price for it. There are plenty of articles online, which give guidance as to what to do in preparation for a sale (and what to avoid doing). A good estate agent will also be able to give some tips.
Remember to budget for all the moving fees
If you’re downsizing you may be able to make your next house purchase outright but you’ll still need to pay many of the fees associated with buying and selling houses, such as estate agent commission, conveyancing fees and surveys. There’s also stamp duty to consider and depending on the logistics of your move, you may find yourself paying the 3% surcharge up front and having to recoup it later. There will also be the costs of actually moving from A to B, although these can be minimised through a combination of shopping around for the best deal and advanced planning.
Downsizing your possessions can pay in all kinds of ways
If you’ve been in your present home for a while, there’s a good chance you’ll have accumulated a lot of “stuff” some of which will be very precious to you and some of which may be very useful, but much of which you could probably move on in one way or another. First of all, the less stuff you have to move, the lower your moving costs are probably going to be. Secondly, if you are able to sell at least some of your unwanted possessions, then you can use the money to offset the costs of moving.
Digitising lets you keep memories without the memorabilia
Digital cameras are relatively recent inventions, so many of us have collections of old photographs, which can be scanned and kept in digital form. This also protects against the photographs being damaged for example if liquid is spilled on them or if there is a fire, plus it allows them to be shared. Paperwork of all kinds is also a good target for digitisation.
The idea of digitisation, however, can go beyond just scanning photos and papers. Now that we have digital cameras, it effectively costs nothing to photograph items which have special significance for us, so we can remember them and the memories they trigger once we have moved the item on to pastures new. Whether it’s a ticket stub from a concert or a special item of clothing, you can create a digital memory of it and pass on the original.
There are all kinds of options for donating and selling physical items
Even donating items to charity can help reduce your moving costs by reducing the amount of possessions you need to move, but if you’re looking to make a little money out of your unwanted items then there are plenty of real-world options (car-boots, Gumtree…) and a whole host of online ones. While eBay may be the best-known place for selling on your old possessions, there’s also Amazon and numerous niche sites for certain items from books and CDs to designer clothes and accessories.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.