Has anyone ever downsized?

(41 Posts)
Yfronts Fri 11-Jan-13 16:21:34

... and if so how much did your life change and how did your new cheaper house compare to the old more expensive one? Was it worth the change/effort?

Yfronts Fri 11-Jan-13 16:24:45

We are looking to reduce our mortgage by 100k

Onlyaphase Fri 11-Jan-13 16:33:35

We downsized 5 years ago, from a big old house to a cottage. For me, I'm not sure it was worth it as I spent a fair amount of money tarting up the cottage in order to make it feel bigger and better.

A few years in, and I've had enough of pretending I like living in a small house where entertaining is difficult and cramped, and we don't have a spare room for guests. I've realised that entertaining, having guests, get togethers and parties is actually a big part of my life and how I like to live.

The cottage has gone on the market and we are moving somewhere 100% bigger. I've discovered that for me, this is the way forward, and I'm prepared to make sacrifices to do this, financial and otherwise. Clearly this won't be the case for everyone, but it is for me.

Interested to hear from others too, if it has worked for them.

WowOoo Fri 11-Jan-13 16:48:36

We did and I regret it. We lived in such a lovely home, but the mortgage was just too much after I lost my job.
But dh would say that I am forgetting that we were able to enjoy life a little bit more, relax about money, take a holiday, buy whatever we liked etc.
We've now moved, but still not to our dream home.
It wasn't the house so much as the huge garden, not being overlooked at all, woods behind the property and the character of the house.
I kick myself when I think we've lost it forever.

AngryFeet Fri 11-Jan-13 16:50:42

I am about to kind of. But not financially just in terms of space. Been living (renting) in my parents lovely huge 5 bed house with great views. Buying our own which is 3 bed and a lot smaller. We probably could just have afforded this place but would have stretched ourselves to breaking point. We decided to get a place where we would pay no more than 1/3rd of our joint salaries on the monthly mortgage payment and we found somewhere in the location we wanted that fit the bill so have gone for it.

Would I prefer more space? Yes. But would I prefer not to struggle and to afford holidays and nice things? More than I want a few more square meters in my kitchen, definitely.

Yfronts Fri 11-Jan-13 16:56:45

This is all very interesting as I had never considered that I might regret a move. I'm really sorry to hear that you really miss your old house/space.

We have a good sized old mid terrace house but are thinking of getting a smaller 3 bed semi 1960's house. We wouldn't be mortgage free but would be able to pay it off over about 7 years. But we do love our present home, it's just that our mortgage is 25 years and has been for many moons due to finances.

Yfronts Fri 11-Jan-13 16:59:34

Thanks Angry.

At the moment everything is on a shoes string - holidays/cars/clothes/weekend activities. We have always been very inventive as a result!

Goodwordguide Fri 11-Jan-13 17:01:19

Very interesting as you often read on MN that big houses are over-rated - we're about to upsize and I'm concerned that the house we're buying is too big and we won't need that much space, we're being greedy etc when we'd be better off financially in a smaller place.

But we are bursting at the seams in the current house - and not being able to have people over either to eat or stay is a major gripe of mine (my family live far away and can't visit at the moment). Interesting to hear both sides.

overthemill Fri 11-Jan-13 17:03:01

we moved to smaller house and regret it a lot. as kids have got bigger we've felt cramped. we have 2 receps in old house, bigger kitchen/diner and bigger bedrooms (tho still 4). Garden is bigger tho but we dont have time to deal with it so it is a mess. i wish we had stayed where we were but we were forced by circs to move and this house was the only one we could find quickly. it is also in a village with no services though very pretty and with wonderful walks, stately home etc.

Toomuchtea Fri 11-Jan-13 17:05:29

We are, I hope, about to downsize, though the new house is if anything slightly bigger than the one we're in. What we're losing is outside space and outbuildings. I know I will really, really miss my garden, and the space, but I won't miss the sheer, grinding effort of keeping it all going. I hope it will all be worth it.

Bumblequeen Fri 11-Jan-13 17:07:20

Interesting post.

Never downsized but we moved to Kent for a 2.5 bedroom house when we could have stretched to a 2.5/3 bedroom flat in least desirable areas in London. Growing up we lived in flats and I yearned for my own front door, front garden and back garden.

Although we like it here for a number of reasons - ( green, clean streets, low crime, quiet) the commuting is tiring. Cannot move as very little equity in house and no savings sad

Yfronts Fri 11-Jan-13 17:08:35

Will pop on later and catch up. Thanks for all your posts though. Great food for thought.

startlife Fri 11-Jan-13 18:56:25

We upsized our mortgage when we moved to a (better) area but the house doesn't work as well for us. We're short on bedroom space and I regret that enormously. Having friends/family to stay just isn't possible and I appreciate how important that is to me.

