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Downsizing vs Upsizing vs Right-Sizing

If you’re thinking about making a change to where you live, it’s key to consider how much space you will need in your next home.

If you no longer need as much space, downsizing could be the perfect option and it may even allow you to get a home in a better location or with a better view for example. On the other hand, if your current home is busting at the seams, it might be a good time to consider upsizing to a new home with more rooms or a bigger garden. If you’re somewhere in-between these two positions and you are perfectly content with how much space you currently have, right-sizing to a similar home in a different area or with a different layout is perhaps a better choice for you.

A report from UK Finance found that people stay in their homes for an average of 20 years. As the process of selling and buying requires a commitment of both time and money, try to look into the future and consider how your needs might change in coming years.

Let's explore some of the options out there and what you need to consider as you move up or down the property ladder. You might even discover a new option that you hadn’t thought of yet!

Moving up the property ladder - Upsizing

If you’re in need of a larger home and are ready for a change, there’s loads of options waiting for you. When it comes to choosing a bigger home, primarily people tend to be looking for more bedrooms, but you might also be searching for a bigger or more functional garden, driveway parking or a larger kitchen for example. The good news is there’s
When you’re moving for a specific reason such as upsizing, it’s important to be led by your head and not your heart. It’s very easy to fall in love with a beautiful modern kitchen, a sea view or an idyllic family room, but if you let your emotions chip away at the square footage you know you need, you could end up running out of space again in no time at all.
This is where speaking with a local property expert can really help. You want to be clear about why you are moving from the outset to ensure that you only view potential homes that fit your needs.

And if you’re prepared to do some work to turn your next purchase into your dream home, again, be clear with the agents you speak to about how much of a project you’d be happy to take on, and they should be able to show you a variety of homes with potential.

Extending or converting your current home – A possible alternative to upsizing

If you’re thinking that your home is actually a perfect size but it just doesn’t work for your needs, this could be a great route to take. For example, you might need a home office, an extra bedroom or you’d love a bigger kitchen. If this sounds like you, have you considered extending, converting or altering the space you already have?

Be careful here though, you must think about whether the cost of transforming your home would be reflected in the overall value of your home. No one wants to commit to spending large sums of money on renovations which don’t add value or worse, decrease value. Even if you plan to stay put for the foreseeable future, you will most likely sell at some point. We would always recommend speaking with an expert if you’re thinking about making significant changes to the layout of your home as we would never want people to make changes that they regret later down the line. Equally, we might tell you that the renovations would increase the value of your home massively. Either way, it’s always best to double check.

We tend to find that the best way to add value is to increase the amount of usable space in your home, perhaps by extending to make for a bigger lounge or kitchen or converting a loft into living space or a bedroom. Be extra careful when making garage conversions as many people require a garage when purchasing, so if you’re completely removing this function from your home, it could actually make it less saleable.

Remember that the best extensions feel as though they’ve always been there and blend in seamlessly, so if you decide this is the right option for you, we’d advise choosing a reputable architect who has experience in designing for the type, age and style of property. While this may cost more at the outset, it’s well worth the investment to keep a good flow and feel to the home. Let us know if you need recommendations for this.

As always with any building project, it’s vital that you check with the local council whether planning permission is required and what building regulations you’ll need to comply with.

Moving to a smaller home - Downsizing

At the other end of the spectrum is downsizing. Maybe you’ve spent years having friends to stay, entertaining and making full use of all the rooms in your home, but now that this era has come to an end, you don’t need as much space and your priorities may look a little different. If the upkeep of your current home is too much for you now or if you’d simply like a smaller home in a different area or in a different style, downsizing is such a great option.

You might even find that you’ll get more of the ‘right kind of space’ – opting for a home with fewer bedrooms could mean that you’ll get a home in a better condition, with a view or with bigger bedrooms for example.

If you think that this could be your last move, it’s worth planning ahead in detail. Make a list of everything you will want in your next home and consider the practicalities you will require. For example, easy access, driveway parking or a level garden. Although you may not get everything you want in your next home, if it’s going to be your ‘forever’ home, it should be as close to perfect as possible.

Moving to a home which better suits you – Right-sizing

So, the home you are currently in is the already right size and offers the perfect amount of space. Great! All you need to do is a so-called ‘side-step’ within the market. This doesn’t mean that your next home has to be almost identical to your current one – it means that you’re looking for a home with a similar square footage but perhaps with better functionality (i.e. the space is more usable for your needs), a different style or in a different location.

If you fit into this category you may ask yourself: ‘What’s the point in moving? Is it a waste of time and money?’. The simple answer to this is no! You should love the home you live in and sometimes making a change is necessary to fall back in love with where you live. There’s no shame in outgrowing a home and simply wanting a change and you might find that your next home is much better suited to you.

Whatever your reason for moving, we’re always more than happy to chat through your options and share our expertise. Get in touch with us here.