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To think more people should be incentivised to downsize?

(708 Posts)
Sprockerdilerock Wed 20-Jan-21 15:16:55

I'm sure I will be flamed but here goes.

I know so many older adults who live in family size homes long after their children have left. Would it not be better for the government to offer incentives eg no stamp duty, removal costs paid for them to downsize to free them up for those that need them more?

We do have a housing shortage and I get that we could always build more homes, but we are also heading towards a climate crisis and surely it's better to use what resources we do have more efficiently and plough less energy into creating more.

My MIL is case in point - she still lives in the home my DH and his siblings grew up and often expresses a wish to downsize but she doesn't have a lot of money to spend on things like legal costs etc.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Wed 20-Jan-21 15:19:51

The actual issue is that we have lived through the comodification of housing. Housing as a bank or investment, rather than as a home. It's not about this one issue, it's a wider, more complex one.

DynamoKev Wed 20-Jan-21 15:20:12

YANBU - Except we don't have a housing crisid everywhere in the UK.

lightand Wed 20-Jan-21 15:23:02

I know many people who have downsized. After a few years, they are building on extentions to their new property!

savemymuu Wed 20-Jan-21 15:23:24

I have a relative that constantly moans about having no money. The house is slowly falling into disrepair & it is way too big (7 large bedrooms).

She could easily downsize as the house would sell for 2m. Doesn't want to because thinks it's wrong to pay stamp duty on whatever she buys 🤦🏼‍♀️. The fact she paid 40k for the house is irrelevant

Alicetheowl Wed 20-Jan-21 15:25:11

I'm not sure it solves anything if small houses and one or two bedroom flats suddenly get a lot of old people in them. These are the properties people still living with parents or people who are single parents need to move into.

Bluntness100 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:26:03

People don’t not buy bigger houses because they aren’t available, they are. They don’t buy them because they can’t bloody afford them.

If folks started downsizing the ones in rhe smaller houses would be fucked. Everyone would be after them and there would be a shortage.

And folks aren’t going to sell at a loss or give their homes away cheapo.

So it’s a bit of a silly plan really.

LindaEllen Wed 20-Jan-21 15:26:34

But houses aren't just a roof over peoples heads. They're homes. I've worked really hard on my home over the years, spending a lot of money and time making it how I want it to be.

So are you suggesting that when my stepson moves out, we should be made to move to free up the empty room?

Or my mum, who's lived in the family home for decades? Yes it's a 3 bedroom house and there's only her now, but it's HER home, everything about it is hers.

People can get very attached to property. Why should they give it up?

FineWhiteBread Wed 20-Jan-21 15:26:49

I live in a large house. It’s just over 6,000sqft and only two people live here.

It’s my family home that I inherited.

What incentive would you give me? I don’t want to move. I don’t need more money.

Theunamedcat Wed 20-Jan-21 15:27:48

If you buy your own home its yours no the state shoukd not have a say in how you legally spend your own money

fairydustandpixies Wed 20-Jan-21 15:27:53

I downsized a couple of years ago when my sons left home. I went from a 4 bed to a 3 bed 😂 Although to be fair the previous house was all double bedrooms, this one is a double and two singles. My sons are 20 and 21 so I wanted to make sure they had space to come back to if needed and I also moved to a different county so wanted space for visitors. I'm 49 now and won't hesitate to downsize again when the time is right.

TreacleTarte Wed 20-Jan-21 15:31:08

Houses are homes and they are often inheritance. What incentive would be worth leaving a lifetime of memories and your beloved home; your children's inheritance? For many people, no stamp duty and the removal costs paid would not be any sort of incentive to live in a small property and start making a home all over again

Fairyliz Wed 20-Jan-21 15:32:20

DH and I (in our 60’s) would like to downsize from our family home before we get too old to manage all the work moving entails.
However the problem we have is finding somewhere suitable. We don’t want to live too rural as we get older but don’t want a busy city. A market town would be better but there are very few smaller properties that are quite central.
So for us it is nothing to do with cost it being attached to a family home, more the lack of suitable properties.

savemymuu Wed 20-Jan-21 15:32:57

Also no one builds big houses any more

Toffeefee23 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:33:32

Yes both my parents and in laws live in their 4 bed detached family homes. Their kids are all 30s/40s

But no incentive to downsize and in the south especially stamp duty on even a modest home is ££££

Meanwhile young families I know struggle to afford (and in some areas find) family homes. We had to compete with others to get our detached family sized house which we bought from a couple in their 80s and others I know are struggling to find family sized homes in our popular area.

Toffeefee23 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:34:08

And all the new builds round here are pokey or flats

Toilenstripes Wed 20-Jan-21 15:35:05

I think the government should stay out of people’s private home ownership. This reeks of sour grapes, right along with banning private schools. Broaden your mind, expand your possibilities, and look at corporate tax dodgers and cronyism.

savemymuu Wed 20-Jan-21 15:35:41

@FineWhiteBread did you pay inheritance tax out of interest?

Meredithgrey1 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:36:56

So are you suggesting that when my stepson moves out, we should be made to move to free up the empty room?

OP hasn’t said anything about making people move.

SweatyBetty20 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:37:32

I’d like to downsize - like a PP I inherited; I’m a single occupier and have a three bed. But I can’t find a two bed with a decent sized garden (and it’s one of my main hobbies), or a driveway. When I get home late from work I don’t want to be playing musical cars because I can’t find anywhere to park.

savemymuu Wed 20-Jan-21 15:38:19

They also don't build small houses, my dad would like a 2 bed with a garden but all he can find is flats.

savemymuu Wed 20-Jan-21 15:38:36

and a driveway!

Akire Wed 20-Jan-21 15:39:49

These days one beds flats or houses are tiny. You may fit a two seat sofa and a tiny table but not really somewhere you could easily have a family of 4 over even for tea easily. Then if you may need care in the future you need at least one spare room for an adult child to stay even occasionally. For most people moving from a 3 bed to a 2 isn’t worth the bother.

Physer Wed 20-Jan-21 15:41:22

Is there really a shortage of larger houses? I don't see it where I live, the bigger places stay on the market for months or years and it's one of the cheapest places in the UK.

Biker47 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:42:40

Me and my partner live in a 4 bedroom house, we don't have any kids, love living in a bigger house than what we "need".

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