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Avoid stamp duty costs by downsizing and renting

Earlier this year, Saga, the over 50s specialist, called for older buyers to be able to downsize without paying stamp duty.

Saga conducted research and found that 73 per cent of over-50s would support ‘one-stamp-duty-free’ move for those downsizing, up from 70 per cent in 2017.

Another poll last year by YouGov found that 22 per cent of over-65s would consider moving to a new house if stamp duty was abolished, potentially freeing up millions of homes for younger families.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t look likely to happen any time soon.  This means people who want to downsize and move to a popular retirement hotspot could be facing a hefty stamp duty bill.

Southern coastal counties such as Dorset and East Sussex along with many towns and cities in the south east of England can command high house prices, even for smaller properties. Stamp duty can therefore take a sizeable chunk out of any capital left from a house sale.

There is a solution though…

and that’s to downsize and rent, instead of buying. One of the main benefits is keeping hold of the money made from selling a house. Choose to invest, spend it enjoying retirement or give some to family, rather than having it tied up in bricks and mortar.

At Girlings we have seen many people discover the benefits in renting in a retirement development. Obviously, there is rent to factor in, but we have rents to suit all budgets, so it can make financial sense to free up capital in a home and rent instead. For some having the peace of mind that they aren’t leaving their family with the burden of selling their home after they have gone can be a real relief too.

We’ve found over the years that one of the barriers to renting, especially for someone who has always been a homeowner is the fear they may have to move all the time. This can be the case if renting privately, but with many of our properties we offer assured ‘lifetime’ tenancies.

This means people have the same security of tenure as owning their home and will never need to leave, unless of course they choose to! Once people realise this, renting often becomes a realistic option for them.

Another reason to rent is removing the worry about the upkeep and maintenance of a home. As we get older looking after a large house and garden can become burdensome. With a lot of rooms to heat it can also be costly to keep warm. We find many older people are favouring smaller apartments when they ‘rightsize’ which they can look after more easily. It enables them to focus on enjoying their retirement rather than spending time on housework and gardening. Heating costs are reduced which over time can be quite significant, as well as other bills such as water, electricity and council tax.

One of the results from the recent Girlings Retirement Living Survey highlighted that 74% of the people downsized when moving into their Girlings home

Retirement developments have the benefit of a 24-hour emergency call system in each apartment and an on-site manager to help with any issues too. It’s reassuring for older people (and their families) that there are people on hand should they need any assistance.  

For those that like to travel a lot, renting in a retirement development means it’s easy to just lock up and leave, knowing well that their apartment is safe and secure with people around.

Finally, there is the social side to living in an age exclusive development. There are people of similar ages and most developments have communal lounges where people can mingle over a cup of tea or coffee. Many also organise regular activities, outings and events which people can join in with if they wish.

Renting can help you live where you want.

Moving and renting can give people a new lease of life in a new location, perhaps somewhere they have always dreamt of living or moving closer to family. Renting can be an affordable way to move to an area which might be expensive to buy in.

We have retirement developments across the UK, in desirable coastal regions, rural country towns or in city centre locations with somewhere to suit most people’s tastes and budgets.

If you want to downsize in 2020 and avoid paying stamp duty, then why not consider renting? With all these benefits it could be the ideal retirement move.

Please give us a call 0800 525 184 to discuss your requirements and budget and we’ll help you find a home to suit.


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