Cheap-sizing – how to buy for less without settling for less space 

“An era of austerity has led to many homeowners looking to their property to provide finance for school fees, setting their children up with a deposit for a home, retiring, divorcing, or any other of a range of the countless pressing needs for cash. But releasing capital doesn’t have to involve downsizing,” says Nick Wooldridge of Stacks Property Search. 

“There are ways of maintaining or even gaining space and freeing up equity at the same time. This will invariably involve some compromise, but select carefully and you’ll be sitting pretty. 

  1. Move within the same area to a less desirable village 

“Some villages are considered the crème de la crème – great school, good community, village shop, perfect pub, chocolate-box-pretty. Although these are all arguably ‘nice to have’, you may not necessarily need to tick all these boxes, and moving from an area’s ‘best’ village to a not quite so fashionable spot as little as a couple of miles away could save you as much as 20% while leaving you within reach of all your favourite friends and places. 

  1. Move further away from commuting links 

“Reduced commuting time is extremely valuable. So if you don’t need to commute, or you’re prepared to set the alarm 30 minutes earlier, you can make dramatic savings. Property in Haslemere, with its mainline station, costs 30% more than in nearby Midhurst where residents will have to make a 15 minute drive to Haslemere station.” 

  1. Escape the school catchment area… 

“We have short memories. One of the reasons you chose a particular area may have been because of the schools, but if your children are already safely established, or you’re out of the school system altogether, you’re living in a premium area and can save cash simply by moving to the other side of the catchment area line.”  

  1. Swap character for non-character 

“With the exception of new developments, and contemporary architect statements, non-period property is generally significantly cheaper than period property, often by as much as 20% for the same amount of space. “Aesthetically, home buyers who are used to living in quirky properties built in local materials may struggle with reconstituted stone and less features; but there can be advantages. Houses often work well ergonomically, proportions and light can be better; and maintenance costs can be lower.” 

  1. Swap land for accommodation 

“If you’ve been enjoying a huge garden or a patch of your own land, downsizing the outside space but retaining the internal accommodation can free up significant sums of cash. Swapping a four bedroom house in Monmouthshire with half an acre of garden and two acres of land for the same house and location but with no land and a quarter of an acre of garden will put £150,000 in your pocket. 

  1. Cross the border… 

“By crossing a county border, usually putting a few extra miles between you and London, you can free up significant capital. Gloucestershire to Warwickshire; Oxfordshire to Gloucestershire; Dorset to Somerset; Leicestershire to Nottinghamshire; Buckinghamshire to Northamptonshire, or Berkshire to Oxfordshire can give you the same bricks for around 30% less buck. If you already live near a border, the move can be made with not too much disruption to lifestyle, apart from having to deal with the reduced status of your new postcode! 

“Some of this advice flies in the face of the usual ‘location, location, location’ mantra. But property isn’t all about investment. If you need the space, but need to liquidise some cash, something’s got to give. Living in a house that’s too small for you simply to maximise your capital growth potential doesn’t, and shouldn’t, make sense. 

“But if you are going to move to a less prime area, buy sensibly. If you can pick a location where you can see that the seeds of improvement have been sown, and a property that has the potential for adding value, you will be sitting pretty.” 

 

 

 

Stacks Property Search & Acquisition, 01594 842880 / www.stacks.co.uk 

  • Ends – 
    • For more information, jpgs and interviews, contact Amanda MacCaw, 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 / amanda@wildmaccaw.co.uk

Start your property search today

Call us on +44 (0) 1594 842880 or complete the form below

    Your Details



    Your property requirements:

    Status:
    SoldThinking of movingOn the marketExchangingIn rented accommodationCash buyerIn need of helpOther


    We will never share your details with a third party. For more information about how we handle your data, please see our Privacy Policy

    How we can help you

    View our property finder services

    When making probably the most important financial decision of your life, it pays to have the right advisors at your side.

    Property Finder Service

    We search high and low, on the market and off the market, and we keep hunting until we’ve found the right property for you. Next we negotiate the best price and terms on your behalf. And then we make sure you enjoy a hassle-free move.

    Downsizing or Resizing

    Retirement or semi-retirement is an exciting stage in life. Finding the right home to live in and enjoy it to the full is important. We know that and will do all that we can to understand what you’re looking for… before starting to search. And search we will, until we find the house of your dreams.

    Moving from Abroad

    Relocating is time consuming and stressful. We regularly work with clients who live abroad. We hunt, short-list, prepare your viewings, and make the search process as easy as possible. We oversee the negotiations, manage the conveyancing, and deal with the headaches, so you can concentrate on other aspects of your move.

    Holiday Home Hunt

    A holiday home is often an interesting mix of investment and heartfelt connection. You want to use it, but you may well also be keen for others to use it too. We can advise you on what factors to consider in making your decision. And we can then find the perfect holiday home for you to enjoy.

    Investing in UK Property

    Others say, ‘location, location, location’. We say, ‘location, purpose, price, capital growth, rental returns’… the list goes on. Knowing the market is critical. Local knowledge is key. We ensure all aspects of your investment decision are addressed. Finding, analysing, negotiating, and completing… it’s what we do.

    “You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

    “We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

    “We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

    “Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before.”

    “It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.”

    “Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

    “Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification.

    “I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

    “Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations

    “You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

    “We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

    “I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Receive updates about the world of property, straight to your inbox.

    * indicates required