5 crucial factors to consider when downsizing during the pandemic

Downsizing in a pandemic

While now might be the perfect time to downsize your home for additional savings, the prospect of selling your house and moving amid the pandemic can be daunting.

Kevin Shaw, Managing Director at Audley Villages reveals his top tips on downsizing during the Covid-19 crisis to help you plan a hassle-free move and take advantage of savings in the current market.

1. Take advantage of current Stamp Duty savings

Stamp duty can be a considerable outlay for home buyers, even when downsizing from a current property. The introduction of reduced stamp duty land tax imposed when buying property in England or Northern Ireland, is incentivising property investment amid the pandemic. The new temporary stamp duty threshold applies to all buyers until 31st March 2021, making it the perfect time to consider moving to a more manageable property in later life.

2. Downsize on possessions as well as your property

Moving into a smaller home is also a welcome opportunity to declutter and only keep the items which have a clear purpose or sentimental value. Start by dividing possessions into priceless items or things you really care about and those you no longer have a need for. From there, you can choose what you would like to bring with you to your new home and what you would like to sell or give to family or charities. Take an inventory of any heirlooms or possessions you want to be passed down and share this with family members. You can also calculate the value of certain items by getting an evaluation from an expert, which you may wish to sell on prior to the move.

3. Financial considerations

While downsizing your home can mean more money in your pocket each month, especially when you choose to move into a smaller and less expensive property, moving can still be an expensive process so it’s important to prepare. Consider the monthly outgoings and purchase options available to ensure the decision is right for you. Reputable agents and property experts can provide clear guidance on part exchange, bridging loans, and retirement mortgages. It is worth exploring all purchase options, even if you’re a cash buyer.

4. Preparing your property

When you are selling your current property, you will also need to prepare it for the housing market which can mean more time and money. While some properties require minimal effort and some carefully staged photos, for a lot of older buildings it could be necessary to spend thousands of pounds on upgrading the space and repairing any existing problems in your home which may deter buyers. To put it on the market, good photos are essential! You will need to stage your property for viewings, this involves buying additional furniture and pieces or even hiring a professional home stager who can help you to make it more appealing to potential buyers. The agent or retirement property expert you talk to can advise on top tips when selling your existing home. Many operators like Audley, also offer specialist moving advice and support included in the new property price.

5. Staying safe during the move

As the Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing and older adults are at a higher risk of contracting the virus than the average population, you should aim to be as careful as possible throughout the moving process. This means taking even more safety precautions when moving and aiming to social distance and stay up to 6 feet apart when loading and unloading boxes. Always wear a mask and clean and disinfect any boxes prior and post move. You should do the same with all surfaces of your new home as well as your old home to protect the new buyers.

Make your move with confidence

Many new Audley owners have safely and confidently moved in to a beautiful new property in a retirement village this year. Hear what they have to say...

Read more downsizing and retirement property advice from Audley Villages and guest experts.