Why Downsizing Doesn’t Have Be To Difficult*

Why Downsizing Doesn’t Have To Difficult

For so many of us, our homes reflect not only our style and our taste in furniture, they also speak of who we are as people, our priorities and our hopes and dreams.

Step into a family home and you instantly know it. Surrounded by toys, games, clothes, shoes – everything that can be brought down from a bedroom and left in your living space. But does the mess matter? Not at all, there’s been play and there’s been fun. The mess can be tidied away later.



On the opposite end of the scale, walk into a flat inhabited by just one person or perhaps a couple without children and you’ll find so much about who they are. Bookcases lined with travel guides. Pictures from artists they admire, their personalities shine through in this haven from the rest of the world.

That’s why letting go of a home you’ve seen your family grow up in, or created treasured memories with a partner in can be heartbreaking. Though we’d like to stay in our mess of memories, souvenirs and keepsakes, there are times when it really is necessary to say goodbye and move on.

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In this blog we take a look at what to look for in an apartment, if you’re letting go of the family home or just trying to get on the first rung of the property ladder. Even if you’re hoping to buy an apartment as an investment property, these tips will help ensure you find a property that is just right for you.

Fresh Start

You may have to accept sooner or later that moving house isn’t a case of transferring all your memories from one place to another. Whatever the circumstances, moving home can signal the start of a brand new phase of life and should be welcomed, rather than feared.

With this in mind, it’s time to concentrate on where your ideal location is going to be based. If you’re moving with work, make sure you get to know the key areas well enough to factor in your daily commute. Keep an open mind, whether you’re moving to Milton Keynes or martin modern in Singapore’s popular expat destination, Holland Village.



The time is now to make a start researching the area you want to move to. Trawl the property pages and narrow down some streets that you like the look of. If possible pay a visit to some of the roads and take a walk around. How close are you to a cash machine, convenience store and local transport?

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Most online property sites will tell you about the nearest schools in proximity to the property you’re looking at, so read around and find out about them.

Ask yourself what, if anything, you’d be willing to compromise on. If you’re looking to live in an apartment on the upper floors, is a lift and absolute must or could you handle a flight or two of stairs?

Look around at the parking provision and check there’s enough for visitors, either onsite or nearby.

Why Downsizing Doesn't Have To DifficultImage courtesy of Pixabay

Price

You’ll need to ask yourself what’s more important to you, the right apartment or the right area and nine times out of ten you’re going to want to move to the right area ahead of buying the perfect property.

Buying an apartment can be quite different to buying a house and there’s a number of factors you’re going to need to take into consideration if you’re hoping to snap up a bargain.

Firstly think about your budget, how much can you realistically afford for rent or a mortgage each month? Then add your utility bills and taxes, along with existing outgoings and you’ve got a fair idea of your budget. Buyers can often get caught with hidden charges.

Firstly, depending on what type of lease you take on, you may find yourself liable for at least a part share in the repair and maintenance of shared spaces, including the roof. This may form part of a yearly charge paid once or over 12 months. On top of that you may also be liable for one-off charges to carry out a major work such as a roof repair or repointing the brickwork.



 

It’s easy to play down just how expensive these charges can be and if you’re also planning on paying for a parking space, they can all add up. You should also check that nothing major is planned in terms of building repair just after you move in, or you may find you also have to contribute to repair work you have had no part in previously. Your estate agent should be able to tell you, or at least put you in touch with the building’s maintenance company.

Neighbours

Even more so than in a house, it really helps to know who your neighbours are. It’s going to be hard to figure out after just one viewing but take your time on subsequent viewings and listen out for noise above and below. Be sure to ask your agent if they know of any ongoing issues and how well soundproofed walls and floors are.

The Rest

If you’ve bought before then you’ll know to check that all the major systems are working: plumbing, electricity and central heating. When buying an apartment you also need to know how the individual apartments are supplied and billed, how easy it is to access services like broadband and so on.

Check out which way your balcony faces and when it will catch the sun in the day. It’s details like this that can make a real difference.

Moving on from the family home or the place you’ve lived for the last few years can be difficult and it can feel like a radical change. With the right mindset, the right location and with all the little details taken care of, your foray into apartment living might be just the change you need for a fresh start in your home sweet home.

*This is a collaboration post

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