Summer brings warm weather and more hours of daylight to enjoy. As temperatures heat up, the housing market does too. Families often look to purchase homes and move so they can be in place for the start of school in the fall. As a result, the season can be the ideal time to start downsizing your home.
If you’re like many older adults, you may find yourself wondering if you’re ready for a move and if you should seek out a downsizing specialist to assist you. Read on to explore some of the signs that you’re ready to take the first steps and find out when hiring an expert can be beneficial.
Knowing when to downsize for retirement takes some careful introspection. After all, it’s a big decision. You may have spent decades in your home and have strong connections. Plus, the idea of having to sort through all your belongings, sell items you no longer use and find a new place to call home can be daunting. At the same time, downsizing for retirement can mean having a home that is a better match for your needs and gaining access to programming that helps you maintain an active lifestyle, learn new things and make new friends.
As you weigh your options, the following signs can indicate that downsizing may be beneficial for you.
If you find yourself dreading the thought of mowing the lawn all season long or raking leaves once fall arrives, downsizing could be a solution. Moving to cottage or apartment homes with a grounds crew to care for the landscaping can free you from all those chores. Downsizing can also be a good move if the costs and stress of making frequent repairs and maintaining your home are becoming overwhelming.
You may find that there are areas of your home that aren’t as easy for you to access or move around in as they once were. For example, you may worry about slipping while walking up and down that narrow flight of stairs or have difficulty reaching items on the top shelf of your kitchen cabinets. Your home doesn’t have to be large to pose challenges. Many older adults move to rightsize — or find a home that is more in line with their needs.
Many older adults downsize their lives before they actually change their homes. You may find yourself spending time in only a few of the rooms in your house. The rest remains empty, and yet, you still pay to heat, cool and maintain them. Downsizing for retirement may save you money on your utilities and ensure that you’re actually utilizing every square foot in your home.
If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you may see the families in your neighborhood come and go. Although you may still enjoy your home, it can feel isolating to see friends and neighbors move away, or get the sense that they are replaced by younger families who are at a different place in their lives. Downsizing your home can mean relocating to a community where your neighbors are similar in age and share your life experiences and interests.
Once you’re ready to downsize, follow these steps to begin the process.
To begin the downsizing process, set a tentative goal for your move. Compile a list of what you’re looking for in your new home, so you can begin considering communities in the area where you intend to live. Once you have the basics established, share the news about your decision with your loved ones. You may find that they’re eager to assist you with the next steps.
With a plan in place, you can begin identifying which items you’ll keep and what you won’t need in your new home. Initially, sort things into two categories: keep and get rid of. Then, go through the things you're getting rid of and decide what to throw away, what to donate and what’s worth selling.
Before listing your home for sale, do some prep work to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Arrange for any necessary repairs and consider making one or two small improvements like repainting the front door or freshening up a dated space. Get outdoor areas ready to show off by mowing the lawn, weeding and placing some colorful flowers in pots by your entryway.
As you proceed through the first steps of downsizing for retirement, take note of how you feel. If you’re unsure where to begin sorting through and eliminating unneeded possessions, looking for places to live or preparing your home for sale, a downsizing specialist can be beneficial. A professional downsizing expert can assist you every step of the way and make tasks like hiring a moving company, packing boxes and selling your home a lot easier.
The Village at Providence Point—A National Lutheran Community will offer beautiful apartment homes, cottages and enriching programming for older adults in Annapolis. If you haven’t started thinking about it yet, now is the perfect time to consider downsizing so you can be ready when The Village at Providence Point opens! Contact us today to learn more about opportunities to downsize in luxury.