Downsizing

edited 5 August 2014 at 5:48AM in Over 50s Money Saving
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edited 5 August 2014 at 5:48AM in Over 50s Money Saving
Everyone says you should do it while you can rather than wait until you are too old/ill/frail and in principal I agree with this.

We have a mid-terrace Victorian house so not a huge amount to downsize from. But we decided to look anyway.

We wanted a bungalow on a bus route and near shops in a decent area. So we had a look round and came up with this:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-41561581.html

It is near a bus stop, near shops and other amenities and even has a local railway station just up the road (the railway runs along the back of the property but that does not bother us as it is only a local line). It has a garage (which we've never had before) and a small garden. We had a look through the windows (the property is empty) and could see that it needs a bit of work doing but we don't mind that.

It looks just what we want.

However..... we came back home and looked at our nice house with wildlife garden and pond and thought how could we possibly move from that into a small bungalow? We would lose a dining room, one bedroom and a large dry cellar which is used for storage and the garden is much smaller. We could just see ourselves being crammed into this little place and feeling caged up and hating it. But the point of downsizing is to have a smaller house and garden, right??

The downsides to our house are - no garage, the street outside is like a linear car park on both sides and my husband is increasingly worried about the area declining, as more houses become buy-to-lets and more eastern European immigrants arrive (the area has always been multicultural, but the latest arrivals do seem to be very intrusive and not attempting to fit in).

At the moment we have decided to stay put and in fact are spending a few grand on a summerhouse for the top of our long garden.

But I'm wondering whether this is the right decision? Absolute dilemma. It's a head and heart situation.

Discussion welcomed.

(We are fit and healthy mid-60s. My husband does have arthritis in his knees, although this usually does not bother him too much).
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  • ceewashceewash Forumite
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    I would knock down the shed and make the garden bigger. Is there any scope in the budget / any space for a small extension to give you a dining room?
    My parents moved into a similar property aged about 65, made some alterations to it and now at the age of 80 say that it was the best thing they did. Big gardens can be such a problem as you get older. It depends on whether you want to make some money on the downsize or just find a home for the next phase of your life.
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    My husband would be lost without his shed :( . The way the bungalow is configured there actually isn't room for a sensible extension as the bedroom goes all along the back. We did think we could convert the garage but then there would be no storage.

    We wouldn't make any money on the downsize, the price is about the same as we would get for our house.

    Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it, as it gives ideas :)
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • zygurat789zygurat789 Forumite
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    Everyone says you should do it while you can rather than wait until you are too old/ill/frail and in principal I agree with this.

    We have a mid-terrace Victorian house so not a huge amount to downsize from. But we decided to look anyway.

    We wanted a bungalow on a bus route and near shops in a decent area. So we had a look round and came up with this:

    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-41561581.html

    It is near a bus stop, near shops and other amenities and even has a local railway station just up the road (the railway runs along the back of the property but that does not bother us as it is only a local line). It has a garage (which we've never had before) and a small garden. We had a look through the windows (the property is empty) and could see that it needs a bit of work doing but we don't mind that.

    It looks just what we want.

    However..... we came back home and looked at our nice house with wildlife garden and pond and thought how could we possibly move from that into a small bungalow? We would lose a dining room, one bedroom and a large dry cellar which is used for storage and the garden is much smaller. We could just see ourselves being crammed into this little place and feeling caged up and hating it. But the point of downsizing is to have a smaller house and garden, right??

    The downsides to our house are - no garage, the street outside is like a linear car park on both sides and my husband is increasingly worried about the area declining, as more houses become buy-to-lets and more eastern European immigrants arrive (the area has always been multicultural, but the latest arrivals do seem to be very intrusive and not attempting to fit in).

    At the moment we have decided to stay put and in fact are spending a few grand on a summerhouse for the top of our long garden.

    But I'm wondering whether this is the right decision? Absolute dilemma. It's a head and heart situation.

    Discussion welcomed.

    (We are fit and healthy mid-60s. My husband does have arthritis in his knees, although this usually does not bother him too much).

    I would normally think that there are plenty of properties available you may see a better one next week, keep looking. You make this sound like just what you want, could you get a family member/friend to play devil's advocate, just to remove those rose-tinted specs, after all nothing is perfect.
    If you do go ahead consider using the garage as another room/shed, after all you've never had a garage and many of those who have don't use it to put a car in (putting a wet car in a garage encourages it to rust)
    The only thing that is constant is change.
  • GoldiegirlGoldiegirl Forumite
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    Downsizing is one of those things that we feel we will do, but at some point in the future.

    We live in a 4 bedroom detached house. We've lived here for 25 years, are completely comfortable and love our home.

    But we are going to stop working, almost certainly by the end of the year.

