The concept of trading down is very much alive and well in these more austere times, with homeowners of all ages looking to make the best possible use of their assets. Downsizing makes sense for a lot of people – lower annual utility bills for one can act as a welcome cash injection to improve quality of life.
Wispers Park in Haslemere, Surrey was recently host to a ‘Downsize and Declutter’ event. The luxury retirement village of 58 stylish apartments nestles in a countryside conservation area. Apartments are located in grounds surrounding the Grade II listed period mansion Oak Hall, dating back to 1911. The event played host to a number of experts offering advice to both existing residents and those looking to enhance their own long-term lifestyles by downsizing from family homes to more manageable properties in their retirement.
Those who downsize often feel liberated from the tyranny of household chores, upkeep, big heating bills and large gardens. Yet to make such a move can be a daunting prospect, with many worried how they would keep their possessions in a smaller property. Those participating learnt that, with careful consultation, this could become a positive prospect.
Wispers Park Estate Manager, Nigel Walter, endorsed the benefits of the fact-finding event: “It takes time to make these important life decisions and taking advice on working out costs and asking key questions is vital. The information today illustrates that once there is clarity, and a plan, the experience a lot less stressful.” Nigel continued: “With its glorious surroundings Wispers provides an ideal setting for both our current residents and those making plans for the future to enjoy an active retirement.”
Most properties at Wispers Park are for sale but, uniquely, there are also wonderful opportunities to rent – taking the pressure off purchasing decisions and allowing for more leisurely long-term planning.
“Visitors were interested to meet existing tenants at Wispers Park to hear first-hand the advantages of renting on our Assured Tenancy. It gives you the tenant, rather than the landlord, control over how long you stay in the property. This suits so many discerning couples and individuals.” Kevin Grice of Girling Retirement Rentals said.
Those looking to downsize are often supported by their families, but many are not aware that independent advice is also available – and beneficial. Jane Ewer of MoveMaker commented: “Having someone outside of the family to offer advice is often useful. At MoveMaker we understand the processes involved in evaluating belongings and we’re on hand to offer independent guidance to anyone seeking to move house. It’s a skill we’re happy to share in order to achieve a smooth move.”
Finance is something that no one especially likes to deal with so look at this first and get a reasonable idea of where you stand – work out exactly how much money you want to walk away with from the transaction. Factoring in the various costs e.g. tax and legal fees, are of course vital, so good advice is worth paying for. Having conducted this exercise you will know the price range of the properties you could be interested in.
Property owners and tenants at Wispers Park have achieved their downsizing goals and are free to enjoy the social environment and activities offered by the retirement village. Designed to meet the needs of the over 60s community looking to live an active and independent life there are numerous benefits, including dedicated wardens on-site, plentiful company and maintenance taken care of. To view available properties and find out more about Wispers Park contact Rosemary Seward on 01428 744 004 or visit www.wisperspark.co.uk/