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House and home

We finally did it - downsizing - no regrets at all

(54 Posts)
cossybabe Sat 03-Aug-19 11:04:16

After 38 years, we finally sold our family home, leaving a very large 5 bedroom house to move into a small 2 bedroom bungalow.

We had to get rid of almost everything and buy new furniture for the bungalow.

I thought I would be upset about seeing it all go, but we have found it so liberating and have no regrets at all.

We are so pleased we have done it - how was your downsizing experience?

TwiceAsNice Wed 14-Aug-19 10:30:20

I downsized from a 3 bed semi which I was renting after a divorce. Marital home 4 bed detached . I left the 4 bed with almost nothing as husband was violent and when I eventually was able to get back into the house I had just a few hours with daughters to salvage what I could . I left loads of stuff we wanted behind as just run out of time .

I refurnished rental house from scratch which cost me thousands . Fast forward 3 years and now live in a 1 bedroom flat very near daughters and grandchildren but because it’s a much more expensive area I couldn’t afford to buy a 2 bed flat and no money left over. It cost more than a 4 bed house would have in Wales.

So very happy, not much money, downsized loads and gave lots of stuff away so everything would fit and it was definitely a “ needs must” move but still see it as positive, just wish I’d been able to put a little money away for the future.

grannyqueenie Wed 14-Aug-19 09:43:09

Well said Scribbles Bellasnana and others who’ve commented on a similar vein. There will always be those who through hard work or just the luck of the draw have more than others do. It’s nothing to boast about and actually most folk don’t, they just feel blessed to be in the position they’re in.

Some of my friends have substantially more materially than I do and some have much less, it’s just how it is. I don’t think there’s any begrudging or mean spirited attitudes between us either way. But maybe I’m just fortunate in who I have in my friendship circle?

Bellasnana Wed 14-Aug-19 05:57:20

Scribbles, you put into words what I was thinking.

There is so much jealousy and mean-spirited comments on GN. Some people just can’t be happy for anyone.

Nannytopsy Wed 14-Aug-19 05:13:54

We are about to move from a very overlooked family house on the outskirts of a city to a rural, slightly smaller house. It is closer to our children so that we can help with childcare. We were the generation who had a letter from the building society every month increasing interest rates. Ours topped at 17.5% and it has taken us 40 years to reach a position of real financial security. So no guilt here, except for the crystal glasses, books and photos! grin

Greta8 Wed 14-Aug-19 03:06:31

It's lovely to read everyone's success stories on downsizing. No-one ever knows all the back-story of others' lives and in many cases sacrifices have been made to purchase property when younger. So I personally think judgemental comments made have no place on this thread. We each make our choices and plan our lives the best way we can. If we pull off this great achievement in our approaching twilight years, then fantastic and I'm all for celebrating it. We helped our daughter and son-in-law with a deposit for their house several years ago. They both work hard and part of the reason for our move is so that I can look after our grandson a couple of days a week to save on nursery fees. Regarding the money we gained from downshifting, we have decided to gift it to our daughter and son-in-law so they will be able to get a larger house for their growing family - so it is still invested in family property. It makes financial sense to do this I think. I make no apology for the fact that I'm thrilled with my four bed non-estate house - which has a small garden and is on a main road near to services in a thriving small village. It was picked with care for the next stage of our lives and with a view to staying independent as long as possible. Good luck to everyone that is planning to do the same.

crazyH Wed 14-Aug-19 00:45:25

We are not in a communist or socialist state. Good luck to those who have 'downsized' to 'not so small houses'. Good luck to those who have the means to live in fairly large houses in their senior years. I downsized in 2008 and like some of you I have a 4 bedroomed house, which through sheer luck, I got at a knock down price. Nothing was wrong with the house.....just that the owners were desperate to move near their daughter's, probably to help with desperately needed child care etc.
Though it's 4bedroomed the garden is very, very small and easily maintained. In 2 or 3 years I would like to move to a 2bed bungalow.
Good luck to all who are planning to downsize.