    I'm 54, husband will be 63 in October

    So we are still relatively young and not ill or frail. Looking at it logically, it could be a good time to downsize.

    But we are not ready to move yet, and intend to enjoy living here for a good few years yet.

    We've got no target date for downsizing, but we think we we will just *know* when the time is right to move, whether it's for financial reasons or if we can no longer physically manage the upkeep of the house.

    If you are happy where you are, I would favour staying where you are.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
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  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    Goldiegirl wrote: »
    Downsizing is one of those things that we feel we will do, but at some point in the future.

    We live in a 4 bedroom detached house. We've lived here for 25 years, are completely comfortable and love our home.

    But we are going to stop working, almost certainly by the end of the year.

    I'm 54, husband will be 63 in October

    So we are still relatively young and not ill or frail. Looking at it logically, it could be a good time to downsize.

    But we are not ready to move yet, and intend to enjoy living here for a good few years yet.

    We've got no target date for downsizing, but we think we we will just *know* when the time is right to move, whether it's for financial reasons or if we can no longer physically manage the upkeep of the house.

    If you are happy where you are, I would favour staying where you are.

    This is what I think we have decided to do. We'll keep vaguely looking, and if a place screams 'HOME!' to us, or my husband's concerns about the area we live in look as though they are coming to fruition, then we'll do something about it.

    We've lived in this house for nearly forty years, apart from the eight years we spent in Spain. It's going to take a lot to leave it.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    The point of downsizing isn't just about size, it's about the house's suitability for you to live in it should you become less able/mobile.

    e.g. you have a cellar - you won't be going down there when you're confined to a chair. Will you really be "dining"?.... or eating your microwave dinner on a tray in your usual chair?

    Unless you've spent time trying to keep an elderly parent living in their own home you can't begin to imagine the problems it can bring.

    Maybe you're not ready to downsize.... I'd say 70 is a good age for most to start thinking about it, completing the move by 75 at the latest. You need time to get the place straight, get to know the local area, become known etc .... so 70-75 is really the best cut off point for a lot of people.
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    The point of downsizing isn't just about size, it's about the house's suitability for you to live in it should you become less able/mobile.

    e.g. you have a cellar - you won't be going down there when you're confined to a chair. Will you really be "dining"?.... or eating your microwave dinner on a tray in your usual chair?

    Unless you've spent time trying to keep an elderly parent living in their own home you can't begin to imagine the problems it can bring.

    Maybe you're not ready to downsize.... I'd say 70 is a good age for most to start thinking about it, completing the move by 75 at the latest. You need time to get the place straight, get to know the local area, become known etc .... so 70-75 is really the best cut off point for a lot of people.

    If I ever get to that stage I would rather go into a home. :(

    I agree we are not ready to downsize. We will probably leave it ten years and then get a flat, unless we see an offer we can't refuse in the interim.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    If I ever get to that stage I would rather go into a home. :(
    Well, it could be for a temporary reason.... e.g. you took a fall down the cellar stairs and broke your hip .... so need carers to come in every day 4x a day as your OH can't get you up the stairs to bed alone, nor out of bed, can't help you shower and has turned out to be useless in the kitchen unless you want to eat toast.
  • edited 5 August 2014 at 8:43AM
    seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    edited 5 August 2014 at 8:43AM
    Well, it could be for a temporary reason.... e.g. you took a fall down the cellar stairs and broke your hip .... so need carers to come in every day 4x a day as your OH can't get you up the stairs to bed alone, nor out of bed, can't help you shower and has turned out to be useless in the kitchen unless you want to eat toast.

    That scenario is not going to happen (would have already downsized to a McCarthy and Stone place if either of us was that frail) and my husband already does all the cooking :)
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • irisiris Forumite
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    That scenario is not going to happen (would have already downsized to a McCarthy and Stone place if either of us was that frail) and my husband already does all the cooking :)


    You don't have to be frail to need a hip replacement;)


    We moved into a bungalow 13 years ago and it was the best move we have ever made.


    My husband started having problems with his one hip in his early 60's and by 66 needed a total hip replacement and he certainly is not frail. Unfortunately his operation did not go totally to plan and he was told not to put weight on his operated leg for 3 months. I had to help him do everything. If we had had stairs I don't know how I would have coped. We also have walk-in showers, as we/he couldn't have coped with a bath at that time. Having a drive where you can take your car almost to the front door is also essential when one of you can't walk without crutches.


    Our daughter also needed a total hip replacement last year (she is only 50:eek:) and also now needs her other one replacing and also needs a knee operation. She lives in a 3 storey house and the stairs were/are a nightmare for her. They also only have a bath with shower over.


    I hope you find something suitable, but my advice would be don't leave it too long
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