It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, owning your own home is an expensive business, and it is an expense that in these uncertain times many are looking to reduce. There are more and more people opting to downsize their homes in an attempt to cut their outgoings to a more manageable level.

This is not a decision to be taken lightly, as your home represents a considerable investment, not just financially but emotionally too. It is somewhere you have quite likely spent years getting “just so” and holds many memories for you and your family.

There are many factors to consider when you think about downsizing your home, how will it effect any children or the lifestyle you are accustomed to are the most obvious places to start, but there are also things like the size and location of both your current property, and the property you are considering moving to and how it could effect your commute to work and how this could impact other factors of your life on a daily basis – if your commute to and from work takes longer, it will reduce the amount of time you have with your family for example.

The area you live in can also be a factor. As there is a lot of redevelopment underway around the country right now, if your area is one that is due to be redeveloped then it would be a good idea to find out the scope of the redevelopment from the planning office that covers your area. If there are plans for things like major roads, or factories and industrial estates, then it may be wise to move before it starts as this could further devalue your home, but if it is something like new shops, schools or other community facilities then it could boost the value if you wait till it is completed.

Also with the markets as they are currently, it is worth looking carefully at the value of the properties. If there isn’t much difference in the value then it could prove an expensive decision to move without much of a reward, as you have to factor in the cost of any conveyencing solicitors, estate agents, as well as the removal costs.

Before you decide to downsize you may want to think about other options that could be open to you – for instance if you have spare rooms, would it be feasible for you to take in a lodger or two on the “rent a room” scheme or a couple of paying guests? There are many people who work away from home who miss home comforts, or who’s companies would find it preferable to rent a room, rather then pay the often expensive hotel costs. There are often tax and rate reductions available to people who do decide to take this route, for more information, contact your county council office or local tax office.

If you do decide that downsizing your home is the way for you to go, companies such as Bloor and Bovis, as well as many of the smaller developers offer new homes all over the UK, of various sizes to fit the needs of modern families, many of which are fitted with energy efficient fixtures to comply with the sustainable homes policy, but which also help householders keep costs down.