Tempted to make the move?
How long will it take?
On average, it takes 91 days to sell a house, but this can vary substantially depending on the market and where you are.
How much will it cost?
If you’re downsizing, you could make money. You may profit from the sale of your bigger house – on average, downsizing from a four-bed to a two-bed house can save £1,605 a year in bills, according to Homeshift. But do make sure you factor in other costs.
Don’t forget about fees for surveyors, estate agents, solicitors and removal costs, as well as maintenance and ground rent, if you are moving into an appartment. Set a budget and stick to it – 40% of people spend more than they’d expected on new homes.
Stamp Duty is costly. If you’re buying a house worth £350,000, you’ll pay £17,500, 5% of the total price. As for Capital Gains tax, unless you’re selling a second home, you won’t be charged this.
You may also need to spend money to get the house how you want it, cautions Marlene Outrim at UNIQ Family Wealth. ‘People tend to underestimate how much they may spend on putting in a new kitchen or bathroom. If you’re moving because of poor mobility or frailty, think about any modifications you may need and investigate what financial support you can get.’
Will it affect my children?
The short answer is probably not. The long answer is… Anyone who owns their home when they die gets an extra allowance of £100,000 on top of the £325,000 tax-free inheritance limit on estates. This includes people who have downsized or stopped owning property after 8 July 2015.
Don’t forget about the emotional impact, says Gary Watt at Just Financial Group. ‘There’s often an emotional attachment to a property and grown-up children can feel as if they’ve not been consulted. I always ask clients to bring their adult children to any discussions about the family home.’
If your children are likely to have kids of their own, you may want to consider whether moving away will make it harder to see your grandchildren regularly.
Should I consider renting?
Selling your home can be a good way to get funds for retirement and lots of flexibility. It could give you more available cash to help adult children with deposits or take once-in-a-lifetime holidays. But there are risks to renting, warns independent financial adviser Scott Gallacher. ‘There’s a danger that your pot of money is going down while you’re renting – 25 years later, you could have no money or house.’
If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact an IFA through unbiased.co.uk and talk through your options. Then approach an estate agent to find out what your home is worth and what you can afford to buy or rent with the proceeds.
Selling your home can be a good way to get funds for retirement and lots of flexibility