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A Guide to Senior Downsizing
-contributed by Kelsey Higgins, Remodel-expert.com
As you enter your golden years, there’s one word that you will likely hear with some frequency, and that is ‘downsizing’. And for good reason, too! In a nutshell, downsizing is the process in which you make mindful changes to your life to make better use of—or even maximize—your resources while improving your quality of life. In many cases, this entails moving out of your lifelong home to free yourself of its expenses and the responsibilities in favor of a smaller, more accessible, cheaper, and less demanding dwelling.
In the best of times, it’s actually a straightforward enough process. However, recent market conditions have raised some concerns that are adding to the challenge. Bryan Lincoln Real Estate invites you to take a closer look at how you can downsize.
Where You’re Coming From
The first thing you can do to get your downsize rolling in earnest is figure out what to do with your current home. With the kids having flown the nest, most seniors inevitably decide to sell because the proceeds—as well as the money they save on hefty maintenance and other bills—are better used to fund their desired lifestyle in later life.
Recent tech trends in the form of virtual tours and showings make selling your home more accessible to more buyers. Getting more eyes on your listing can only benefit you as a seller.
Where You’re Going
With your home on the market, it’s time to look toward your options for your next home. In some cases, seniors opt for assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and the like where they can expect considerable amounts of care and assistance, which can be valuable in light of increasing physical and/or mental challenges. Or, if you simply need something smaller, consider your aging in community options. This can be in the form of home sharing, where you live with a few other people, or a senior co-op, which is specifically intentionally designed residential areas specifically for seniors. You can also look at senior villages or even naturally-occurring retirement communities. Really, there are so many options available!
Alternatively, you can opt to purchase a home or condo with accessible features to support your current or future mobility needs, or install appropriate aging in place renovations. Keep in mind that, as Forbes points out, the selection of smaller homes can be decidedly thin. This makes finding a property to accommodate aging in place more challenging, so consider enlisting the help of a buyer's agent who fully understands the ins and outs of the market. If you choose a condo, you’ll benefit from less maintenance and you will always have a neighbor nearby.
As you work with a lender through the mortgage application process, keep their phone number close by. You’re likely to have many questions as you search for your downsizing destination home, so speaking with your lender regularly can help you maintain peace of mind.
And for help finding your ideal home, trust the professional Realtors of Bryan Lincoln Real Estate.
How to Get There
Eventually, it’ll be time to make the big move. You must not skip decluttering and organizing a lifetime’s worth of possessions, which can be challenging both as a task and emotionally. As a rule, choose to keep and pack up those that you consider valuable and/or will serve you in your next residence, but let go of everything else. If you need help with this difficult task, turn to organization companies for their decluttering and organizing services.
You’ll have to hire movers, as well. In the spirit of social distancing, find moving services online, and compare their offerings and costs. Moving costs are usually based on the distance of your move, the weight of your belongings, and even the day of the week that you choose to move. Make sure to practice appropriate protocols on moving day for the safety of yourself and your movers.
Admittedly, ‘downsizing’ is arguably a misnomer, and should be called ‘right-sizing.’ Either way, it’s a transition that can improve your senior years with a higher quality of life, safety and comfort. This could very well be one of the best life decisions you will ever make, so it’s high time to seriously begin this change.