One thing the aging process brings to light is the sheer amount of items we’ve accumulated throughout our lives. As we get older, we recognize the need to downsize and move out. But it can be an emotionally taxing and stressful situation. These tips will hopefully make the process much smoother.
Do Your Research
Generally, downsizing requires selling your current home and purchasing a new one. The first thing you’ll want to do is plenty of research, Amber Faruqi, the top real estate agent in Queens, NY, told HomeLight. Have an assessment done of your property and the surrounding area to find out exactly what your home is worth. You’ll also want to determine the best time of year to sell your home. And since you’re older, take stock of the perks you already have or that may be popular now. For example, if you have a pristine retro-styled bathroom, buyers today will find it attractive.
Make a Plan
Next, make a plan for where you want to go and what type of property you want to obtain. Consider moving to a location with an association, so upkeep and management fees are included in the purchase or rental price. You don’t want to bog down your retirement with more work. And remember, downsizing doesn’t always mean leaving the city you love. Some large cities place a premium on space to begin with, so instead of moving to a smaller space, you’ll be moving to a comparably sized home but with more amenities.
This is by and large the most difficult part of the downsizing process. You’re not just decluttering, you’re disposing of items you have a sentimental attachment to. The first, and easiest, step here is to follow Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid of all the items that don’t bring you some sort of profound joy. If you can’t decide if it does or not, it’s definitely cluttered. Next, harness your nostalgia in a way that works for you. Whether that means scrapbooking meaningful papers, creating shadow boxes of important items, or even creating a video of your family pointing out the things they love most in your house, the goal is to get all the items compressed into something portable and thoughtful that you can cherish in a smaller space.
Use an SRES-Certified Agent
Currently, more than 2 million real estate agents are working in the US. But only some of them have a special certification that will be beneficial to you in your downsizing move: the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. These agents are well versed in sales including retirement and downsizing. They’ll know the right perks for an older generation in not just specific buildings and homes, but also towns and neighborhoods. Plus, they’ll know what federal regulations apply to your purchase and how it will affect social security benefits.
Look for a Senior Move Manager
You should also look for a senior move manager in your area, because they too, can help with the overwhelming process of dealing with life’s transitions since they are specially trained in this area. This will help decrease the amount of stress and anxiety one has about moving altogether.