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Likely you are a baby boomer! So am I.
You're probably ready to downsize and that can be a daunting task. I've been through it and enjoy helping my clients navigate through this process. This is both a specialty and a passion for me.
Here are 10 considerations in downsizing that are worth you pondering:
1. Location-Where you live matters a lot! What about proximity to children, grandchildren, doctors, church, civic organizations, recreation, gym, sports activities, shopping and entertainment?
2. Price-What can you afford considering it is likely you have moved into or getting ready to move into retirement? Can you pay cash for a home? If not, what can you realistically and comfortably afford?
3. Home Features-several considerations..
a. Steps-Most of us aren't interested in a second floor master bedroom. Do you need a ranch style home or could you get by with a "master on the main"?
b. Basement-Do you need/want a basement? If so, ask yourself why. Sometimes the extra care/concern of a basement isn't worth it.
c. Pool-Want...or don't want? Private pools take a LOT of work/resource to maintain. Sometimes a community pool is a better option. Grandkids will love it!
d. Square footage-How much do you need (not necessarily what you're used to)? All that square footage that you used to maintain and clean may not be such a good idea when you retire.
e. Garage-Likely you're an empty nester at this point. Can you get by with 1 or 2 car garage instead of the 3 car you've always had? Perhaps a 2 car with a bump out for your shop?
f. Storage-Be careful on this one! Your job is to downsize...not just cart around stuff that you've accumulated over the last 40 years.
g. Yard-Do you need room for a pet (no Alpacas, please) to run or for grandkids?
4. Costs of ownership-Bigger house means more taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and likely HOA dues.
5. Condo or single family residence-There are definitely benefits to both. Condo fees can be expensive but they do have significant benefit in terms of outside maintenance, club house, pool, etc. Some subdivisions offer outside maintenance for grass cutting, lawn fertilization, trimming shrubs, snow removal and more...for single family residences. You might even consider a 55+ community. If you're a snowbird, a condo or exterior maintenance community might be the way to go.
6. House guests and entertaining-How often do you have guests and what will your needs be? Family and social get togethers... can you accommodate them in your new home?
7. Your personal health-As we age, many (most) of us don't quite function like we used to. Your health may very well alter your lifestyle. This is often one of THE biggest considerations in considering a downsize. Mobility issues, progressive issues (like Parkinsons or MS) and cardiac/pulmonary factors demand strong consideration in this decision making process.
8. Kids, grandkids and parents-THIS IS A BIG ONE! Sometimes we need to take in an elderly parent or an adult child or family member. Taking in an elderly parent can be extremely rewarding but also has its challenges. Can you accommodate them with a main floor bedroom and bath? Can you accommodate the adult child who needs temporary housing while in transition thru a job change, college or divorce? Can your new home still provide for you enjoying time with your grandkids?
9. Purging-The UGLY part! This is where it gets stressful. You will need to downsize your worldly possessions to fit in your smaller home. If you're a pack rat or sentimental, this will be especially hard for you. Bring in the kids and let them have what you're willing to give them. Sell what you can on facebook or craigs list. DON'T expect to get near what you paid for that expensive sofa or dinette you bought years ago. Yes, you paid $6000 for it in 1998. You will only get $600 for it today. Expect that and don't take it personal. Good rule of thumb when downsizing: if you've not used it in two years, it's probably time to retire it to Goodwill if you cannot sell it. Sounds harsh BUT you will be MUCH happier than stuffing unused worldly possessions in every nook/cranny of your new smaller home. Trust me on this one!
10. Timing-It's always better to do this when you can...not when you have to. Let me illustrate: a couple in their mid sixties has lived in the same home for the last 27 years. She has significant health issues. They want to downsize so they have less work to do on the 4000sf home that sits on the 3/4 acre lot in Fishers. Would it not be better to start this process now before her health deteriorates to the point where they can't do this alone and have to hire it done? Or dealing with the stress of possibly loss of a loved one and then downsizing from a huge home?
My main point: BE PROACTIVE! Think ahead and you won't be sorry. Going into this with your eyes fully open will help you greatly. I can coach you thru this process.
There are even more considerations but these are my top 10. Baby boomers are my specialty clients and I love working with them. I understand them. I get it!
Ready to talk a little more? Call/text me at 317-250-7213 or email me and let's have a no cost, no commitment, no expectation conversation. I think you'll find that my approach is honest, straightforward and practical. I'll tell you what you need to hear to make this happen.
I'd love to work with you. My approach is a bit different. You'll be pleased with my work ethic, integrity and honesty.
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