How do you know when it’s time to rightsize your home? Sometimes it’s obvious, your children may have flown the nest and you’ve found yourself in a property that’s far too big. Whatever your reasons to move house, here's our guide to making it happen.
Rightsizing vs downsizing: what’s the difference?
Most people are familiar with the idea of downsizing to a smaller home because where they live has become too large for them or to save money. But what’s the difference between downsizing and rightsizing?
Rightsizing is about much more than reducing your living space; it’s about making sure the space you have is right for you. While that may be something smaller, it could be a similar sized home that’s configured differently – fewer bedrooms for example – or something newer that’s much more energy efficient and easier to keep warm and clean. It may mean choosing a property that’s better placed for public transport and the shops, services and activities that are important to you.
With downsizing all the focus is on finding a smaller, cheaper home; whereas rightsizing is about getting the optimum space, seeing the bigger picture, finding a home that’s the right fit and maximising your lifestyle.
Our top five tips for finding a home that’s your perfect fit
So, you’ve decided to rightsize, but how exactly do you go about finding the home that’s right for you? Essentially, it’s about deciding what you want from your home, your priorities and how you want to spend your time. Here’s our step-by-step guide to some of the most important questions …
1. How many bedrooms do you really need?
Having bedrooms available for when grown-up children, grandkids or guests come to stay is great – but how often do they all arrive together? For most people one or two guest rooms is plenty. Maintaining extra bedrooms long-term is wasted space, not to mention the extra effort of keeping them clean.
Sometimes it’s better to have fewer bedrooms but make them more luxurious – that’s exactly what we’ve done in Redrow’s Lifestyle Homes. So, for example, we retain the footprint of a four-bedroom home but reduce the number of bedrooms to three to create the Lifestyle version. Every bedroom is bigger, more luxurious and has its own en-suite, while the main bedroom also enjoys the luxury of a walk-in wardrobe or dressing room. Downstairs the living space remains exactly the same, so you don’t sacrifice any of your ability to spread out, relax or entertain.
2. Which areas of your home do you use most?
Think about the rooms where you spend the most time. Is a dedicated dining room important or would you be happy with an open plan kitchen / dining area where family and friends can come together, which opens up straight into the garden? For those who need a home office or have home-based hobbies that require a little space, a study or snug may be more important than a dining room.
If your grown-up children regularly visit, your kitchen will probably become the real hub of your home, whether you’re cooking and eating together or simply catching up. This probably needs to be one of your main focal points. Our open plan kitchen, dining and living areas – often with space for a sofa and TV - are just perfect.
And don’t forget the all-important outdoor space. Our post-lockdown consumer research shows that having private outside space is more important to homebuyers than ever before. Redrow’s new houses all come with gardens and, wherever possible, our apartments feature a balcony, terrace and/or communal outdoor space that all residents can enjoy.
3. Do you need storage / a garage?
How many people do you know that have a garage but never park their car in it? It can be a great place to store things like bikes, tools and camping equipment, but if you decide a garage isn’t essential, don’t forget the value of a garden shed – we offer them as an option through My Redrow. Many of our house designs also come with cleverly configured storage areas, utility rooms or laundry cupboards, which help you maximise your space.
And when you do rightsize make sure you check out our tops tips for stylish home storage.
4. Do you want a home that’s cheaper to run?
If an easy to maintain, energy efficient home is top of your priorities it’s hard to beat a brand-new home. Our homes exceed minimum air-tightness requirements and, on average, offer a 54% improvement in heat loss over homes built in the 1970s. In fact, you could more than halve your annual energy bill by living in a new, energy efficient Redrow home. We fit highly efficient boilers, radiators and hot water cylinders, energy efficient lighting throughout and special water fittings in kitchens and bathrooms which are designed to minimise waste.
While heavy-duty maintenance, repairs and DIY can be a regular occurrence in an old property, a brand-new Redrow home comes with everything finished and fitted to a high standard. We do it – so you don’t have to.
5. What amenities do you want around your home?
What’s most important about the location of your new home? Being close to family and friends will be important, but there are other factors to think about too.
Redrow’s most recent research showed that living near green spaces is crucial in this post-Covid world, as well as being near to shops, healthcare and other services. We take all these things into consideration when planning our new homes, providing shared open space and green corridors within the developments themselves, as well as designing in footpath and cycle links to the wider environment.
If being less reliant on a car is important to you then research public transport options locally. For example, 96% of Redrow’s developments are within 500 metres of a public transport point, eg. a bus stop, train or tram station, and some of our larger developments operate car clubs where you can arrange to use a shared vehicle.
Why we rightsized…
Maureen and Rob Fitz-John sold-up their old four-bedroom property and relocated to Swanland Heights in East Yorkshire to be closer to their grandchildren.
“The Warwick is the perfect size for the two of us, we’ve got a spacious kitchen and dining area and separate lounge, plus we’ve got plenty of space for guests or if the grandchildren come to stay. It’s got the private outdoor space we wanted but, having lived in a lot of houses with large gardens, this time we have something a little more manageable and easy to maintain,” Maureen explains.
The couple say moving into a home that doesn’t need extra work is what drew them towards buying a new build.
“There’ll be less maintenance and upkeep and we don’t have to make any improvements to bring it up to date inside. I like that new-builds are more energy efficient and economical too,” adds Maureen.