While each family is different and individual circumstances must be taken into account, I'd suggest individuals in this situation ask themselves the following questions:
Why are you moving?
There are many reasons why a move might be considered after the children have flown the nest. These might include:
- You are ready for a change and view the next chapter as an exciting challenge. This is possibly something you have been dreaming about and have been waiting to put these plans into action.
- The realisation that the house and/or garden are now realistically far too big for the current number of occupiers.
- The ongoing running and the maintenance costs are proving prohibitive.
- Your current financial position may be a factor and the release of equity may be of significant benefit.
- The location of the property may be an issue as it may be too far away from important amenities such as shops and public transport
- The family may have moved away and you are keen to be closer to them.
- Your current property, whilst well maintained, may be starting to show signs of age and may require modernisation. The cost, time and effort in doing so, may, however make this difficult.
- Unfortunately, as we age, stairs and access to baths and showers, or even the general layout of a property can cause problems.
- Personal circumstances. Sadly death, divorce, separation, or even family members having moved out can have an impact and you may simply feel it is time to move on.
- There may also be pressure from the family to move to somewhere smaller or to relocate to be closer to them which may influence your decision.
Prior to making the move, consideration will obviously need to be given as to where to move to!
While retiring to a place by the sea may have once been a dream, there may also be significant drawbacks and it's important to consider the availability and accessibility of the amenities you need.
When considering a move, think about the potential impact on your current relationships, be it your social network, your family, your religious centre, doctor, dentist and even your hairdresser and chemist.
Style of property
You are looking to move, however, consider the extent of the jump you are willing to take. Are you looking to move from a multi-storey townhouse to a bungalow or possibly a modern flat? Alternatively, would you prefer a converted traditional stone property? Perhaps you are thinking about the security and company that might be gained by moving into a retirement facility.
It's easy to get caught up with the stress and strain of maintaining a garden. However, if over the years this has been your pride and joy, the outlook from your new property will be crucial and even the position of a flat within a development in a block (for example whether it overlooks the car park, or commonly maintained garden ground) will be an important consideration.
When considering such a move, it's important to consider not only your present but also your future needs and, as such, think about the availability of home help, assistance from family and friends and the availability of cleaners, gardeners and any other help which you may need.
Are there any potential access or mobility issues in relation to the property?
Have you considered potential modifications? The majority of properties can be adapted to suit most levels of mobility and vision with the provision of ramps, stair lifts, wet floor showers, hand rails, toilet adaptions. The cost of making such changes should be factored in as well.
Consider the extent of the move you are prepared to make. For example, is a move from a large detached nine bedroomed property to a one bedroomed flat in a retirement development, a leap too far? For many this would be. There are other options and smaller bungalows and modern-built properties which may prove to be a more attractive option and this should be kept in mind.
The following may serve as a useful checklist:
- Are the costs of maintaining and running your current property proving prohibitive?
- Would you benefit from the capital which is currently tied up in your home?
- Do you have a mortgage and if so, is this causing additional stress which could be alleviated?
- You may have found the perfect property but have you considered the additional cost of modifying or upgrading the property and the costs involved with getting ongoing assistance at home and with the garden?
- When contemplating a move, you will also need to factor in associated costs which will be incurred with the estate agency and legal conveyancing.
- Can you afford to buy without selling and if not, are there other options?
- Are there other options as an alternative to a move for releasing equity?
- What about the future? Have you considered the possibility of financing long term care costs?
- If you are considering moving to a retirement development or a care home, what are the maintenance and factoring charges, or is there an additional percentage cost at the point of future sale?
If you have any questions about moving house whether it's a downsize, or an upsize - please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below.