Conversations about downsizing become more frequent as people settle into retirement. Many seniors feel that their family homes have become too big for them. Downsizing can make your space easier and cheaper to maintain, but it isn’t an easy decision. Many problems can come up and hinder the success of your big move. Here are some effective ways to prevent common downsizing mistakes.
Go Over Your Options Carefully
One big mistake that retirees can make when downsizing is thinking too short-term. It’s important to consider all of your downsizing options carefully so you end up in a place that will support your health and happiness well into your golden years. Do you anticipate needing a little extra help in the future? If you think that physical or cognitive decline may be a problem, consider moving into an assisted living community instead of going through the hassle of buying a new home.
Assisted living communities provide an ideal balance between personal independence and daily assistance but choices can vary greatly. Be sure to tour several until you find the one that will fit both your budget and care needs. Go into these tours with an idea of what you want as far as cost, care, living arrangements, socialization, meals and the like. By also talking with residents and staff you can get a great perspective on each community.
Don’t Overestimate the Financial Benefits
Most people overestimate the financial benefits of downsizing. While it’s logical to assume that a smaller home will be cheaper, this isn’t always the case. Smaller homes can be much more expensive if you’re moving from a rural area into an urban location. Depending on the location you move to, you may also face higher property taxes or higher costs of living. Condo and apartment maintenance fees can further add to your monthly bills.
Then, there are the expenses that come with selling your home. You may have to make repairs or renovations, have landscaping work done, or hire a home stager to make your home more appealing to buyers. You’ll also have to pay your real estate agent commission and cover your closing fees. There’s a good chance you’ll face many of these same expenses a second time when you buy your new home. Budget thoroughly so you can ensure that moving is financially feasible. It’s also important to budget for moving expenses like packing supplies and moving insurance.We're in the heart of retirement locations. Know your options. Be informed. Make the best decisions for your future.~Michelle Richard Broker/Owner Click To Tweet
If you’re buying a new, smaller home for your retirement years, you need to think about how to pay for this new property. If you don’t have the cash to pay for it outright, you’ll need to think about other ways to finance this purchase. There are many different mortgage options you can explore, so check out PennyMac current rates before deciding on one. And when you’re ready to begin a search for a new home, reach out to the experts at Almost Home Real Estate Services, who can also help you put your old home on the market.
Do Your Research
If you decide that downsizing is right for you, do plenty of research before committing to your new home. Many people downsize into a smaller home and later realize that the location or nearby amenities didn’t fit their needs. Research the city, neighborhood, and nearby activities. Try to find information on the cost of groceries, access to transportation, the convenience of high-quality medical care, and the availability of senior’s services. It’s also smart to ask residents in the area what they wish they had known before moving. Smaller towns may be cheaper to live in, but they’re also further from airports, medical centers, and events, which may mean higher transportation costs.
It’s also important to choose a home in a neighborhood that offers plenty of socialization opportunities to prevent isolation. According to Everyday Health, some of the best ways to stay socially engaged include volunteering in the community and attending exercise classes.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Too many people downsize without considering their desired lifestyle. Don’t buy a home assuming that you’ll adjust to it over time. Instead, make a list of features that you want in your new home. For example, access to nature has been found to improve quality of life among seniors, so you may prioritize this on your list of desired home features. Think about the things you love doing — whether that’s gardening, fishing, or entertaining guests — and ensure that your new home will support these activities. Remember, downsizing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t force yourself to sell the family home and move somewhere else. You can always rent out empty rooms, parking spots, or storage space in your existing home to help offset your living expenses. In the end, do what makes you happy!
Written by Guest Author: Shirley Martin
Shirley turned her neat freak personality into a business when she became a home organizer. When she isn’t busy working her magic on homes in need of her special touch, she is sharing helpful tips on her site, Tidy Life Today.