Stress-Free Downsizing Tips for Seniors & Caregivers
Selling a home and downsizing as a senior is much different than selling a home when your family is full of energy and your time is flexible. Nowadays, you may not be as mobile as you once were. You may even rely on a caregiver to help you cook, clean, and do everything in between. Whether you’re a senior or a family caregiver, we can help you find the right solution for downsizing and selling your house—one that doesn’t leave you sweating over showings and heavy boxes!
The Decision: Should I Sell My House?
When is it time to downsize as a senior? Perhaps you took a tumble down the stairs, or your Social Security check isn’t stretching as far as you anticipated. Every homeowner faces the decision to downsize and sell their home at some point in life. Some sooner than others. It could be for physical, financial, or emotional reasons.
Physical Reasons to Sell
As you age, health becomes a key factor in almost every decision. If you, a spouse, or an aging parent have mobility limitations, living in a two-story home isn’t the best situation. You could remodel to make accommodations, but the cost would be high.
According to Time and a 2015 study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, “Nearly 70% of households age 85 and over live in homes that lack essential features that would let them live safely.” Are you or an elderly family member living in one of these homes?
There’s also the physical distance to consider. Is the home far away from family and friends that provide assistance? How far away is the nearest grocery store, pharmacy, etc.? Downsizing as a senior and moving closer to important people and places could improve your safety and reduce stress.
One HomeGo customer sold his home for a very similar reason. According to his son:
“My dad needed to sell the house. He was the caregiver for my mother. He’s 95. She was 92 and they needed to move to an assisted living facility. It was too much for them to take care of. They needed to sell their house quickly. They really had waited too long to try and sell it. It was not in great shape. HomeGo bought the house as-is.”
Did you know? Around one million Americans live in some type of senior living community. That number is expected to double by the year 2030, reports American Senior Communities.
Financial Reasons to Sell
“Downsizing is both a financial as well as an emotional decision,” says Allan Katz, president of Comprehensive Wealth Management Group via Bankrate. “It often becomes a necessity because retirement income may not sustain the expenses. It would also make sense if it means downsizing expenses, which can now be used for other things like family vacations, taking care of grandchildren, etc.”
Fixed incomes in retirement can be a serious challenge for retirees to manage. If your expenses are exceeding your income, selling the house and downsizing may be a wise financial move. Done right, it could even lead to some serious financial benefits.
Selling your house and moving into a smaller one means lower expenses across the board. Lower utilities, lower taxes, less insurance, less maintenance, etc. And if you have a mortgage, the remaining total should be less if you downsize.
With less money and time tied up in your property, you can spend more of both on travel, grandchildren, and hobbies!
Did you know? Even baby boomers are planning on downsizing. According to the Demand Institute, 37% plan to move from their current home, with 54% of those moving also planning to downsize to a smaller home.
Emotional Reasons to Sell
One of the hardest challenges to selling your home as a senior is putting what’s “sensible” over what’s “emotional.” After all, your home is where children were raised, memories were made, and “firsts” were documented for the scrapbook. It’s completely normal to have an emotional connection to it!
In the end, however, holding on to a home that you (or an aging parent) can no longer manage could do more emotional harm than good. Grown children may resent driving long distances to do the landscaping. A spouse may work themselves to the point of exhaustion trying to maintain the home like they once did. Opportunities for emotional stress abound.
Know that selling your home as senior doesn’t mean you’re letting go of the things that really matter. You and your family will carry the memories and mementos with you forever, no matter where you live.
The Downsize: How Do I Downsize?
Figuring out how to downsize your home isn’t easy. Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting caregivers and the people they care for, compiled a checklist for downsizing a home. The comprehensive list can be condensed into the following three categories.
How to Downsize Your Home as a Senior
Plan: Begin early, since downsizing is often an arduous task. “Six months or a year prior to moving is not too early to start this process,” is the FCA’s guidance. Determining what needs to be done, which moving company to use, and even where furniture will go in the new home is all part of this portion.
Prepare: Establish different staging areas for items: “Keep,” “Discard,” and “Don’t know yet.” Not every “Keep” item must serve a practical purpose. Possessions that hold heartfelt memories are important. Don’t end up with a new location that’s more of a motel room than a home.
Perform: What’s being kept gets packed and what’s being discarded hits a garage sale, eBay, or similar venue. The hard work is mostly done. The rest is as straightforward as 1-2-3-4:
- Load up the moving vehicle.
- Transport the possessions.
- Unpack upon arrival.
- Let HomeGo take care of the sale!
The Deal: The Easy Way for Seniors to Sell Their Home
Whether you’re a senior or not, moving is stressful no matter how much time you invest in preparing. HomeGo is here to help seniors sell their house quickly, fairly, and on their own schedule.
HomeGo can help you avoid the cost of selling. Selling your house can come with pretty high costs. You’ll likely have to do some style updates to get the best price, in addition to paying the 6% or more in realtor commissions. With HomeGo, you never pay any commissions or closing costs, and you never have to pay for repairs or updates.
HomeGo can help you avoid the cost of moving. Since you choose your own closing date, there’s no need to juggle your closing date with the date you can move into your new home, apartment, assisted living facility, or retirement community. That leaves you the freedom to make the most affordable moving arrangements possible.
HomeGo can help you avoid the cost of uncertainty. More than a quarter of home sellers are required to lower their asking price at least once during the listing process. Then if everything goes smoothly, the average time to close is anywhere between 50 and 180 days, says Realtor.com. That much uncertainty is enough to keep anyone awake at night. HomeGo delivers straight on-the-spot offers. No fuss, no hassle.
HomeGo can help you avoid the emotional cost of inconvenience. Some agents claim that it will take between 10 and 20 showings to receive an offer, but it all depends on the location, price, market, and buyers, says Real Estate Inside Mag. Are you mobile enough to get up and go at the drop of a hat? HomeGo doesn’t require inspections or showings. There’s one 10-minute visual walk-through and it’s done at your convenience.
You may have bought and sold many homes in your lifetime, but we can bet you haven’t sold a home the easy way—to HomeGo. It’s the fastest, most convenient way to downsize and sell your home as a senior. Request your same-day cash offer online or call 866-507-9030 today!