Tips for Seniors on Downsizing Your Home

I've got a great guest post on my blog. Mike Longsdon from Elder Freedom has some great tips for downsizing.

 

These are not called the golden years for nothing. Retirement is your time to live your life to its fullest. For many, it only makes sense to downsize to a smaller home. Before you take the plunge, here are some tips and pieces of advice on downsizing your forever home.

Why Downsize?

One of the biggest reasons to downsize is financial. A smaller home usually means a smaller mortgage, or no mortgage at all. After all, the average listing price for a home in Allen, Texas, is $418,000. You may make a tidy profit from selling a larger property. Freeing up your funds will allow you to live a more fulfilling retirement. You may be able to afford more frequent or luxurious vacations, or to expand in hobbies you want to invest your time in. You may also save on your energy bill. Heating and cooling a smaller space costs less than a home that can fit an extended family. With a smaller home, you may be able to afford the location of your choosing. If you have always wanted to live in a specific city or state, this may be the time and way to achieve this dream.

How to Find the Right House

The first step to finding the perfect new house is to research homes in your area. This website will help you see what is listed. It can give you an idea of what prices you can expect, as well as give you an insight into what open homes might be nice to visit. It’s also important to know what you want. Make a few lists outlining what features are mandatory, what would be nice, and what is negotiable. Think about the community you want to live in. If you are looking beyond your city, make sure the area you’re moving to is what you’re looking for, such as being close to your favorite amenities and having low crime rates.

Don’t Pack It All

It is hard to let go of memories. However, with downsizing comes less space. You may rent a storage unit, but those costs add up over time. It’s best to give away and donate what you can. If you have clothing that no longer fits or is a style you no longer wear, offer it to your children or donate it. Any appliances you don’t use, or at least don’t use often, you may want to give away too. Do you have any expired medicines, cosmetics or the like? Dispose of such items safely. Foodstuffs are something else you should get rid of. In the weeks leading up to your move, try to cook and eat as much of your food as possible. If you have alcohol, it might be wise to finish the bottles or give them to friends. Glass is notoriously difficult to safely transport.

Tips for Moving

Start planning as far in advance as you can. If you’re hiring a moving company to help, especially if the journey is long, make sure that your chosen time isn’t during summer, as it may be more expensive. However, it’s also smart to check what kind of weather you can expect during your moving month. Document your items, especially your valuables and breakables, before you pack. This way, you have a record of your items for the moving company. It’s standard to have an overnight box packed and clearly labeled. This should include everything you will need for the first night and following day, including sheets and toiletries. Be sure that not only have you cancelled your current utilities, but that you have them set up at your new address. After a long day of moving, you will probably want a hot shower. It may seem like a good deal of work, but it will hopefully pay off. You’ll spend less time cleaning and managing upkeep, and more time enjoying life. Isn’t that what our golden years should be about?