For many seniors, downsizing means moving into a smaller home, where they can enjoy every square foot without having to worry about paying for space and utilities they don’t need. But this is a big endeavor—particularly in light of the pandemic—and one that requires lots of preparation. Here, we will take a look at a few of the more practical aspects of the downsizing process so that you can get packed, get moved, and get on with your adventures.
Keep yourself safe
Something you must think about today that may not have crossed your mind just six months ago is how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the downsizing process. While many aspects won’t change noticeably, one thing you do have to consider is how to keep yourself safe.
Since you will have to come into contact with people and new places, make sure that you have a mask, hand sanitizer, and the availability to wash your hands regularly. Be very clear and explicit in your desire that anyone on your team (more on that below) keep their distance. You can also elevate your cleaning routine by making sure that you have disinfectants and that you are wiping down hard surfaces each time they are touched.
Assemble your team
Your downsizing team should consist of people that can help you along the way. Two of the most important of these are your Realtor and your movers. It’s important to find a safe, comfortable neighbourhood, and having an agent that knows the area is a definite benefit. Your Realtor can help pinpoint new properties that work to your advantage.
Similarly, your movers take much of the work and stress out of the entire process, and, by using a professional service, you eliminate the chances of becoming injured on moving day. This is an additional cost, however, with the national average being around $1166, based on data collected by HomeAdvisor. You’ll want to make sure you budget accordingly.
Refine your options
According to Aging with Freedom, around 42% of Americans claim they plan to reduce the size of their estate once they retire. Because of this, competition can get fierce for senior-family homes. You have a better chance of finding the perfect new setting if you narrow down your needs. Start with a budget. Let your agent know the price range that you’re comfortable with, and get pre approved if possible. Your agent can also help you determine how much equity you have in your current home that can be used for a down payment.
While you might be nervous about the possibility of a bidding war when you find “the one,” the Charlton Advantage Team believes the key is to lead with your best offer. By following smart strategies and sound logic, you won’t get roped into overspending on your new abode.
Also, keep in mind that if you’ve been living in a large home for many years, you may be able to fund a smaller property without a mortgage. With enough equity, you may even have enough cash to make modifications that can help you enjoy your new home, whether you’re in a walker, wheelchair, or simply have mobility issues.
Make the most of your stuff
Now comes the hard part: deciding what to do with your personal belongings. For many seniors, this is the greatest challenge, particularly when it comes to sentimental items, such as family heirlooms and art. Talk to your adult children and grandchildren to find out what they might like to have to help carry on the family legacy.
Once your most precious items have a new home, you can use tools like WorthPoint to research what everything else is worth. You never know, you may just be sitting on a small fortune, and can you funnel that money into your passions, whether that’s travel, education, or simply spoiling the grandkids.
Downsizing during a global pandemic means taking some precautions. But like any other time in history, it also means that you have to have the right people in your corner. With a little preplanning, you can make the most of your move. It can be a stressful situation, but know that, soon, you will have a new place to call home, and you can rest easy knowing that you’ve taken the right steps to get there.
This is a guest article, written by Michael Longsdon at ElderFreedom.net. Thank you Michael!