Nathan Walker, Sales Director, highlights a few questions you should ask yourself in relation to your current property as you approach retirement...
It's extremely common for homeowners to approach retirement with a plan that involves selling their larger existing property and buying a smaller property. If you find your current home is too large for your needs, such as having too many unused rooms or you find maintenance is becoming increasingly difficult to keep on top of, you may find that you could benefit greatly by downsizing at the right time.
Downsizing may mean smaller, but it can also mean far more manageable, not to mention there's the opportunity for you to pocket the difference between the sale price of your current house and the purchase price of a smaller, cheaper one – no doubt these are great benefits for many of those who are retiring.
Changing your home to smaller one upon retirement is something you might be thinking about, but before you make that decision and venture out trying to find a suitable retirement property, there are a few things you should consider beforehand.
You could compare how much the cost of running the property is in your current home against a home you'd like to purchase for retirement. In many cases, income goes down upon retirement, so this can have an affect on how easily you can cover the cost of living in that particular property, such as being able to comfortably afford the bills or any ongoing maintenance costs.
You could calculate all of your current running costs and bills so that you can work out how much you'd be left with from your monthly pension income, as you'll want to ensure you have enough leftover to enjoy your retirement. Compare this with the running costs of a smaller property you have in mind and see if there are significant savings to be had - significant savings equals more disposable income for your retirement!
Years ago your current property may have been the perfect family home and the perfect place to raise your growing family. It may have provided all the space you needed for your children to enjoy, but now you might look around and just see a whole lot of unused space. Unused rooms need to be kept clean, not to mention a larger house is likely to cost more to heat during the winter. If you look around and see a lot of unused space, you may be better off setting up retirement in a smaller property where you can more effectively utilise the space for everything you need.
Cardiff has many different suburbs available across the city to choose from, all offering a range of different benefits. You may be living in your current home because at the time you moved in, it made sense. Maybe you chose that area because of the schools available, or for its proximity to the city centre or major commute routes. In retirement, you might prefer something different - perhaps an area that specifically caters to your hobbies, offers your required transport links, has useful local amenities within walking distance, or maybe nearby parks which might be important to you for regular strolls and fresh air.
To learn more about some of these areas, check out our say on the best areas to live in Cardiff for retirement.
This is probably a no-brainer, as of course you would! If you feel your current home is now too large for your needs, chances are it's also going to eat into more of your available disposable income upon retirement. If you'd rather spend that money elsewhere on the things you enjoy, say more weekends away, funding a holiday home, or regularly treating your children and grandchildren, it'll probably makes sense to downsize and free up more of your cash for when you retire.
The thought of downsizing into a smaller property can put some people off, especially if they've come to really appreciate the extra space over the years. You may be able to physically cope now, but what about later down the line? If you put off downsizing, you might end up making things a lot more difficult as you get older. Putting up with the physical and financial upkeep of the property may seem no problem right now, but you may feel very different in a few years time.
Either way, downsizing is a big decision and it's something you should put a great deal of thought into. Whatever you decide, you want to make sure it provides the best outcome for you and your retirement.
If you're considering downsizing into a new home for retirement and would like to discuss how much your current property is worth and potential properties that are available on the market, contact our friendly team here at CPS Homes by calling 02920 668585, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by popping into one of our three Cardiff branches.