Seniors eventually face downsizing as a necessary part of life. But after the loss of a spouse, the thought of moving to a new home can feel utterly overwhelming. Not only is there the emotional toll of moving, but the logistics are also a challenge.
However, knowing the common pitfalls of downsizing can help make the transition easier. Below, find out the top five mistakes seniors make when downsizing so you can make the process go as smoothly as possible.
1. Not Researching All Your Options
When faced with the prospect of downsizing, you have so many options to consider. It’s important to research all of them before making up your mind. For example, you may consider moving into a senior community. Independent communities offer special services and amenities that you wouldn’t get from living in a condo community.
Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, provide daily help with tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating. You may decide that this is the best option if you have certain medical needs or don’t feel as safe living alone.
This option allows you to explore a wider variety of neighborhoods and choose from many different styles of homes.Knowing your options if half the battle, using a Professional to guide you through the process is invaluable.~Michelle Richard – Broker / Owner Almost Home Click To Tweet
2. Not Leaving Room for Guests
When choosing your next home, you might want to go with something smaller in order to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle or save more on utilities and other costs. Going for the smallest home possible might not be a good idea if it leaves you with no room to entertain guests.
Moving to a home with a spare bedroom will make it much easier to have longer visits with family members who live out of town.
3. Underestimating the Costs
Most retirees assume that moving into a smaller home will automatically cost less. However, small homes aren’t necessarily cheaper. A lot of factors other than square footage influence how much a home costs overall.
You’ll likely spend less on your mortgage and utilities, but as Kiplinger points out, moving is expensive and you might get stuck paying other fees you didn’t have before.
For example, homeowners association fees can really add up. In popular areas, smaller homes can also be more expensive than you’d think. Researching different neighborhoods will give you a better idea of what you’ll really end up paying for a mortgage.
Keep in mind that list prices alone can be misleading.
You’ll want to look at the big picture. For example, homes in Cape Coral sell for around 2 percent below the list price, but the market is also competitive.
Doing your homework will help you understand how much you’ll actually save by downsizing.
When it comes to understanding the local real estate market, it’s crucial that you discuss your options with a reputable realtor. The agents at Almost Home have a proven track record of professionalism, and they can help you with all your home-buying needs.
4. Skipping the Decluttering Process
One of the most important steps in downsizing is to declutter. This process allows you to take only what you truly need to your next home. However, it can be an especially challenging task if you are dealing with the loss of your spouse. In this situation, New Minimalism suggests that you start with your own items before trying to sort through your loved one’s things.
Because decluttering is one of the most stressful steps in the downsizing process, you need to be extra kind to yourself when you start. Keeping negative thoughts at bay and doing activities that bring you happiness will make the process easier.
5. Trying to Do It Alone
Decluttering, researching homes, packing, moving, and getting settled in are all monumental tasks if you’ve lived in your current home for years. However, you don’t have to face these challenges yourself.
For example, working with an agency like Almost Home will make it easier to find a new home or sell your current one.
Hiring a professional organizer or moving company can make the transition less overwhelming, too. Downsizing is a difficult, yet necessary part of life. Because it involves so many steps, it’s best to start as early as possible.
Doing so will allow you to carefully consider your next housing choices, manage your clutter, and pack up with less stress.
Downsizing Seniors Summary
Written by Guest Author: Suzie Wilson
My mission with Happier Home is to offer you insight into how to turn your home into a sanctuary that you’ll not only be happy to come home to, but will actually make you feel better when you’re there. As I’ve always said, “There’s no place like a Happier Home!” If you think there is room for improvement — I’m here to help!