The Fear of Home Downsizing
Founder & Owner, Home Downsizing Solutions
May 23, 2023
Home Downsizing. Just the words tend to conjure up images and feelings of overwhelm to the point that a home owner freezes and does nothing.
After more than 25 years of working with home owners (or their family members) that want or need to sell and move to a smaller home, apartment, or other senior living arrangement, I have witnessed numerous specific and personal needs a person has with the transition to senior living.
Some of the items that need to be considered are timing, locating the right new home, apartment, or other senior facility, a move manager and/or moving company, selling the house you’re currently in, including what to do with all the “stuff” in the house, and making this all happen with minimal stress.
One of the first primary issues is timing. If a person is just looking to sell a house and move to a smaller house or independent living community, this may be a one to three (or more) year process.
Many home owners think about repairs and updates a house needs or should have done to get the house ready to put on the market, as well as taking care of all the “stuff” that may have accumulated in the house.
Finding the right new home, apartment, or apartment community may also take some time, especially if a person wants a ground level apartment, or one that takes pets, and in a particular part of town.
If someone has a health emergency, then this timeline to find the right place to move to is pushed rapidly forward.
Finding the right apartment or senior living community is also very important. Sometimes the best communities or facilities are not always the closest or most convenient to family members, doctors, or other services that a person would like.
It may be much more important to find a community or facility that provides the best care and services for your needs, instead of focusing solely on how close it is to family or friends.
One issue I hear from sellers moving to senior living probably more than anything else, is “what do I do with all this stuff.” If a person has lived in a house for 20, 30, 40 years or more, it’s understandable that a lot of “stuff” has accumulated.
It most likely took a lot of years to accumulate the stuff you have, so don’t feel you need to complete a project like this all at one time.
Taking small steps like starting with one room and labeling items that you know you want to keep or know you can part with is a start.
Moving from where you are now to a smaller home or apartment is a big change, but if you’ve done some pre-move planning, it doesn’t have to be stressful.
Creating a floor plan of where you are moving to, so that you know what can be moved and where it will go, can help. Knowing what you can and want to take with you can then help with parting with items that you know you don’t want or can’t take with you.
Moving resources available range from those that just pick up and move furniture and items already boxed up, to companies that will do everything to move you, so that the only thing you need to do is literally get yourself to your new dwelling.
Lastly, what to do with your house? There are options. Do you keep the house as an investment property? Do you sell the house and use the proceeds to buy a smaller home or buy into a community? Do you use the sale proceeds to invest as part of a retirement plan? Do you sell the house and turn your equity into a monthly income stream?
What you do with your house and how you sell will be determined by your specific situation and how best your house can help you achieve your goals.
For all of the above items, the key to getting repairs and updates completed, getting the “stuff” taken care of, finding the right new home, apartment, or other senior living arrangement, and getting moved from point A to point B, is having the right “team” to assist you.
Just know that there are local resources for each step of the process to help make the transition to a smaller home or apartment as stress free as possible.
If you’d like additional information about downsizing or downsizing resources, just call or text me at (402) 450-0199.
Ben Souchek is an author of the book Home Downsizing Secrets as well as the owner and founder of Home Downsizing Solutions, a company that specializes in helping seniors and their families transition to senior living by buying houses direct from sellers.