Downsizing to a smaller property?

Downsizing to a smaller property?
How to go about it and what to do with the furniture and possessions of your family home

No longer are the days when people climbed the property ladder until they could buy a family home in which to grow old. The younger generation are requiring more and more financial help and pensions may not pay for the relaxing retirement you’d dreamed of.

According to the Prudential, two million people over the age of 55 plan to raise money by downsizing to a smaller property. Some will move to one of the 610,000 homes in retirement communities scattered around the country.

A sensible idea, but one that could be a logistical nightmare. The furniture and belongings from a family home are unlikely to fit into a retirement apartment or cottage. So, what can you do?

You should seek advice on which family heirlooms may turn out to be valuable. Make a list of the pieces that hold sentimental value and take care not to be too ruthless. An object that triggers happy memories may be worth far more in terms of sentimental value than an antique which will fetch a few pounds. Many people find valuable items in their attics, it may be wise to enlist the help of an auctioneer if you are unsure as to how much certain items are worth.

At this stage you should throw out as little as possible, try to find temporary homes for these pieces or put them into storage. When you have moved in, only then will you be able to judge how many of your possessions you can fit into your new home. It is far better to take only the essentials with you and add the pieces you had stored later on.

If you decide to use a house clearance firm, make sure you know the true value of your items first and do be prepared to have to pay for them to take away your belongings.

Once you have moved in and your new home is full of your furniture and possessions you may face another problem, what to do with the things you don’t have the room for. If you have items you are sure will be worth something someday then keep them. A lot of old furniture that went unused has now become ‘fashionable’ again and so has now become much more valuable again.

The golden rule is never throw away possessions thoughtlessly.

Post courtesy of This is Money.