Time to Right-Size – When to Consider Downsizing Your Family Home

As the chapters of life unfold, the home that once buzzed with the energy of a growing family often transitions into a quiet nest filled with memories. It’s the place where milestones were celebrated, where every nook tells a story, and where decades of life were spent shaping it into the perfect family abode. But there comes a time when the practicalities of maintaining such a home in retirement begin to outweigh the sentimental value it holds. This is when the concept of downsizing—or more positively, ‘right-sizing’—comes into play. But when is the right time to make this significant change? A recent article in the Daily Mail explores the ins and outs of making this pivotal decision. Here’s our summary.

The Right Time to Downsize

The idea of leaving a forever home can be daunting. It’s not just about moving out of a house; it’s about saying goodbye to a significant chapter of life. However, delaying the decision too long can lead to challenges, including the daunting logistics and stress of moving at a later age. The question then becomes, when is the ideal time to downsize?

According to recent insights from property experts, your 60s might be the new 70s when it comes to downsizing. The financial market, with its rising interest rates and inflation affecting house maintenance, alongside increasing power, heating, and wage costs, is pushing many to consider downsizing a decade earlier than previous generations.

A Personal Journey

Take the story of Claudine Frost and her partner Daniel, who decided to move from their five-bedroom Victorian home to an energy-efficient apartment in North London. Their decision was motivated by the desire for lower living costs and a new beginning in a space more suited to their current life stage.

Knowing When It’s Time

It’s often life’s milestones that prompt the decision to downsize. The departure of children from the home marks a significant point when the space that was once essential becomes surplus to requirements. Jennie Hancock, a property expert, suggests that waiting for ‘just one more event’ can lead to delays. She emphasises that being proactive in the decision can lead to a more energised approach to this new chapter, rather than settling due to necessity or lack of choice.

Financial Considerations

The financial aspect of downsizing cannot be overlooked. With the cost of living on the rise, many find the move not only a lifestyle adjustment but also a financial strategy. Downsizing can free up equity tied up in a large property, reducing living expenses and potentially providing a financial cushion or support for family members.

The market dynamics also play a crucial role. The increase in the number of people looking to downsize has not been matched by a sufficient supply of suitable smaller homes, leading to frustration for many. Additionally, the financial burden of moving, including stamp duty, legal fees, and the physical cost of the move, can be significant.

A Strategic Move

Downsizing is not just about moving to a smaller home; it’s about finding the right fit for the next stage of life. Whether it’s moving closer to family, choosing a home with lower maintenance, or selecting a location with better access to healthcare and amenities, the decision to downsize is deeply personal and strategic.

Early Considerations

For those in their early 60s, considering a move to a retirement development or a more manageable property can offer a blend of independence and community, alongside the practical benefits of a home suited to aging needs.

The Market’s Role

The timing of a move is also influenced by the property market. A less competitive market can offer more opportunities for a well-timed downsizing move, allowing for a smoother transition to a new home that meets both financial and lifestyle needs.


Deciding to downsize is a significant life decision that goes beyond mere practicalities; it’s about reshaping one’s lifestyle to fit changing needs and circumstances. While the emotional attachment to a family home is strong, the benefits of downsizing at the right time can lead to a new, fulfilling chapter of life. Whether it’s for financial freedom, ease of maintenance, or simply a change of scenery, the decision to downsize—or right-size—should be made with careful consideration of both personal and market factors.