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.
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.
Looking to buy a home? Search all homes.
Looking to sell a home? Get a FREE Home Value Report.