Tips for Seniors Dreaming of Downsizing During the Pandemic
Article written by guest blogger Michael Longsdon of Elderfreedom.net. Image via Pexels
Were you contemplating a downsize when the pandemic came along? Don’t give up on your dreams just yet! It’s still a realistic possibility, you just need to know how to navigate real estate’s new normal. And even if you want to wait to move until the pandemic subsides, there is plenty to do in the meantime so you’ll be ready. Here’s what you need to know.
Tackle the Traditional Stuff
Before you try to dive into foreign waters, get your bearings by dealing with the traditional aspects involved with a successful downsize. Your first step should be bringing up to speed any lingering home repairs, like replacing broken tiles or refinishing hardwood floors. The more move-in ready you can make your property, the more competitive it will be on the market.
While you have room in your schedule, it’s also an ideal time to make any pertinent updates to your home. A coat of paint and some new kitchen appliances can go a long way toward making your home more appealing to house hunters. And as Motley Fool points out, these are upgrades that typically provide a good return on your investment.
Dig Into Clutter
One of the most important — and most time-consuming — traditional home selling projects you should dig into is decluttering. This can be a particularly challenging prospect if you’re in the home you raised children in, and if you have a lot of belongings to sort. Between an abundance of items and the emotional aspect of the chore, it’s a struggle for many people.
If you have trouble getting started, Money Talks News suggests setting aside time slots for decluttering, rather than trying to tackle it all at once. One day a week, an hour at a time, or even 10 minutes here and there — small bites to chew on can make it far easier to swallow.
If you can’t put off selling and moving, going about things carefully is a must. Thankfully, much of what you need to accomplish can be done successfully via the internet. Virtual tours, online meetings, and drive-up closings are all options for facilitating your home sale and purchase.
While all the technology might make the house hunting and selling part sound tricky, rest assured your real estate agent is well-versed in what you need to do and can help you through your home sale and/or purchase. And if it’s time to downsize soon, you need to make some decisions about where you want to live.
If you intend to age in place, you’ll want to look for a home with features that will keep you mobile and independent as you grow older. A one-story living area, zero-step entryway, and low-maintenance exterior are all pluses when it comes to staying safe.
If it’s time to move into a situation with a little more support, or if you want to avoid loneliness, there are several other options you may want to consider. Places like independent living communities, assisted living residences, and nursing care facilities are all viable options, and there are also alternatives these days, like senior villages and home-sharing.
The idea of moving anywhere right now might worry you, and being careful is a must. However, it can be done safely with the right precautions. Start with hiring a professional company to handle your move. A fly-by-night group might not take proper safety measures, and the last thing you want is to have all of your belongings exposed to germs or to be a victim of a scam.
Expect your costs to be based on things like the weight of your belongings, the distance of your move, and what day of the week you schedule your transition. Consider last-minute deals and verbal agreements to be red flags, and be sure to ask about the company’s COVID-19 policy.
The pandemic might have thrown a wrench into how we handle some things, but the good news is that life is going on. If you’re dreaming about downsizing, start preparing your home. The time will be right, sooner than you think!