A move to a new home can be an exciting time — a whole change of scenery, a new type of living arrangement or realization of a life-long dream. If you are thinking about downsizing, here are some issues to consider:
1) Are you comfortable in your current home?
Something has sparked thoughts of moving. If you are no longer feeling safe in your current home, the move may be more urgent. What would make you feel more comfortable, secure and happy? Even if you feel a move is necessary, the experience and end result can be a delightful improvement.
2) Is it financially wise to move?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. For example, how much money will you have to work with and can you afford a move? Do you have equity in your current home and is it wise to invest considerable money in a new residence? Understanding the dollars and cents is critical.
3) Where will you find your next home?
There are many options - from smaller, senior-focused, single-family homes to townhomes or condominiums to facilities that offer assistance or independent living with extra services. Your unique situation and desires will help define the best choice for you.
4) What do your family members think?
If your family members are concerned about your safety or worried about your future, they may want to be included in your decision.
5) Who will make the decision?
Is it important to be pro-active and maintain control? Or maybe you feel better letting a trusted friend, advisor or family member make the decision without your input. Just be sure it is in your best interest.
6) What about storage for your cherished items?
If downsizing means less space in your new home, you may need to give special items to select family or friends or charity. This can be an emotional and intimidating process, but it needs to be included in the overall equation.
*** Then there are specific real estate considerations: ***
7) What is your preferred location?
Do you want to be close to friends, family and services, and in the same general area or a whole new neighborhood? Moving closer to fun activities, such as outdoor amenities, shopping and entertainment, could be a big benefit to the move.
8) What does "downsizing" mean to you?
Is it a smaller living space, less yard work, fewer bedrooms or formal rooms? Maybe it is less home to be responsible for and maintain so you have more time for relaxation.
9) What do you need for optimal enjoyment?
Think about your daily activities and the rooms where you spend the most time. Those will be the major focus of the floor plan you choose. Design and layout have changed over the years so you may find your next home offers great use of space and convenience.
10) What is your dream?
Let your imagination go. If there is a vision in your head, a home you have visited, a decor or style you have admired, maybe it is time to make it a reality. Now that family duties are not as critical, you can focus on having fun yourself.
- By Linda Alexander
Linda Alexander is a former Certified Public Accountant who has been listing and selling real estate in Colorado since 1993. She now puts her years of expertise to good use, helping seniors and their families as they transition to a smaller home or retirement community, or move out of state to be closer to children. If you have questions or comments, she can be reached at 303.475.3078 or firstname.lastname@example.org.