Downsizing: What to Look for in a New Home

One of the things My Divine Concierge specializes in is assisting seniors with their downsizing projects. We help clients sort through their possessions to decide what goes and what stays. We can help them pack their homes, move their belongings, and unpack on the other end. Long before any of that is done though, the client has to actually choose a new home. That decision is every bit as important as deciding to work with My Divine Concierge to complete the move.

We have had the pleasure of assisting dozens of seniors with their downsizing efforts over the years. Through our experiences we have gained some pretty good insight into what to look for when searching for a new home. Below are some of the things we feel are important. As you are searching for a new home, remember this: it is possible that the home you choose will be the last home you live in. So don’t just settle for anything. Make your choice something that will enable you to enjoy your retirement years.

1. The Right Location

A lot of real estate agents emphasize location with resale in mind. Obviously, they want you to buy in an up-and-coming neighborhood where your new home is likely to appreciate in value. We cannot deny that such thinking is wise. Still, there is more to location than resale value. You also have to think about your quality of life.

For most seniors, safety is an important consideration. You do not want to live in an unsafe neighborhood. You might also feel that access to shopping and entertainment options are equally important priorities. Alternatively, you may have always dreamed about retiring to a waterfront property. The idea is to choose a location that best fits the lifestyle you hope to pursue.

2. The Right Maintenance Plan

How do you intend to handle maintenance during your retirement years? If you want absolutely no maintenance responsibilities whatsoever, your best bet is probably to rent an apartment. If you do not mind some interior maintenance but have no desire to worry about the outside, a condo is another option. You can consider a single-family home if you either want to handle the maintenance yourself or hire contractors to take care of it for you.

3. Enough Space, but Not Too Much

By definition, downsizing indicates that you are moving into something smaller than you’re currently occupying. For a lot of seniors, there is an inherent trap that can be hard to escape: being unwilling to part with enough of your possessions to actually move into something smaller.

Look for something that offers enough space for you to live comfortably but not so much that you are tempted to fill it with clutter. Otherwise you are really just moving your clutter from one house to another.

4. Something That Accommodates Your Health

Some people downsize because health dictates it. If that is the case for you, you will obviously want to look for something that accommodates whatever health issues you are dealing with. Maybe you can no longer walk and climb stairs. Look for a home with living space contained on a single level. Or perhaps you have trouble keeping up with daily cleaning. So look for a house that doesn’t require a lot of it.

Downsizing is a significant life change for seniors. If you are planning to do it, take as much time as you need to find the perfect home. Then contact My Divine Concierge when it’s time to actually make the move. We will do all we can to make the process as easy and hassle-free as possible.

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