Talking to elderly parents about downsizing can be an emotional and difficult process, but ultimately it can be enormously worthwhile. For elderly family members who have spent much of their lives in one house, raising and caring for their families, moving out can be a painful experience. That’s why it is so important that you arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before trying to help them buy a small house. If possible, we would recommend that you seriously consider using the services of a property finder.
Buy a small house as a last time buyer
The most obvious reason for encouraging elderly relatives to buy a small house is practicality. As mobility becomes an increasing issue, a much loved home can become impossible to safely navigate. There are of course temporary solutions, such as stair lifts and handrails, but these generally only work as sticky plaster solutions. Eventually, house downsizing becomes the only realistic solution. A smaller, more modern home requires less cleaning and maintenance, and is easier to move around in, easing both your and their concerns.
As well as accessibility within the house, you will want consider your parents’ access to local shops, health services as well being in a community. Isolation is a huge problem among the elderly in the UK as families simply cannot be there all the time. As much as living in a large house in the countryside can seem idyllic, it can sometimes become a hindrance. Encouraging relatives to buy a small house in a more urban area could give you some peace of mind.
When a family decides to help an elderly relative downsize, a lot of people can be involved with the process. Everyone has an opinion and there is a lot of opportunity for arguments and fallouts. That’s where a property finder can prove extraordinarily useful. They provide independent advice and an objective opinion whilst remaining sympathetic to the situation. More practically, they can save you a lot of time, effort and travelling by viewing properties on your behalf and producing a feedback report. This service is particularly useful for anyone who lives far away from their elderly relative.
Finally, before making that purchase as “last time buyers” always ensure that your parents take the time to seek legal and financial advice from professionals as this is usually an ideal time to sort out the details of wills and estates and to fully understand the many potential tax issues. Again, a property finder will always be able to point you in the right direction.
Helping an elderly relative to buy a small house as a last time buyer can be incredibly stressful. Contact us on 0333 939 8300 to discuss how we can help with your house downsizing property search.