MAKE YOUR MOVE PAY
Before you rush off to the estate agent, work out the financial pros and cons of a downsize, says GH consumer editor Sara Benwell
BALANCE THE GAINS Your property is likely to be worth more now than when you bought it, but smaller properties and certain locations will be more expensive, too. Get a valuation on your property to find out how much it’s worth and check property prices in the area you want to move to.
UNEXPECTED SAVINGS When downsizing from a four-bed to a two-bed, the UK average saving on bills is £1,605 a year, according to Homeshift. All homes for sale must have an energy performance certificate – use this to work out what the bills will be. You could also save on council tax – compare costs at www.gov.uk/ council-tax-bands.
STICK TO YOUR GUNS It’s estimated that 40% of people spend more than expected on their new homes – so make sure you aren’t one of them. Set a strict budget and tell estate agents that you won’t view homes that are more expensive than your limit.
PLAY THE LONG GAME While 46% of would-be downsizers want to move into a bungalow,
these made up just 2% of new properties registered in the UK in 2015, so patience is required if you’re after single-storey living. Even when you’ve found the perfect property, there can be delays. UK homes take 91 days on average to sell. In slower areas, that could be far longer. And that’s just selling – buying can also take a lot of time and chains fall through.
CLEAR THE DECKS Storage isn’t cheap, so use the move as an opportunity to declutter. Selling your unwanted stuff will provide some extra cash.
ON THE MOVE There are significant costs associated with moving, such as stamp duty; estate agent, valuation and surveyors’ fees; and solicitors’ fees. Moving itself can be expensive, but new services like Zipvan allow you to save money by renting a van (and possibly muscle) by the hour.