How Seniors Can Downsize When Moving Into A New Home

 

Author: Jim Vogel

After retirement, many seniors find that they’re ready to downsize a bit into a home that’s much easier to take care of. Moving into a smaller place can be a little overwhelming, but it’s often necessary for individuals who need to think about their health and what their abilities will be five or ten years down the road.

It takes some planning and preparation, but with some help from friends and family, you can find the right home for your needs and make decisions about what to take and what to donate, sell, and trash, as well as find financing.

Here are some of the best tips on how to downsize into a new home.

De-clutter

When you first begin thinking about making a move, go through your home room-by-room and take a look at each section with a sharp eye. Are there items that you’ve had for a long time but haven’t used in a while? Are your closets full of clothes you haven’t worn in years? De-cluttering your home will make it easier to start packing; start with a pile for items to donate, one for items to throw away (anything that’s broken or stained), and one to sell. You can have a garage sale before the move and make some extra cash.

For more info on how to get ready for a downsize, read on here.

Get Some Help

Ask friends and family to come over and help you go through your things. This is a great time to give some of your belongings to close family members if you don’t want to take them to the new house; go through jewelry, dishes, and mementos with your loved ones to decide who gets what. They can also help you with moving heavy boxes around, as this is something you shouldn’t do yourself.

Get the Right Financing

Look online to see if you can find special financing for seniors, especially if you have a disability or are considered to be low income. There are different programs for each state, so make sure you’re familiar with your home state’s guidelines.

Look for a Home that Fits Your Needs

Do some research on neighborhoods and homes that fit your budget. Keep in mind that some newer neighborhoods might have a bevy of expansive two-story homes with a scattering of smaller ones, so don’t rule out any one area until you’ve checked it out. One-story homes are often preferred by seniors because they are much easier to get around in and clean than larger homes.

Many seniors make the decision to downsize because they want a home that doesn’t have stairs to climb or a big lawn to take care of. Keep those things in mind when you’re looking, as well as whether there’s a neighborhood association that requires fees every year.

Find the Right Helpers

Finding the right movers for your big day is important, so do a bit of research to see which companies will offer the lowest price. Ask specifically about whether they charge a per-mile fee on top of the flat rate and if they require a minimum amount of work hours. If you have pets, you’ll want to make sure the movers are informed of what type you have and let them know if they should refrain from interacting with your pet.

Remember that this can be a very trying time; any big life change can be overwhelming, so take good care of yourself and remember to ask for help when you need it. With some preparation and planning, you can find the perfect home for your needs.

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How Overpricing Slows Down Your Listing

Right now we are seeing trends that put us in a strong seller’s market. But be careful not to overprice, because doing so could actually hurt your listing.

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Recently I went on air with Martin Bandyke from Ann Arbor’s 107.1 to discuss the current absorption rate in our market.

As I told Martin, my team and I study the market each week. The current absorption rate for single-family homes here in Ann Arbor totals to 4.5 months. This means if no other homes came on the market, it would only take 4.5 months to sell out of the current inventory at the going rate.

In cases where the absorption rate is under six months, as is the case currently, then it’s a seller’s market. So with fewer homes on the market and higher demand, you might wonder what this means.

These factors actually add pressure to home prices and cause them to rise. This is the reason why in the last month we saw that 7% increase in prices.

So how do absorption rates vary with price range? Well if you were selling between $600,000 and $700,000 we can see that right now there are 7.8 months of supply.

 

If you want to have access to this kind of information, you need to work with the people who are studying the market each week.

 

But real life circumstances tend to be more complicated than they sound on paper. For example, there is a 1.8-month difference in supply if a home were even $1,000 less than the lowest point in that range and was therefore in the $500,000 to $599,000 range.

In that range, the absorption rate is six months. As a seller, the smart thing to do here is actually to list your home for slightly less because it means the demand is higher in that lower-supply price range.

On top of that, we can also note that the list price to sale price ratio is 99%. Simply put: overpricing a home no longer works in today’s market.

If you want to know these helpful facts and have access to this kind of information, you need to work with the people who are studying the market each week.

