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Property: Estate agent urges 'empty nesters' to downsize now or risk making it harder


Nick Wooldridge of Stacks Property Search explained that while living with your children can be an enjoyable process, delaying a downsizing move is “an error”. The property expert said even if you are expecting your grown-up children to spend extensive time with you, they should be encouraged to spread their wings. There are multiple reasons why downsizing may not seem like a good idea.

Moving house is costly along with stamp duty, and finding somewhere else to live can be daunting.

He added: “But the biggest hurdles in our experience are emotional rather than practical – the fear of change, reluctance to let go of the past, and the emotional hoops that will have to be jumped through to decide what to replace the family home with.”

Mr Wooldridge said the longer buyers have waited, the harder it is to make the move.

If you’re thinking about downsizing but you’re not sure how to make the move, the property expert advised drawing up a list of every benefit you can possibly think of.

He said while finances and advantages surrounding lower property maintenance may feature strongly, you need to be more clear.

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The property expert said one of the biggest mistakes is trying to “recreate exactly what you had on a smaller scale”.

You can also think about starting afresh with your furniture if you don’t want to squeeze it into a new space.

Mr Wooldridge also said choosing the right location is “vital” to downsizing.

He said: “The pandemic has made many people much more aware of the importance of being close to family – if not actually co-habiting!

“The idea of the extended family living within range to offer support to each other has become a clear trend.

“The improved lifestyle, proximity to family, amenities and transport, decreased maintenance issues, and improved or specialist ergonomics can be incredibly liberating.

“One of the best things about downsizing is that once you’ve done it you shouldn’t have to do it again!

“So don’t just consider your needs as they are at the moment, make sure it will suit you, or can be adapted, when you become less active and possibly less mobile.

“But psychologically, think of this as a new step forward, not the last property step – a feeling that can often deter downsizers.”


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