Downsizing Tips for Senior Adults
Navigating the complexities of a move as a senior adult can often be a daunting task. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP), I have completed extensive prerequisite coursework to best serve the late-in-life transition needs of senior adults. I recognize both the physical and emotional energy that goes into selling your long-term home and moving into an assisted living center or downsizing your home. I have put together some recommendations to prepare you for a seamless and stress-free move when the time to downsize is right for you.
I speak to a lot of clients who are looking to downsize in order to save money. If this is the case for you, then it is important to perform your financial due diligence to ensure it makes financial sense to move. Run the numbers and calculate your current costs on your mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and any other additional expenses. You should then take a few different living scenarios and calculate their living expenses to better identify if it makes sense to downsize. Taking into consideration the different factors that go into living costs will help you gauge what type of downsize makes sense for you.
Buyer's or Seller’s Market
Many times, senior adults anticipate a large increase in cash flow when selling their home. It is easy to get overly excited about the money you will make from this sizable transaction. I always recommend my clients to do their research first on how much homes are going for in their area. It is currently a seller’s market but the housing market is still recovering. Keeping a pulse on what homes are selling for is important in maintaining your expectations on your home’s payout.
Calculating Costs on Buying or Selling
Factoring in the cost of selling a home is an important part of the process. Even when your home has been paid-off, there are some fees you may encounter when selling your home that you should take into consideration. A few of these fees include:
Home Repairs: Especially when you are going to be selling an older home there are bound to be some repairs that you will encounter.
Inspection Repairs: Repairing cosmetic issues on your house can help increase your home’s value but home inspections can make or break the offers you receive on your home. Anticipating the cost of any major problems that may occur is an important factor to take in consideration.
Closing Costs: Typically, the buyer is responsible for any closing fees. However, sometimes it is negotiated to split the fees with the seller. Closing costs can include an HOA fee, property taxes, attorney fees, transfer taxes, and title insurance. Typically closing costs range from 2 to 4 perfect of the home’s selling price but these fees are negotiable.
The key factor of ensuring a stress-free downsize is to start early and plan ahead. If you are beginning your research now on downsizing your space, you can begin going through your belongings and get ahead of the move. You can plan ahead, too, by taking the average floor plan of the spaces you have been looking at to make a calculation on how much you will have to downsize. If you are in need of assistance with this step, be sure to reach out as I have an extensive network of professionals who are experts in their field and serve the senior adult community.
Consider Your Options
The key to not becoming overwhelmed during this process is to be confident in your decisions. Identifying if you want to move into an apartment, condominium, or a senior community is going to be the first step in this process. I always recommend clients to consider all of their options prior to listing their house. For example, you may put your home on the market and it sells prior to finding a new home. Rather than make a rash decision, know that short-term rentals are always an option or, perhaps, you can temporarily live with family. When consulting with a CHSP, we will walk you through all of your options so that you are confident in your decision.
There are so many options to consider when deciding on your next move. As a senior adult, it is emotionally and physically draining to downsize, put your current home on the market and then begin your search for a new place to call home. Reach out to me today with any questions or if you are ready to take the next step in your next move.