Downsizing: it can be better to think small and think ahead
THE housing market may be struggling but downsizing is still prevalent, and reportedly the main motivation for people selling homes in nine out of ten regions in the UK.
Mark Hayward, the president of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said: "Downsizing was once something done to free up funds of homeowners approaching retirement. It is now an option being taken by homeowners of all ages who can no longer afford to pay the mortgage.
"In a time of economic uncertainty, downsizing can make a lot of sense, especially for anyone who has an unused spare bedroom, or whose children have flown the nest. Even though finding a buyer may be tough, homes are selling if they are priced correctly."
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It may sound obvious, but is easy to forget in the rush of packing – don't take what you don't need. Downsizing is a great opportunity to focus on exactly what you want in your new home and get rid of any clutter.
Sell what you don't need
Selling unwanted items could provide a welcome cash injection to help with the move. Use local newspapers, local shop windows and car boot sales. If you have time before the move, online auction sites such as eBay could be useful but are more time consuming.
You may even be able to sell some items – such as curtains or white goods – to your house buyer.
Some large furniture items and white goods require up to six weeks delivery time. To avoid spending the first night in your new home without a bed, order these items in good time – although do wait until after you have exchanged on the home.
Remember to plan how delivery teams will access the property; if your new sofa will only fit through patio doors, make sure there is adequate access to your garden from outside the property.
Set up your utilities as soon as possible: Liaise with the agent and get the details of previous utility providers so you can call them to set up new accounts. Also, make sure that your phone and broadband services are ordered before moving in as these often take a few weeks to become active.
Ask the professionals
The easiest way of getting the most up-to-date information that you need about moving home is to consult a respected, local professional.