“We know we want to downsize, but where do we start?!”

This is a common question we hear, particularly from homeowners who have been in a house for several decades. Their family has grown up and they no longer need umpteen bedrooms and a garden big enough to house a treehouse, as well as a trampoline!

But they’ve got used to a certain way of living, with a certain amount of ‘stuff’, and it’s often difficult to visualise their next home, apart from the brief being ‘we love our current house so just a smaller version of this please!’

When you’ve been out of the property game for 20 or 30 years, it can also be quite daunting dealing with estate agents and getting up to date with all the jargon and various reports and surveys you suddenly need. Whilst we love our estate agent friends, they can be known to confuse and bamboozle, particularly when the market is so busy. If you’re not completely clear about what you’re looking for, you can quickly find yourself completely frazzled by the process!

Our job is to help our downsizing clients identify the key criteria that are important, so we can help them build a brief that is realistic and which genuinely supports their lifestyle needs.

One of the questions will be about space. How much do you really need, and what happens to all of the excess furniture and treasured belongings? It’s worth being a little ruthless at this stage; identifying what you can’t live without and what you could sell or pass on to family or charity shops to make a bit of space. But if that is too difficult straight away, using a storage company can be a great ‘stop gap’. Companies such as Sentry Self Storage offer secure, damp-free, storage units, which are ideal for furniture, books, tools and files – and you are able to access them 24 hours a day. This is a good opportunity to completely de-clutter and practice living without that oversized sofa or wardrobe full of clothes that hasn’t seen daylight for a couple of years, before making the decision to keep or not. This also can have the upside of making your existing house more saleable too.

Then there’s the location, which is sometimes difficult to pinpoint for your new home. Do you want a quiet retreat away from the world, or do you want to stay in the bosom of the community you’ve known for so long? Is being near to the train station as important as it had previously been, or is a village location more appealing now? Would you enjoy the challenge of taking on a project to make into your dream home, or would you prefer to move into something brand spanking new? We work with you to understand the different options, build a picture of what to look for and open your eyes to possibilities that perhaps you haven’t considered before.

Once the brief is established, then it’s all about working with you to find a property that meets that brief. Support and advice is very much at the centre of the service, helping you to keep a clear eye on your priorities, always talking in plain English and guiding you through the decision-making process in a calm and considered manner. Downsizing can be confusing and frustrating, but it can also be an enjoyable journey to exciting new beginnings. If you’re considering downsizing, why not give ScoutBee a call to chat about how we could help you?”