If you are a baby boomer or about to retire, you might be thinking about downsizing your now over-sized family home. For some, this is an easy decision to make, but for others, it may seem like an overwhelming task.
Downsizing can offer aging couples financial benefits such as lower utility costs, less maintenance costs, reduced mortgage payments and lower taxes depending on where you choose to live. And as an added bonus, a smaller home has less rooms to clean.
When thinking about making a move, you should consider health problems such as a fear of falling or arthritis. In these cases, consider a home without stairs. Consider a home nearer to hospitals and your physicians. Do you want to live in an over 55 community that may offer activities and amenities geared for active retirees? To be sure, these communities allow you to focus on new hobbies and activities to “keep you young at heart.”
Downsizing means you are going to move into a much smaller space. That means getting rid of things you have collected, cherished and loved throughout a lifetime of family moments. For most of us, this is the hardest part of making a decision to move to a smaller home. Some things you can just throw away or donate, while other things you might want to go ahead and pass on to your children.
Be objective when you are deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Once you have sorted out your things, have a yard sale or estate sale. This can give you extra money to help with your move. In addition, make sure your furniture will fit into your new, smaller space. If not, sell it so you can purchase new furniture to fit your new lifestyle. Rule number one when downsizing is “Never keep things you will have to rent a storage unit to keep unless it’s for holiday decorations or things you will use throughout the year.”
Remember, there are financial advantages to downsizing, but make sure you consider what you want or expect a newer, smaller home to provide. Do you want an extra bedroom for visitors? Do you want a space for an office or hobby room? Do you want to live near your kids and grandkids? Are you a golfer? Do you want to live in a warmer climate? Decide exactly what it is you want to do in the next stage of your life.
Today, developers and home builders are catering to baby boomers and the over 55 crowd more than ever. Choose a real estate agent who specializes in “Senior Home Purchases.” They have knowledge and expertise to educate you and can make your downsizing a positive experience. Your housing options are not limited and there are several websites that can provide you with a wealth of information to help you with your search. Set a timeline for when you would like to move and do your research.
Happy house hunting and look for that home or community that will meet your needs and lifestyle! Taking a practical approach before it turns into a necessity will give you a better chance to choose what kind of lifestyle you want to live in the future.