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Downsizers worry about cost, upheaval and legal processes of moving house

Older people are put off downsizing because of the cost, upheaval and legal processes involved according to recent research. Here we take a closer look at the major concerns and offer top tips and unbiased expert advice to reduce the stress.

The practical and emotional sides of moving house

April is one of the busiest months for moving house, but people are often put off by the costs involved, the legal processes, and dealing with estate agents according to research released by Saga Legal Services. Other frustrating things in the top ten include stamp duty, gazumping and the lack of properties available.

The research also reveals the emotional side of moving, with the stress of the paperwork (33%), the idea of moving to unfamiliar territory (29%) and leaving behind memories making up the top three most difficult things about moving home.

The top ten most frustrating things about moving house:

1. The cost of moving (33%)
2. The act of physically moving from one place to another (31%)
3. The legal processes involved in selling or buying a house (31%)
4. Dealing with estate agents (22%)
5. The high cost of properties (21%)
6. Stamp duty (19%)
7. Finding buyers for our property (19%)
8. Dealing with utility companies to end/start services in your name (15%)
9. Gazumping (13%)
10. The lack of suitable properties available (13%)

Take control with our free advice guides

We exist to make home owning a more fulfilling and less costly experience. Our advice guides aim to help people feel more in control. So, if you’re worried about the costs of moving, you’ll want to read our guide on the hidden costs and our suite of buying advice guides.

To help you with the legal process we have a step by step guide on the legal process of buying and selling covering all the key stages and what to watch for.

Dealing with estate agents loomed large in the study conducted by Saga and it’s easy to see why. We are contacted everyday by people who feel poorly treated by their estate agent or trapped in an unfair contract. But that isn’t to say there aren’t good agents out there.  With our advice you can make sure you know how to get the best out of an estate agent, get a better idea of how much you should pay them, be able to spot some of their common tricks and more.

What else are people worried about?

According to the research, over a quarter (26%) of Briton’s who are looking to move will go to a smaller property. Of those, almost half (45%) want to live somewhere more manageable, with 35% stating the house is too big now the children have flown the nest, and 23% wanting to free up money for something else. Many are concerned about leaving behind memories (38%) and selling the family home (29%), and the biggest concern for those over 70 is leaving behind possessions and furniture (50%), while 36% don’t want to leave their carefully tended garden.

Surprisingly, a third of those who are intending to move say they are in a better position to do so than a year ago, compared with just 15% who say they are worse off. Those aged 18-34 are the most likely to say they are in a better position (42%), while those aged over 60 are the least likely to say they are in a better position, with less than one in five believing they are now better off.

Paula Higgins, Chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance commented:

“Moving house is a costly and stressful experience. While the media focusses on the struggle of first time buyers getting on the ladder, we mustn’t forget it is also a great financial and emotional strain for those looking to “right size”. I hope the independent advice and top tips on our site, as well as our services and home helpline, help people feel better informed, take the right decisions for them and save money.”

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