So if you have any other questions or you’d like help with any of your real estate needs, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Dexter Real Estate for Sale: 6060 Hickory Lane, Dexter, MI

 

This beautiful move-in condition home sits on a scenic 3 plus acre wooded lot just waiting for the most discerning buyer. The fantastic kitchen is large and has been remodeled with quartz countertops and a huge center island. Custom American Woodmark cabinetry with self-closing doors combined with a coffee station makes this a dream kitchen. This home includes three wood and gas fireplaces!You can relax with your morning coffee in the hearth room/breakfast nook, the spacious 24×24 family room features a cathedral ceiling and fireplace. The finished lower level will be a cozy winter sitting area with the fireplace burning. A deluxe master suite has an organized walk-in closet and gorgeous bath. Three other large bedrooms are service by guest bath. The walk out lower level has two additional rooms available for a home office, study room or extra living space. There is a full bath on this level as well. The family room opens through a door wall to a fabulous 20×40 in-ground pool. An out building completes the country charm. It includes a fenced in chicken coop and fenced gardens!Updates include a new roof (2003), furnace (2013), and central air-conditioning (2017). Schedule an appointment soon because this home in the Dexter real estate market is a pleasure to see.

Additional DEXTER AREA REAL ESTATE Listings

9928 Huron Creek Drive
436 N Pointe Drive

Toth Team Worldwide Network

Keller Williams Realty

Toth Team Worldwide Network has global aspirations and a growth strategy to meet the modern needs of clients around the world. Toth Team Worldwide Network is among the top one percent of REALTORS® nationally. They have been featured on House Hunters HGTV, and are proud to be the only trusted agent endorsed by celebrity Martin Bandyke on radio 107.1, and the exclusive real estate agent for 102.9 W4Country.

Toth Team Worldwide Network exceeds client expectations while delivering top performance in the purchase or sale of residential real estate worldwide.

Ann Arbor Area Real Estate for Sale: 436 N Pointe Drive, Whitmore Lake, MI

 

Enjoy this beautifully remodeled home that includes a granite topped center island oak kitchen with abundant storage. The nice kitchen space is open to living area featuring hardwood flooring. The great room has a vaulted ceiling and access to private a deck. This home is full of high end features like a master bedroom suite! This private suite has access to the deck and gazebo, perfect for relaxing with the WSJ in fuzzy slippers with morning coffee. A first floor laundry is a huge convenience and is situated at other end of house so you never have to worry about noise. There is an upstairs bedroom with a bonus room, perfect for a home office or craft space. Partially finished basement with built in bar and entertaining area, 2nd laundry and bath. This home would be a perfect home for residents with a nanny or someone needing guest space or in-law quarters. So many features including: remodeled baths, a newer roof, updated plumbing, central vac (not hooked up) and has been recently painted. Two furnaces and central AC in the front portion of home allow for comfort all year long. 3.5 garage with a workbench! With the addition this is one of the largest homes in the popular Wildwood subdivision, in the Ann Arbor area real estate market. Easy access to US-23! Come see this today!

Additional ANN ARBOR AREA REAL ESTATE Listings

12707 Raby Road
411745 Forest Drive

Toth Team Worldwide Network

Keller Williams Realty

Toth Team Worldwide Network has global aspirations and a growth strategy to meet the modern needs of clients around the world. Toth Team Worldwide Network is among the top one percent of REALTORS® nationally. They have been featured on House Hunters HGTV, and are proud to be the only trusted agent endorsed by celebrity Martin Bandyke on radio 107.1, and the exclusive real estate agent for 102.9 W4Country.

Toth Team Worldwide Network exceeds client expectations while delivering top performance in the purchase or sale of residential real estate worldwide.

Watch Live Stream of Bald Eagle Nest Near Ann Arbor, Michigan

Click play above to watch a live stream of a bald eagle nest with babies. This nest is located in a residential neighborhood near Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found throughout North America. It has been the national bird and national animal of the United States since 1782, and was an endangered species until recent conservation efforts were implemented. This video of a majestic creature in it’s natural habitat comes to you from the nest located nearly 105 feet high, near the top of a white pine tree.

Cutting Down Trees With Gary Mosher

Knowing how to spot and remove a dead tree from your property can improve your home’s overall saleability.

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Landscaping is very important to the value of your home. According to this HGTV article, “Several recent nationwide surveys show that mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by 7 percent to 19 percent.” Part of landscaping sometimes involves removing dead trees.

To illustrate this point, we’re onsite at a property that is having some trees removed from its landscape. Joining us is Gary Mosher from A-1 Tree. Gary is an expert tree cutter, and he’s taking down a few pine trees that are dying. As a 45-year veteran of this business, he enjoys it because it allows him to be in a different spot every day, and it’s fun for him to be outside.

