Written by Alison Owens, Property Specialist, DOMVS Wareham estate agents
Downsizing in Dorset
There is a lot to consider when making the decision to downsize, especially in Dorset, where properties that meet the downsizing criteria for retirement are in hot demand. If you’re considering making this move, our Wareham estate agency team have plenty of experience in helping buyers and sellers to navigate this change.
Things to Consider when Downsizing in Dorset
Perhaps you no longer need all the rooms in your home. Or maybe your children want you to live nearer to them. Or you may even want to release some equity to go and have fun in your retirement! Whatever your reason for downsizing into something smaller, there is a lot to consider.
Before you start the process of downsizing, think about how your needs may change in ten years from now. To future proof your home, and avoid moving again, you should consider what your life will look like and what your home will need to give to you.
Less space can be hard to imagine. A life without all the rooms, a garden, a garage etc will provide lower maintenance-living, but take the time to be really clear about what your new home needs to give you and why. This can make your search so much easier and your journey so much more enjoyable. Consider how often you’ll have visitors overnight and how frequently you’ll be entertaining. Maybe, having spent many years bringing up your family, or having friends to stay, you’re looking forward to doing much less of that in the future!
We find that a lot of the people going through the process of downsizing are now looking for something that they won’t have to spend too much time or money maintaining. This means that retirement can be filled with all the things that you want to do. After living in one style of property for a number of years, we often find that people are looking for something completely different, for example going from a Grade II Listed cottage to a brand new build, with modern interiors and guarantees can be very appealing.
Open your mind to new ideas and possibilities that your estate agent may present and with any luck, you’ll enjoy the search and start to get excited about your new abode. Currently, in Dorset, there are a number of luxurious, exclusive beachfront apartments, which are increasingly popular with the downsizing population.
Write a List
It is worth thinking about which rooms in your current house you use the most, and what activities you do in each room. Write a list of all the things that are really important to you. This will help you in your search and the more you can identify what you need, and how you are going to live in your new home, the more it will help you make decisions in a busy, buoyant marketplace, where competition for the best properties is fierce.
Downsizing can be a discombobulating time. Think about what you will take with you to your new, smaller home? Which pieces of furniture will suit your new abode, and which possessions are family relics that really don’t need to be kept for prosperity? Have a go at the Marie Kondo style of organising, and ask yourself “which pieces of furniture, ornaments or books, spark joy?” Keep the things that make you happy.
You don’t have to keep everything. I often hear sellers telling me that the childhood toy train set is still in the attic and the grown up children don’t want to see it go. Ask your children to collect these items – you’ll soon realise how important the train set is to them (hint, it’s not that often!).
Bring in the Professionals
If you are overwhelmed by the years and years of possessions that are in the house, then get some expert support. There are plenty of house clearance companies and auctioneers who will be happy to value the items you’ve decided to part with. You can choose to list items separately and decide if you would like to include those in the sale of your house, or give the option of buying items to your buyer.
Find a Supportive Estate Agent when Downsizing in Dorset
Our DOMVS team has immense experience of the downsizing process and the journey a downsizer will go on. We will be by your side through the rollercoaster of emotions, the enormity of the decision-making, and the joy of finding the right place to make your next home. Our experience, empathy, local knowledge and sense of humour will aid you through. If you’re considering downsizing, please feel free to contact us anytime. Or if you’d simply benefit from an informational, initial chat at this stage, we’re always happy to hear from you.