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Have you/ are you planning to ‘downsize’

(105 Posts)
nanna8 Mon 01-Feb-21 08:15:43

Lots of our friends have either gone into a smaller property or a retirement village but we like our house and find a use for the 4 bedrooms so we are staying put for now. There are some things which might become more difficult as we get older (stairs for one, big garden ) but we love our outdoor area and the privacy we have here.

NotSpaghetti Mon 01-Feb-21 08:21:29

I would need to get rid of tons of stuff. We also fill all our house so not in a rush.

Kim19 Mon 01-Feb-21 08:24:47

Every winter I think I should move out of this lovely old barn of a house where I rattle around and every Spring I meander into the garden and am decidedly happy to still be here.

Gingster Mon 01-Feb-21 08:31:13

We downsized 15 yrs ago. Went from a biggish 4 bedroom , Victorian ,high maintenance , family house with a very large garden,to a 2 bedroom house with no garage, a small shed and tiny garden. We had to be brutal with our possessions and we threw a lot away or gave it away, We have very little storage room here so have to be careful not to clutter. The downstairs is open plan and we have a conservatory tacked on at the back, so plenty of room for the family , when they all visit together. Fairly maintenance free, and have never regretted it.

Pittcity Mon 01-Feb-21 08:32:51

We are moving from a 4 bed detached to a 3 bed semi any day now. Downsizing from 3 bathrooms to one will make a lot of difference to me in terms of keeping things clean! We will also be in the town centre so not isolated.
My parents moved from a 3 bed house to a one bed ground floor flat and soon began to find stairs hard going. A case of use it or lose it.

brook2704 Mon 01-Feb-21 08:34:01

DH and I were just discussing this yesterday. But I love my current house and garden even though it’s too big for just the 2 of us and costs a lot to heat in the winter. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else at the moment
The other thing is that the DGD like to stay over and when the restrictions allow it I hope they’ll stay again, so we’re staying put for now!

Humbertbear Mon 01-Feb-21 08:39:16

We love our house. We have lived here over 50 years. If our daughter didn’t live in the converted loft I’m sure we would have already moved to somewhere smaller but its not the size that bother us. It’s the steep drive and the 12 steps up to the front door and a large garden which don’t we use. My husband uses the dining room as his office and I have the small bedroom as a study and the spare room doubles as an art studio. I have my eye on some modern houses just down the road, on the flat, but my husband isn’t keen. I don’t think he can face the upheaval.

dragonfly46 Mon 01-Feb-21 08:42:24

I like having space around me. My plan is live in Carers if I need them so space is necessary. I don’t need to clean the rooms we don’t use very often.

BlueSky Mon 01-Feb-21 09:03:16

We have discussed it, the choice would be a detached bungalow or a new retirement apartment. But there’s nothing wrong with the semi detached we’ve been living in since we married. The stairs can always be remedied with a stair lift, we already have a very practical walk in shower, we like the low maintenance good sized garden which we wouldn’t get nowadays, we like the location. Besides we would have to spend more to have less. So for the time being at least, we are staying put!

Esspee Mon 01-Feb-21 09:18:43

If we find the stairs a problem we intend to live downstairs. We will have the living room, kitchen, a walk in shower room/lavatory, and just one bedroom. Much better than the faff of moving.

BusterTank Mon 01-Feb-21 09:32:02

If you like where you are have a stair lift fitted and when the time comes get a gardener . Start putting thing in place , where you see there could be a problem ( like a walk in shower ) . Also start to go through your belongings to watch is actually junk and what is worth keeping .

Bazza Mon 01-Feb-21 09:35:12

We moved to a bungalow with a small garden over two years ago and we love it. If you’re happy where you are then stay put because I can’t stress enough how stressful the whole experience was! I’m so glad we did it when we could (just about) manage.

Juliet27 Mon 01-Feb-21 09:37:24

You’re in Australia I believe nanna8 so more able to make the most of your outdoor space than many of us are in U.K. in the winter. My garden is very soggy at present. I feel I should downsize at sometime but I think I’d have difficulty finding something else in such a convenient position to all the essentials that will be needed as I age - shops, doctors, opticians etc.

ClaraB Mon 01-Feb-21 09:37:25

We always said we would be downsizing at around our age (early 60's) but the lockdown has made us realise how much we love our house and garden with all the space that we have. We have now agreed we will stay for several more years but I do feel you have to make the move before you get too old.

grandMattie Mon 01-Feb-21 09:38:12

We down sized from a big isolated house to live in a small town.
The most important hing is to clear out everything you don’t actually need. We made a lot of charities very happy, although I cried buckets. It was worth it as we could NEVR have fitted all our “stuff” and that of our three children in the smaller house.
Be prepared for tears and arguments about what to keep, but go for it!