Many pine trees in Michigan are diseased, but a lot of them just need to be fed and fertilized. If you find the dead needles early enough, you can save the tree by driving a piece of pipe down around the root system of the tree and filling it with triple twelve fertilizer. Cutting down a dead tree can improve your landscaping, which in turn helps your property’s saleability.

 

Cutting down a dead tree can improve your property’s saleability.

 

One particularly persistent problem in our area is Blue Spruce disease, which affects Colorado Blue Spruce trees and is easily recognizable by the branch dieback that occurs. According to the MSU website, “The rapid decline of many spruce trees in Michigan and surrounding states appears to be related to an increase of canker diseases coupled with other disease and insect problems that plague the species.”

According to Gary, the technology of tree cutting has improved over the years. Upgrades in equipment such as chainsaws, chains, and stump grinders allow them to do the job faster and easier. He does not, however, recommend that you try cutting down a dead tree yourself.

If you want to take care of some dead trees or make some improvements to your property, I highly recommend that you give A-1 Tree a call at (734) 426-8809.

If you have any questions about tree removal or you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be happy to help you.

Ann Arbor Area Real Estate For Sale: 12707 Raby Road, Grass Lake, MI 49240

 

Peaceful wooded views surrounded this three bedroom, two full bathroom home situated on nearly 10 acres.  Step inside the bright living room perfect for entertaining.  Continue into the adjacent dining room complete with a cozy wood-burning stove and a door wall to the deck.  Prepare meals in the open concept kitchen offering ample cabinetry and counter space.  Relax and rejuvenate in the master suite featuring a soaking tub and separate shower.  Two additional bedrooms share a nicely appointed full bathroom.  A convenient laundry room completes the main level.  The full basement offers plenty of room for all of the extras.  Step outside and relax or entertain on the deck while enjoying the wooded view and pond.  A 2.5 car garage and a nice out building provide the perfect places for vehicle and toy storage.  Plenty of fireplace stacked wood awaits the new buyer for this home in the Ann Arbor real estate market!

Additional ANN ARBOR AREA REAL ESTATE Listings

11745 Forest Drive
8418 Roscommon Court

Toth Team Worldwide Network

Keller Williams Realty

Toth Team Worldwide Network has global aspirations and a growth strategy to meet the modern needs of clients around the world. Toth Team Worldwide Network is among the top one percent of REALTORS® nationally. They have been featured on House Hunters HGTV, and are proud to be the only trusted agent endorsed by celebrity Martin Bandyke on radio 107.1, and the exclusive real estate agent for 102.9 W4Country.

Toth Team Worldwide Network exceeds client expectations while delivering top performance in the purchase or sale of residential real estate worldwide.

Ann Arbor Area Real Estate For Sale: 11745 Forest Drive, Pinckney, MI 48169

 

Great home with access and docking privileges on Baseline Lake, part of the Portage Chain of Lakes!  An inviting wrap-around front porch is surrounded by beautiful landscaping and shade trees.  Entertain in the spacious living room complete with a sun-filled bay window overlooking the front lawn.  Prepare meals in the spacious kitchen complete with wood flooring, oak cabinetry and a bayed breakfast nook offering easy access to the deck.  Step outside and relax while taking in the peaceful view of the backyard.  Back inside, this five bedroom, 4 bathroom home offers plenty of room for everyone!  End the day in the master suite complete with skylights, two walk-in closets plus a soaking tub and separate shower.  The walk-out finished lower level is impressive featuring a built-in sauna, family room, study, bar and full bathroom.  Spend your summer relaxing on the Huron River chain of lakes consisting of an eight-mile connection of nine lakes: Big Portage, Little Portage, Baseline, Zukey, Strawberry, Whitewood, Gallagher, Ore, and Tamarack Lake.  Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity in the Ann Arbor real estate market!

Additional ANN ARBOR AREA REAL ESTATE Listings

8418 Roscommon Court
4210 S. Williams Road

Toth Team Worldwide Network

Keller Williams Realty

Toth Team Worldwide Network has global aspirations and a growth strategy to meet the modern needs of clients around the world. Toth Team Worldwide Network is among the top one percent of REALTORS® nationally. They have been featured on House Hunters HGTV, and are proud to be the only trusted agent endorsed by celebrity Martin Bandyke on radio 107.1, and the exclusive real estate agent for 102.9 W4Country.

