Thoughts About Lent

As Lent approaches, Stacks Property Search looks at what to give up, and what not to give up, when moving house.

Louise Ridings of Stacks Property Search says, “Whether you’re upsizing to accommodate a growing family, downsizing as an empty nester, or moving location, decide at the beginning of the process what you’re prepared to give up, and where to draw the red lines.”

Don’t give up your family

“Don’t give up your family, moving far away from your nearest and dearest is rarely a good idea. Disparate families mean lack of togetherness and support, so do as much as you can to create cohesion amongst family members. If it simply isn’t practical to live close by, then factor in ease of travel when choosing location.”

Don’t give up your own space

“There are numerous good reasons to downsize, but giving up a house that has been a home for decades is hard enough without making unnecessary sacrifices. Don’t give up anything that is going to detrimentally affect your relationship with your cohabitees. Prime examples include hobby space, second bathrooms and sheds – facilities that allow people their own space and make relationships more harmonious. Be inventive with the new layout, if you have a garage, little-used dining room or spare room, give it up instead, and allocate it to the member of the family that needs the space.”

Don’t give up on good schools

“Don’t give up on good schools for existing or future children. Plan well ahead, not just immediate education requirements, but up to the end of secondary school.”

Don’t give up on the environment

“Don’t give up on the environment. Look at EPCs, and potential for retro-fitting period properties with eco features.”

Don’t give up on gardening

“If you’re green-fingered, don’t give up on gardening, compromise on the property rather than the outside space. Plenty of surrounding land means you can always extend in the future, and this constitutes sensible future-proofing.”

Don’t give up on location

“Don’t give up on location too soon. It’s tempting to buy more house for your money in a less prime area, but hanging on for as long as possible will maximise your chances of increasing equity.”

Don’t give up your community

“If you’ve left downsizing late in life, don’t give up your community without a great deal of thought. It’s much more difficult to form strong friendships later in life, so don’t underestimate the value of your local people, and rush to live in a distant location.”

Do give up your enormous family house

“Do give up your enormous family house that has become an empty nest sooner rather than later. Do it early enough to make the most of the benefits of downsizing such as released equity, less maintenance responsibilities and costs, and ability to lock up and leave.”

Do concentrate on leisure space

“When downsizing in later life, concentrate on leisure space and great ergonomics, not what tradition dictates you should have. It’s the time of life to be selfish about your property choices. Your square metres will be all about you, not sucked up by all the bedrooms you needed to accommodate the family. It’s a mistake to try to recreate exactly what you had on a smaller scale.”

Don’t give up on the thing you’ve always wanted

“Don’t give up on the thing you’ve always wanted – whether that’s an Aga, a shed, an open plan kitchen, a south facing garden, off-street parking, a utility room, or anything else. Moving house is hard work, and there are often sacrifices to be made, so make sure you give yourself the treat, you may have to look a bit harder to find the right house, or make some modifications, but do try to factor in the item that’s at the top of your ‘want’ rather than ‘need’ list.”

If you’re thinking about moving house, why not take a look at our 2020 Property Hot Spots, or contact one of our Regional Directors to get started with your search.

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