Greta8 Mon 01-Feb-21 09:38:47

I think there has to be a very compelling reason for downshifting. It's not for everyone. Several friends have moved to be nearer their children and have not made the right choice of property and have felt very unhappy and cramped living in smaller properties. We decided to move about eighteen months ago to be near our daughter, as she was very keen to have us nearer. We also realised that while our cottage was manageable, the large garden would eventually become an issue. Throw in some trouble with a neighbour and we knew it was the right time to move. Not an easy choice of area either, as we were in a beautiful rural area whereas our daughter is more urban. We exchanged our three bed cottage for a four bed modern house with a much smaller garden. One bedroom is a dressing room, one for our grandchild, ours and one as a craft room for my husband. We have a large lounge, good size second reception which we've furnished with bookshelves as a snug. We also have a garage, which is an extra we didn't have previously. We are near the countryside but also near more amenities, Post Office, village shop, fish and chip shop and half an hour by bus to the nearest city. About half an hour from our daughter which is a respectful distance we think. So, well worth the hassle - we feel future proofed as the garden is much more manageable, as is the house. Our cottage was hard to clean - very dusty, etc. Everything here is modern and fairly new. So the right call for us, but it absolutely does need careful consideration.

cossybabe Mon 01-Feb-21 09:41:53

We downsized from a 5-bed large house to a 2-bed bungalow - a best move we have ever made - plus when we go the children will not have tons of stuff to sort out

Fashionista1 Mon 01-Feb-21 09:42:25

We sold our 4 bed home 2 yrs ago and bought a 3 bed det bungalow with ensuite/walk in shower, nice garden and garage. We have made some improvements, but our move was the best thing we have done. We had a strict list of considerations, near shops, quiet, safe, in good condition, access to public transport etc. As long as you stick to your requirements you can have a successful move.

cc Mon 01-Feb-21 09:51:17

Just don't leave it too long.
Its an exhausting business sorting everything out and the legal delays are pretty stressful, as is the move itself - don't wait until you really need to move and can't manage it.
You should be able to find somewhere that has some garden and/or green space in the local area.
We've done it recently and miss our lovely garden but are relieved to have a very low maintenance home with a big bright balcony which is a different gardening challenge and not overlooked. We also have a lovely park locally and landscaped communal gardens.
We found somewhere that we can renovate to our own spec and are looking forward to taking on this challenge whilst we can.

polnan Mon 01-Feb-21 09:51:47

I have considered downsizing from already downsized.
my dh and I downsized about 20 years ago, then he died 14 months ago, and some people asked if I should think of going into sheltered type accomodation, like a flat. no garden!
corridors... etc..
I visited a friends place, so I have tried to imagine me living in that accomodation and she has a lovely living room, etc.

but no, I am in a small 2 bed house, with small garden, and I want to stay here as long as I can, despite lots of work, mostly decorating needed... I am getting on in years.

I can still manage the stairs and think that helps me keep going

I am fortunate with having good health , especially for my years... I think a stair lift if ever I can`t manage.

I do get a bit lonely, as the neighbours, well o.k. but not "neighbourly" as I was brought up to.. but hey
we can`t have everything.. I am thankful that I can use technology a bit.

PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 09:57:06

10 years,ago we moved toour current addres. We intended to downsize. In the end we relocated to a similar sized property.We have not regretted it. But everyone's situation is different so what is good for one is nightmare for another.

Greeneyedgirl Mon 01-Feb-21 10:05:17

It’s difficult to envisage, and easy to put to the back of your mind, a future where you can no longer manage as well as you do now, but it really does make sense to plan as BusterTank notes.

My mother loved her big garden and ageing house needing ongoing maintenance, and wouldn’t consider moving to somewhere more practical after my dad died.

Now not only do we have to manage the care of my mother from afar, who has carers, we also have the additional concern for the upkeep and maintenance of her house and garden. She is now in a wheelchair, with a bed in the lounge and no downstairs loo, and unable to manage a stairlift.

It’s a nightmare at times, and has concentrated our minds on planning to prevent our children having to do similarly if in the future we are unable to cope.

Nashville Mon 01-Feb-21 10:05:26

About 4 years ago the mowing became the biggest problem for us. Neither of us were strong enough to even push a power assisted mower and employing a mowing service became a source of stress as it was often raining and thus a no show. Same with a gardener. The solution was a robot mower. A perimeter wire was fitted, instructions written down as if for simpletons and we haven’t looked back! It is programmed to start every 3 days for 6 hours and there are no clippings to pick up. Anyone with a mowing problem might consider this. Ours cost circa £1000 - the mowing service would have cost more over 4 years. My husband built it a little house for it to reverse into for a recharge. Sweet.

My sister in law used to work in sales for a retirement flats company. She says the most common reason seniors gave for downsizing was the problems created by the garden.

I have acknowledged that our house is full of treasures from a lifetime of travel and living but my treasures will be considered junk by others and end up in a charity shop or a skip. In order to somehow preserve them I am photographing them in little groups and writing down their story. I think this will be a comfort for me should I end up in one room in a care home. I am using a diary app on the iPad. I might even be able to take the actual treasure to the charity shop myself when they open or maybe not.

Nannarose Mon 01-Feb-21 10:06:16

I wouldn't think 'downsize', I would think 'life long home'.
I have written elsewhere about building our own home.

I would consider all the disadvantages of staying where you are, and how you might get round them. For instance: stairs are not necessarily a big problem if a stairlift (or even lift) can be installed easily (especially if you have a downstairs loo). A garden is not a problem if you can afford help (and indeed can be a source of joy).
However, lots of awkward stairs, or a garden that can only be accessed by steps may be difficult.
So I would survey your home, consider making any changes now - garden access, downstairs loo - easy-to-manage kitchen and see how that suits you.
If you can afford it, a house that allows you to have friends and family to stay comfortably can be a boon.

Lillie Mon 01-Feb-21 10:11:04

We have always based our moving decisions on doing the right thing at the right time. It depends how you want to "play" the property market too. We recently upsized for to maximise what we could get from a booming area. We then sold at a good profit. This enabled us to buy what we see as possibly our last home. It often depends whether you view your property as a house, just bricks and mortar, or as a home.