We also have a bigger mortgage so it feels like a lose/lose.

I would happily move to a house in a less desirable area which could mean a bigger house with less mortgage.

I think reducing the mortgage is very sensible if you are not managing to pay down the capital .Work out what's important to you. I thought I would be happy in a lovely area with a big garden but really I don't use the garden as much.

noddyholder Fri 11-Jan-13 20:18:32

We are doing it now! We are buying a much cheaper house than we can actually afford but it suits all our needs and it means we are financially set up for the future. We have bought a flat which is bigger than the house we had and in a better road but no garden just a roof terrace(but sea view). I love the idea of not thinking about money

TulipsfromAmsterdam Fri 11-Jan-13 22:21:30

We moved from a large, end terraced 4 bed house to a smaller, modern 4 bed detached on a quiet estate. The mortgage was higher but we thought what we would save on utilities would cover the extra and it probably did.
However the rooms were much smaller and felt very confined. After 2 years we ended up selling and moving back to a very similar property and in the same area as the first.
This has cost us a lot of money but we are much happier now. My biggest regret was moving in the first place and I often think how much simpler it would have been to stay put.

Yfronts Sat 12-Jan-13 08:46:18

Is downsizing always a bad move?

Lalou Sat 12-Jan-13 09:14:14

I'm sure it's not always a bad thing, it must depend a lot on individual circumstances - e.g. how big is your family/how much space do you and will you need, how urgently do you need to reduce outgoings, is there any chance of earning more in the future and making life easier that way?

Goodwordguide Sat 12-Jan-13 10:50:32

Completely lalou - we have young DCs, family far away, I will earn more in the future etc, possibly from home, so we need a place with room to work etc. I feel like we have been 'downsizing' for the last 6 years - kids sharing a room, guests sleeping on the floor, me working on my bed etc.
It's time for a bit of space but when the DCs leave home I imagine we would get a smaller place a gain - or before then if the cost of running the larger home is too much <fingers crossed>.

wendybird77 Sat 12-Jan-13 10:51:04

We downsized to a 2 bed rental from 3 bed / 2 reception when we moved areas. I was really into it and seriously decluttered - probably brought about 1/3 of our stuff from the old house. It was really freeing and I loved having less space to clean. However, DS2 came along, we had no place for guests to stay (family live abroad) and as the kids grew we were tripping over their stuff despite serious decluttering efforts. We didn't have space to store bikes / scooters etc and it was time to move. Now we've moved to a larger house and I can't believe how much stress has gone (despite renovations!). I think we will downsize again when the kids grow up. I think you have to be very realistic about it though and plan where everything is going to go, what it is like to not be able to keep things that are not in current use, and what you may be giving up in terms of maintaining relationships (do you have guests, entertain a lot, etc). Financially we're about the same as we've moved from our rental in an expensive area to a village outside. I am loving the space and seclusion, but it isn't for everyone. In hindsight, the small house we could have lived with if we'd had a garage for storage. Also, I am a bit of a homebody and I like to be at home. If you are the sort of family who are out and about all the time and can't stand being in the house then it may be the best move you've ever made!

Yfronts Sat 12-Jan-13 10:56:40

Wendy we have been decluttering too and it make me feel amazing!

Yfronts Sat 12-Jan-13 11:06:07

The semi we have our eye on has enough bedrooms but the actual living areas are reduced - smaller and no play room. Could convert the garage for extra space but it isn't actually attached to the house.

I think we would have to keep our belongings to the minimal if we did move.

Kiriwawa Sat 12-Jan-13 11:06:30

We moved from a flat in London to a house in Kent so we have more space but a much smaller mortgage. Financially it's a massive relief and it's lovely having the additional space and now I can't figure out how we managed to fit everything into our flat!

Thankfully only commute a couple of days a week a week though - as Bumblequeen says, a long daily commute is exhausting.

Bumblequeen Sat 12-Jan-13 11:56:50

Kiriwawa- I have been commuting for four years now. It feels worse in the winter months.

noddyholder Sat 12-Jan-13 11:57:06

If you bought years ago and have a small mortgage and big equity and were planning on using that then now is the time really as prices will probably fall and stagnate and inflation will catch up and your plans may not be realised. This is what I have done as I wanted a smaller cheaper to run home and savings with no mortgage. In a case like ours it is good but if you still have young children and need space etc you would need to be very disciplined to pull it off

We have a big, detached Victorian house, and always thought we'd downsize when the DC went to uni. However, we've decided not to, because, like someone else said, entertaining and having guests to stay is what we enjoy doing. We could be mortgage free if we downsized, but, to us, it's more beneficial to have a big house and garden.

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