Toth Team Worldwide Network exceeds client expectations while delivering top performance in the purchase or sale of residential real estate worldwide.

Ann Arbor Area Real Estate for Sale: 2253 Houser Road, Holly, MI

Peaceful and private wooded setting on almost one acre in Holly Township!  This freshly painted ranch home features an updated kitchen, inviting living room and a 16×20 barn with electric.  A covered front porch with plenty of room for seating welcomes you to the front entrance.  Entertain around the wood stove in the living room complete with hardwood flooring and large sun-filled windows.  Continue into the kitchen featuring maple cabinetry and ceramic tile flooring.  Unwind in the large family room offering easy access to the backyard.  Three comfortable bedrooms feature plush carpet and ceiling fans for comfort.  Step outside and take in the peaceful backyard.  Situated on nearly one acre, there is plenty of room for entertaining and outdoor activities.  The 16×20 barn with electric is perfect for additional storage!  A new septic field was installed in 2016.  Immediate occupancy and low taxes!  Don’t miss your opportunity to own this excellent home in the Ann Arbor real estate market! 

Additional ANN ARBOR AREA REAL ESTATE Listings

8418 Roscommon Court
4210 S. Williams Road

Toth Team Worldwide Network

Keller Williams Realty

Toth Team Worldwide Network has global aspirations and a growth strategy to meet the modern needs of clients around the world. Toth Team Worldwide Network is among the top one percent of REALTORS® nationally. They have been featured on House Hunters HGTV, and are proud to be the only trusted agent endorsed by celebrity Martin Bandyke on radio 107.1, and the exclusive real estate agent for 102.9 W4Country.

Toth Team Worldwide Network exceeds client expectations while delivering top performance in the purchase or sale of residential real estate worldwide.

What Are the Advantages of CPO?

How can you help your home stand out in the marketplace? One of the best strategies we use is getting the home “certified pre-owned.”

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A home purchase falls apart for one of two reasons. Do you know what they are? Either the home does not appraise or it does not inspect well.

When you have a house under contract, you want to ensure it closes. What if you could bulletproof your transaction from any hiccups? You can, by making your home a certified pre-owned home.

Let me ask you this, which is worth more: a car or a house? It’s not a trick question. Yes, obviously the house is worth more, probably twenty times more. So why would you treat it with less respect? You’d get your car looked at by a mechanic before you sold it, so it only makes sense to utilize the CPO program to get your home sold faster and for more money.

Whether it’s a resale or new home, you have a competitive advantage over other homes with a CPO home. It reduces stress, gives peace of mind, and gives you the contract to close security that your transaction will actually go through to the end.

The CPO program is a triple-pronged strategy. First is the inspection, then we have the appraisal, and finally the home warranty.

The idea of having your property or asset pre-inspected is widely accepted. Statistically, it’s proven that buyers and agents love CPO homes. Agents would much rather show a CPO home than one that isn’t. A CPO home is a win-win for buyers and sellers. Buyers pay more appropriately, and sellers make more money.

There’s much less stress with a CPO home. All the negotiation is done up front because there’s nothing you are hiding about the home and nothing for the buyer to uncover. Now let’s talk about step two, the appraisal.

 

Bulletproof transactions are the way to go.

 

The No. 1 fear of most sellers is that they are giving their property away. Having a CPO home prevents that from happening because an appraiser is going to give their honest and fair opinion of the home’s value, which you will then share with the buyer. Typical sellers don’t have hard evidence for their home’s market value like an appraisal, so it protects you from lowball offers as well.

Most agents and sellers use what’s called a CMA, a comparative market analysis. It’s a document that compares the home to other recent sales and helps explain why a home is priced where it is. However, the fact that the home’s value is still an opinion leaves the negotiation door wide open.

Appraisals are used by courts, banks, and lawyers as legal proof. Realtor CMAs, on the other hand, are informational and not defendable in a court of law. An appraisal always trumps a CMA because it is done by a state certified appraiser. This puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the evidential advantage.

Finally, stage three in the CPO process is the home warranty. Now that your buyer has the appraised price and the inspection report, the home warranty ties up any loose ends in a nice little bow. In the first year the buyer owns the home, they will have peace of mind with a home warranty that covers the major systems in their house from any expensive repairs.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, is this the kind of sale you want? Bulletproof marketing and bulletproof transactions are the way to go, in our humble opinion. If you have any questions for us or want our help getting your home CPO before you sell, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.