Home Inspection | Top Tips for Seniors Considering a Downsize

Home Inspection | As we grow older, we value our time, money, and energy more than ever. When looking for ways to optimize life, many seniors elect to downsize for their golden years. If you’re making that transition, here’s how to do so smoothly so you can live life to the fullest.

When Less Is More

When it comes to downsizing, advantages abound. As HomeAdvisor points out, “having fewer financial- and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home.” Being free to invest time and money in things you want, rather than in meeting needs, is a huge plus.

Oftentimes, seniors have rooms they aren’t using, such as from kids who left the nest, office areas, or dens. That excess space is a drain on your reserves. Not only are you doing unnecessary home maintenance, but utilities are also more and there is more home to clean.  As far as finances, there are especially important gains to enjoy from downsizing. Smaller homes often mean lower property taxes, and you can use the money from the sale of your existing home toward the purchase. With thoughtful planning, you can come out ahead and sock some money away for travel, hobbies, or to splurge on outfitting your new abode.

Editing Your Things

One of the most challenging parts of downsizing is cutting down on what you will take to your next home. Having less space typically means less room for stuff, so it’s necessary to do some editing in advance of your move. Decluttering can be especially challenging when your belongings have memories attached, so allow ample time for this phase of your transition. Break the process into small steps rather than attempting the entire house — or even an entire room — all at one time. Rather than discarding an abundance of things, plan to do some recycling, and consider selling some items you no longer want or need, but which still have plenty of life left in them. You can have a yard sale or list items online to make a little money toward your move. Donating items to charities is also a great choice, as many take furniture and other household goods for resale or to otherwise assist those less fortunate.

Selecting the Perfect Place

Several factors can weigh into choosing a home for your golden years. AARP cites statistics indicating that most seniors like the idea of staying in their own homes as they grow older. With that in mind, choosing a property which offers accessibility, or which can be easily modified, would be one of your priorities. You should also consider location as part of your key criteria. Think about how your life could be better right now and what you would change if you had your druthers. Moving closer to family, easier access to public transportation, or convenience to your hobbies are just a few of the ideas to consider.

Making the Move

When it comes to your actual move, think carefully about how much help you will need and who will be available to assist. You can enlist friends and family, but bear in mind that moving is backbreaking work, and many seniors prefer to steer clear of DIY moves. You can hire a professional mover, although Consumer Reports warns that it’s crucial to do your research to find reliable moving companies. Ask for references, get quotes in writing, and research the reviews and complaints on whomever you consider. Another idea is to hire a senior move manager who can handle all the details of your move, from arranging movers to hooking up utilities, or just tackle a few details to alleviate your concerns.

Savoring your senior years can be easier in a smaller home. If it’s time to downsize, plan and prepare thoughtfully as you adjust your lifestyle and belongings. Your transition will go as smooth as silk by keeping a handful of clever tips in mind.