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On the Move: Decisions Seniors Face When Downsizing

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On the Move: Decisions Seniors Face When Downsizing

Categories: Planning Real Estate Residents

Published 12/03/2019

A large house with a sizeable yard and a white picket fence used to be the American dream. Even if you love your house, however, all that space can eventually become difficult to maintain. Especially as we age, many people tire of maintenance and upkeep. Modern seniors want to spend their retirement years living life to the fullest, not cleaning and repairing their property.

Downsizing, or relocating into a smaller and more easily managed home is an ideal option for many seniors. Of course, there’s a lot to consider when planning your move. For instance, you’ll need to determine what to do with your current home. Here are some ideas.

Weigh Your Options
If you’ve lived in your home for years, the nostalgic memories can often be hard to leave behind. Many seniors feel guilty about leaving their homes, even if it’s in their own best interest. Luckily, you have a few options, such as:
• Keeping it in the family. According to SFGate, passing your current home to a family member “takes careful planning.” You’ll need to have a trusted loved one in mind, someone you know will take care of the home. On the plus side, transferring the ownership of your home to a child or taking out a reverse mortgage can help you pay for the care you may need later in life.
• Renting it. Renting your home to strangers is risky. Renters won’t care for your property as you would. You’ll still be responsible for fees, like repairs, taxes, and insurance. If you’ve never managed a rental property before, it’s a massive undertaking. However, professional property management services can relieve stress by handling daily tasks.
• Putting it on the market. If you know it’s time to downsize, but you’re unable to rent your home or give it to a loved one, selling might be your best bet. Hire a reputable, full-time real estate agent who can help you price and advertise your property.

Do Your Homework
Before you make your decision, be sure to do your homework. That includes researching home sale prices in your current neighborhood. What are similar homes selling for in your area? If you plan on relocating to another city when you downsize, research sale prices in that city, too. For instance, Redfin reports that homes in Oakland sold for an average of $780,000 over the past month, and it’s a competitive market.

The AARP recommends determining how much home equity you have in your current home before you sell. Additionally, understand the current housing market and start house hunting in advance. If your local housing market is too competitive, you might also compare the pros and cons of buying versus renting a home.

If you’re looking to maintain your independence and freedom without the hassle of homeownership, an independent living community could be a perfect choice. These quiet, low-maintenance communities typically offer meal plans, housekeeping services, social activities and exercise programs in a safe and secure neighborhood. Assisted living in the California area has a yearly median cost of $54,000, so keep that in mind if you decide to consider this as one of your housing options.

Plan a Smooth Move
Once you’ve determined where to move and what to do with your current home, it’s time to plan your moving day. Remember, downsizing during your golden years is a major life transition. To lighten your load and protect yourself from injuries or damaged belongings, consider scheduling professional movers. Before booking movers, research a few different companies first. It’s important to compare prices and reviews when making your decision; keep in mind that you could pay between $30 and $50 per mover per hour.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your golden years, downsizing might be an option. However, you’ll need to carefully determine whether it’s the best choice for your unique situation. If you do decide to downsize, you can make the process easier by hiring help with packing, moving, and unpacking your belongings. With the right plan in place, you can reclaim your time and get the most out of retirement by moving into a smaller space. That way, you can enjoy a peaceful, low-maintenance lifestyle.

For assistance in finding a home that caters to your downsizing needs, or steps moving forward with downsizing please contact Advent Properties’ Darryl Glass. Call 510.500.7531 or email Darryl at If more convenient, you can also schedule a meeting directly on Darryl’s calendar below:

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