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Downsizing your property for divorce

24March Author: Dave Dyer . Date Posted: 24th March, 2016

Downsizing after a divorce can be a good way to save money by living in a smaller, manageable space. It can also help to put the past behind you, marking the start of a new chapter.

So what kinds of properties should you consider when downsizing and what should you think about to help prepare for new home life?

Different divorces for different properties

Every divorce differs depending on your living situation: divorcing with or without kids; divorcing from a big or small home; or a divorce that’s amicable or messy. This can determine the type of property that’s right for you.

Dave Dyer, Director of Redrose Property Management, says: “When downsizing, every divorce can result in a person needing a particular property. After a difficult divorce they may want to move to another town or region, while divorcing without children involved means only needing a small space.

“It’s best to really think about what property’s right for you; the space and even location that suits you best.”

Downsizing from large and small properties

If you’ve been living in a big house, a property that’s spacious can be expensive to live in alone. But do you need the additional space? It might be better to downsize to a cosier, smaller home.

Alternatively, if you and your partner lived in an average-sized property, finding something similar may suit you best, or downsizing to a smaller stylish flat could meet your needs.

A one-bedroom flat, or two-bedroom terrace house, can give you the space, comfort and security you need at a manageable cost. *Average prices of flats in the North West are around £88,000, with terraced houses at £108,000.

Properties for divorcing with children

If you’ve got children and have custody, or an agreed time to spend with them, you will need a property that still provides the space for your children to stay. But this doesn’t necessarily need to be the same size as your current home.

A two-bedroom semi-detached house with a garden in the North West would fit the bill – affordable and reasonably priced, with the *properties in the region costing around £150,000.

Downsizing and relocating

Some divorces can be messy, with couples wanting to get as far away from one another as they can. In this situation, downsizing and relocating can be the answer.

Dave says: “Downsizing to a property that’s located far away from your previous home can be ideal after a more difficult divorce. A smaller property, in a rural or quiet community, can offer a manageable cost, while being away from busy cities or memories of previous married life.”

Parts of the North West, such as the outskirts of market town Chorley in Lancashire, provide a good backdrop for this, with decent-sized properties and reasonable house prices. Areas like Buckshaw Village offer a quieter semi-rural community, including parks and leisure facilities to help build up a relaxed lifestyle, while being well connected by road and rail.

De-cluttering for smaller space

Moving to a smaller property can mean you’ll have to have a clear out. It’s best to think about the belongings you do and don’t need and declutter. From clothes and ornaments to books and CDs, this is an opportunity to get rid of any lingering items you no longer need.

Selling on, not throwing away

When decluttering, instead of throwing items away, think about selling on what you don’t need. Friends or family might like to take on non-sentimental items, or you could give some of your unneeded items to charity shops. You could also sell your high-value items online to make space, and money, which can be used to help decorate or furnish your new home.

Getting advice before you move

If you’re going through a divorce and considering downsizing, be sure about your decision and understand your rights first. It’s wise to get legal advice before leaving your home. To find out more read the housing advice page on Divorce-Online. Make sure you’re all set for your move by also reading our Redrose blog post about how to pack when moving house.

*Data taken from the Nationwide House Price Index

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