DoraMarr Wed 14-Aug-19 00:08:43

It’s a shame this post has upset some people, because downsizing is an important topic, and it’s good to hear of others’ experiences. It isn’t easy leaving a home you have lived and brought up your children in, with all the memories it holds. However, some people don’t have the choice, wether through divorce, bereavement or other circumstances, so it is good to read of positive experiences. Also, downsizing is better done sooner than later. I downsized four years ago at 66, and I’m glad I’m not doing it now at 70. Someone made a good point too: it feels good to declutter, especially if we have had the experience of clearing a deceased relative’s house and had to deal with forty or fifty years’ worth of possessions.

Grannyjay Tue 13-Aug-19 22:17:46

excessively proud and self-satisfied talk about one's achievements, possessions, or abilities.

Scribbles I suppose you was referring to me when you say some enjoy sniping. Well I think some are sadly deluded if they cannot see this post isn’t boastful. But that is my opinion and I can see that when some have different opinions then you all star ganging up. Sad really but I suppose some enjoy it.

GrandmaMoira Tue 13-Aug-19 21:30:37

I'm sorry if anyone was offended by my downsizing to a smaller 4 bed house. I do have family staying with me every week and sometimes for a few weeks at a time so I have one spare room for guests, otherwise I would have looked for a 2 bed house.
I admit that sometimes I think that, despite all our hard work and going without when young, some of us do have more than we need now, but I do help the family as much as I can, as most of us do.

DoraMarr Tue 13-Aug-19 21:13:01

I moved from a 4 bed family home with a huge garden in the suburbs to a two bed nine year old apartment near the city centre. No garden, but I’m next door to a park and I have a balcony to grow tomatoes and herbs. I have a large through room with a kitchen at one end. It’s great. I gave away all my furniture and bought new, lighter things. I realised that after my children left the actual space I used in the house was tiny compared with the rest: one sofa, a chair at the kitchen table etc and I hardly ever used the dining room. Now I have no stairs to clean, and it takes me a couple of hours to do the whole place. The only thing I miss is not having the papers delivered- I used to love sitting on the carpet with the Sunday papers and a tray of toast and tea.
Oh yes, and I was able to help two of my children buy their own places with the equity, and the other two got the same small amount.

Esther1 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:36:00

I don’t ever want to downsize. It’s the family homestead where we all congregate and enough space for everyone to make themselves at home - I hope they always think of it as Home.

CanadianGran Tue 13-Aug-19 19:27:22

I haven't taken any of the remarks here to sound boastful. I think a lot of people in the 'gransnet' age group have worked hard for their houses over the years and planned well. Even some of us that perhaps didn't plan have benefited from the rise of real estate prices and paying off a mortgage over 20-30 years.
We have just recently purchased a second home in the Okanagan valley in BC. It is currently being rented out and in about 5 years we hope to be able to sell our main home here in the north and downsize.

I am happy to hear of all the good results from downsizing, although the thought of it makes me shiver with the amount of work involved!

Framilode Tue 13-Aug-19 18:39:15

Wel said Day 6. You put that so much better than I could have done.

Day6 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:47:37

Well said Scribbles and Framilode

How on earth can anyone take offence at not wanting to live on an estate? It's a personal preference, surely? Lots of gorgeous new houses are being built not far from where we are but they don't tick our boxes. They don't have decent sized gardens and the two we viewed were over-looked and had a busy road (for the estate, so lots of traffic) so didn't suit us. Friends live on a new build on an estate and they are very happy. Horses for courses and you cannot object to that, surely? Some people wouldn't mind, but we do. That's not a crime is it?

I haven't read any boastful threads. We were the generation that went without material goods, cars, holidays etc because we just couldn't afford them. We really had to penny-pinch and go without. Comparing life today with life in the '60s and '70s is daft and rather mean-spirited I feel. We had to put up with the life and times we were born into, as does every generation. The generation before some of us (me, anyway) lived through wars, death, hardship and rationing. Did they resent our peace-time? I doubt it.

Day6 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:35:37

It’s just things like a lifetimes worth of books, literally thousands of photos, treasures to me, rubbish to my family

Same here, Sara65. I moved so many books with me to our new home - ones I had piling up in many rooms - that OH had to build shelves in 'my room', and I even bought another bookcase. (We took two with us when we moved.) Daft really as I have a Kindle now too!

And up-thread someone mentioned finding so many glasses for every occasion when they cleared out a relatives home...<cough> Guilty.

