A Guide to Downsizing | Berkeley Inspiration

A guide to downsizing your house with Berkeley Group

Things change as we get older, from our day-to-day lives to what our priorities are and beyond. Maybe you're not as keen on life in the city as you once were? Maybe you want to try living somewhere different or feel that now the kids have moved out there's too much space in your house you don't need?

If these are thoughts you've had, then maybe downsizing could be an option worth investigating. Moving out of London or a city centre into a neighbouring nature-filled area doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the standard of living you've grown accustomed to, and downsizing can give you the chance to embrace a positive change in your life. We've pulled together some things worth considering when looking at downsizing your home and tips for how to prepare for moving out into your new home

The benefits of downsizing

Downsizing means looking to buy a property smaller than your current one, in exchange for a range of positive benefits. Selling your home to look at a smaller property can enable you to move into a more desirable area with characterful properties or better amenities.

It can also allow you to find a lower-maintenance property and potentially even reduce your bills, as you'll have a smaller property to heat in the winter. Modern developments have a focus on energy-efficiency and giving you fantastic value for your money, with luxurious finishes and brand-new integrated, top-of-the-range appliances which save space.

While the prospect of finding a new home can be exciting, especially if it involves moving closer to friends and family or relocating to your dream area, the idea of leaving your family home can be difficult. At the end of the day, it's a personal choice but the memories you've made in that home will come with you wherever you go.

Finding your cosy home | Berkeley Inspiration

Finding your cosy new home

One of the most enjoyable parts of the downsizing process can be looking at all the properties which could become your new home. After reviewing your budget, including the potential value of your current home, your annual income and your savings, you might be surprised by what types of property you can afford and where you can afford it when downsizing.

Moving out of the city doesn't mean compromise either. Berkeley Group have developments in some of the best places to live outside of London which still keep you close enough if you fancy popping into the capital on weekend or evening. Some are close enough that you can still commute to and from London if that's a key point for your new home. There's plenty of places throughout the commuter belt, from Henley-on-Thames to Winchester to smaller places like Holborough, which have many gorgeous properties and new developments you'd expect from the best places to live outside of London. Holborough, for example, is home to our Holborough Lakes development which offers luxury apartments but on a smaller scale perfect for those looking to downsize.

Should a contemporary apartment in a woodland setting be more your thing, Hampshire, in particular, is still close to the capital but ideal for a smaller property in beautiful locations with more nature to enjoy. Hartland Village offers 1- and 2-bedroom apartments and is a perfect location for downsizing set within a new community surrounded by rich natural woodland.

Once you've had a think about what things matter to you most about your new home, you can start looking at properties in your ideal area which are roughly the size you desire. It's also worth looking at the council tax bands in your desired area to avoid any surprises and factor it into your finances.
If it's just the two of you, then a one or two bedroom apartment like Holborough Lakes could be a great option that can potentially shrink your bills if you're energy savvy, and can leave you with some funds left over to take that dream trip you've always wanted to go on.

A Chance to declutter | Berkeley Inspiration

A chance to declutter

Once you've settled on what your new home will likely be - whether you've put an offer in on somewhere or you know exactly what you're after - you can start the process of working through your current home and figuring out what you'll want to keep and what'll need to go.
If your downsized property is newly built, it'll likely have appliances already included so you'll need to figure out what will need to happen with your current ones, whether that's selling them on to the new owners or looking at how they'll need to be disposed of.

Downsizing can also mean you have a reduced amount of storage in your new property, owed to a loss of overall space, loft storage, or some of the extra nooks and crannies you had in your old property. To avoid the need for storage units for your stuff, and because you'll probably want to keep your new place free from excess mess, this is the perfect opportunity to sort through things you might be holding on to but no longer need.

Just before you move

When there's a few days left to go, you'll need to start making sure you've done your essential prep to move and ticked off the last bits of your moving to a new house checklist.

Like any move, you'll need to take any final meter readings from your old home, settle up any remaining bills and make sure any personal details with banks or similar institutions are updated with your new address as soon as possible to avoid any statements or documents going awry.

Having your new energy suppliers ready to go will help you get your new home up and running as soon as possible, as well as having a list of other admin jobs to do, such as sorting out your council tax, internet provider, and redirecting any stray post to your new address.

And finally, ...

Berkeley Group specialise in crafting new property developments in key locations across the South of England, covering everything from two-bedroom apartments to townhouses and more. If a new build property is what you're after out of your downsizing property, take a look at our developments and get in touch to arrange a call and register your interest

Looking to downsize? We have outlined some handy FAQs below:

When should you downsize your house?

  • When your children move out or go to university.
  • Your monthly housing expenses have risen to a level which is not maintainable.
  • Maintaining your home has become a challenge.
  • Your current monthly budget leaves little leftover cash for saving or holidays.
  • Your home no longer suits your lifestyle.
  • Your career no longer means you need to be in that area
  • You want to convert your home equity into income

Is Downsizing your home a good idea?

Downsizing can save you both stress and money moving forward Less space means less upkeep and maintenance, and it also means a smaller financial burden for you going forward into retirement or part time work.

How do you change your council tax when you downsize your house?

You will need to inform the Local Authority of where you are moving from and where you are moving to around a month before you move. The local authority website will have a section called 'change of address'

Where should I move out of London?

  • Reading - well connected for working in London and great transport links. Green spaces a plenty such as Green Park Village.
  • Oxford - Similar property market as London but a slower pace of life coupled with historic buildings, extensive greenery and bicycle friendly layout
  • Kent - Set just below London and perched on England's south eastern coast, Kent offers the best of the countryside and coast with great links to the capital.
  • Camberley - Located in Surrey Camberley offers a beautiful little town with pedestrianised areas and plenty of shops, restaurants and a theatre.
  • Hertfordshire - Found immediately north of London, boasting fantastic travel links into Central London via road and rail, Hertfordshire blends vibrant towns with the essence of quaint countryside life.
  • Berkshire - The queens primary royal residence and beautiful home county, Berkshire offers peaceful living with great links to London. 
  • Buckinghamshire - Made up of picturesque towns and classic buildings Buckinghamshire offers a calmer paced alternative to bigger southern cities. 
  • Surrey - Found in the south east of England, Surrey is the most wooded county in the UK offering a living space surrounded by nature. 
  • West Sussex - With many delightful villages and towns West Sussex offers natural beauty and great links to the capital. 
  • Hampshire - Made up of woodland and coast, Hampshire is great for those wanting the tranquillity of country living with thriving towns and villages.
  • Worcestershire - Worcestershire county has a blend of villages, market towns and city living and great links to Birmingham too.