Property

4 Alternatives To Downsizing Your Family Home

While some people can’t wait for the kids to fly the nest so they can downsize and travel the world, for others the dream is more of a nightmare.

Many people become so attached to the home where they raised a family that the thought of leaving it can be heart-wrenching.  

But what if you aren’t ready to downsize just yet but you’re also struggling to keep up with the costs of maintaining your precious home? What are your options?  

Here we list 4 alternatives to downsizing your home, so that you can keep a hold of your memories for a few years yet. Perhaps even forever!

Rent Out Your Extra Space 

Have you heard of the sharing economy? The basic idea involves making money out of the things you have going spare.  

When we relate this to your property you might not realise that you could be sitting on a real money spinner.  

The increase in housing costs over the past few decades means that there is a real demand for extra space!  

So how can you profit from this? Do you have a parking space or garage that you no longer use? Why not rent it out?  

Or, do you have some unused loft or basement space that you could open up to others for a monthly fee? When put together this kind of extra income can really add up.

Here is a quick list of services you can use to rent out your extra space:

  • AirBnB
  • Wimdu
  • SpareRoom
  • Vrumi
  • Home Away
  • Trip Advisor
  • Just Park
  • ParkLet

Also be sure to check out the UK government “Rent a Room” scheme:

If you’re looking for ways to improve your bank balance, one option is to rent out your spare room. By signing up to the Rent a Room scheme, not only do you enjoy the extra income from the rent, but also up to £7,500 a year is free from tax.

Money Advice Service

Create a Holiday Flat 

Turning part of your home into a holiday annex or flat might involve a bit of upfront expense, but this could be a realistic path to you retaining your family home.  

There are several websites around now which allow you to list part of your house – or even just a room – as holiday or short term accommodation.  

But what if you don’t live in an area renowned as a holiday resort? Don’t let this put you off. There are many reasons why somebody might need some short term accommodation.  

They may be attending a wedding nearby or be passing through for work. The hundreds (or thousands) of pounds you may earn a month from doing this might just pay for the ongoing maintenance of your beloved family home. 

Invite a Trusted Friend to Live With You 

If you live in the property on your own then maybe you know of a friend or relative who is in a similar position?  

Perhaps you could invite them to come and live with you for a fixed monthly fee? The money raised from this could again go towards maintenance and running costs.  

While this might not be the ideal scenario for some, you might also find that it opens up a new and fulfilling time of your life.  

Most importantly, you’ll get to enjoy the family memories contained in your home for years to come.

Remortgaging or Equity Release 

Finally, you could consider freeing up some of the equity in your property to use for maintenance etc.  

This could be done by remortgaging if you still have an income source or equity release might be an option where appropriate.

With any serious financial decision you should always consider speaking to an expert.

Useful: This site has some good guides on equity release and remortgaging.

Now It’s up to You  

As we can see then, downsizing doesn’t have to be your only option. Some of the alternatives mentioned in this post may involve more effort than others, but they could all go some way to helping you stay in your family home.  

Just be sure to seek out professional advice before embarking on any them, so that you make the right choice for you. 

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Master of the budgets. Provider of the tips. Author and owner of DumbFunded.co.uk.
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