Scribbles Tue 13-Aug-19 17:15:56

Grannyj and Notentirely, perhaps it's worth reflecting that many of those who may have benefited from an inflated property market lived hand-to-mouth during the 1980s when interest rates reached 15%+. Like the current generation of house buyers, most of us worked full time and paid our own childcare costs and for our children's school lunches. In our case, we couldn't afford holidays, a home phone or a colour TV licence for many years; it all went towards keeping a roof over our heads.

Now that we've so smugly profited from our downsizing, how many of us are putting the windfall cash to use assisting our children with their housing or other needs or putting it aside to pay for future care for ourselves? Quite a lot, I suspect - but it's nobody else's business. Plainly, some will always be happiest when sniping at others.

Society always has been (and probably always will be) divided in all sorts of ways, including affluence and I haven't read anything here which sounded remotely boastful, only lots of well meaning attempts to answer the OP.

Framilode Tue 13-Aug-19 15:44:15

Grannyjay I was the one who put none estate. I can assure you it was in no way intended to be snobbish, just a statement of fact. We live in a very ordinary house in a village street. The only reason I put that was because many modernish houses now tend to be on estates. I have lived on some estates over the years but it wouldn't suit me now.

Absolutely no offence intended.

Grannyjay Tue 13-Aug-19 13:08:09

Notentirelyallhere, I did wonder whether to comment as some may not have intended to sound so boastful. We live in a world of my house is bigger than your house etc and it becomes rather boring and pretentious. I know from experience from my daughter and husband struggled to save for a house and they both had good jobs but the problem was from buy to let landlords charging rents well over half their income. They just found it hard and many other young people who have good jobs, work hard cannot save. We live in a world of greed and it costs us in the end. We have social problems caused by not having a future and not being able to have a home. Don’t get me started on those boasting of having two homes! We had a future, jobs, social housing if required, free health care and not just some. Some moan on here about their GC being spoiled, it sounds like some of the GP’s are.

notentirelyallhere Tue 13-Aug-19 11:18:54

Grannyjay since you have been brave enough to comment, I'll agree with you. As I read through this thread I felt more and more queasy and thought of all those families suffering from the Tory austerity measures and all those young people who now can't afford homes. What a divided society the UK has become and so many people doing just fine on the back of an inflated property market. I suspect you and I are 'in for it' now!

Grannyjay Tue 13-Aug-19 10:36:07

I am amazed at how lucky some of you are. I am afraid I cannot compete with your previous large 5 bedroom houses downsized to 4! Is this a boasting blog. Honestly the one that felt they had to put in brackets “non estate” is verging on complete snobbery.

Luckygirl Tue 13-Aug-19 09:45:12

I am intrigued with the idea of "downsizing" to a 4 bed property as so many seem to have done!!! smile

jeanie99 Tue 13-Aug-19 09:12:19

We moved for retirement from a 4 bed 3 bathroom bungalow on a large plot in a town of 24,000 people in Derbyshire to a 4 bed 2 bathrooms on a small plot in a village of 1000 people.
It is so perfect, our family can still come visit and stay, the garden is south/west facing on the back so lovely and sunny.
Bus stops 2 minutes away and runs every 30 minutes into the city of Lincoln.
We live in one of three villages close together, even without driving it is easy to get to the village shops and into the city.
Pub, church,junior school, village hall, scouts lots of things to do around where we are.
Goods walks to stretch the legs wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
It did take us almost 2 years though to find what we wanted.
Moving at any time needs a lot of thinking about.
Best of luck with the move

Framilode Tue 06-Aug-19 10:31:01

Carenza 123 you did exactly the same as we did when we came back from Spain, bought of the internet and trusted our adult children to look for us. Like you, it has worked out.

Whereabouts in Spain were you?

Davida1968 Tue 06-Aug-19 10:20:26

Made the move last year to a two-bed bungalow. This was after two years of determination, de-cluttering, and planning. So glad we did it - life is easier and more comfortable now. We're in our 60s and were determined to "get sorted" before reaching our 70s. I can say honestly that we haven't missed anything we got rid of. And the local charity shops have benefitted!

Sara65 Tue 06-Aug-19 08:11:33


There are a lot of things I’d be reluctant to part with, I’m not a hoarder by any means, we had the same experience with my mother in law, and I’ve kept on top of things ever since, regularly clearing things out.

It’s just things like a lifetimes worth of books, literally thousands of photos, treasures to me, rubbish to my family