As a baby boomer, you’ve probably made the decision to downsize as thousands of Americans do every year.
Downsizing is not an easy task. It involves financial planning, looking for the right home, and dealing with belongings accumulated over the years – in many ways, it can be just as challenging as moving to your own home for the first time.
But with careful planning, downsizing can be just as fun and exciting. Moving to a more compact home offers plenty of benefits. If you’ve paid up your mortgage and decide to sell your present home, buying a smaller home can mean you can pay in cash and be free of mortgages. You may even have enough money left over to invest in other ventures or to use in enjoying the things you’ve always wanted to do, now that you have the time to do them.
Consider these tips to help you make downsizing as worry-free as possible.
- Think about the lifestyle you want to have
Do you want to live in a community surrounded by amenities like golf and tennis courses, swimming pools, and a clubhouse? Do you intend to do plenty of traveling? Do you want to stay in the suburbs or move downtown, close to urban amenities? Choose a property that can give you quick and easy access to the things you love to do and matter most to you.
- Consider who your new neighbors will be
Are you fine being surrounded by millennials and their growing families? Or would you rather live in a retirement community among people close to your age?
You might also want to live in an area near friends or family, or to your doctor. Consider moving to a smaller residence that’s close to your present home so you can remain among people you’ve known for the longest time.
- Look into healthcare options
If you have to go through regular medical tests or treatments, look into properties with nearby healthcare facilities that are included in your insurance coverage. Additionally, some places have healthcare systems that are more cost-effective than others.
If you need help with your daily tasks and needs, consider looking into assisted living communities. The range of services offered by these communities varies from simple day-to-day assistance to more intensive nursing care.
- Look at tax requirements
This is especially critical if you want to move to a different area. Property and income tax rates vary by location. Check into these before selecting a new home.
- How will you get around?
Look into public transport options, especially when you prefer not to drive too much. Taking public transport will also help you save on car and insurance payments.
- Consider overhead costs
Condos and retirement communities offer a convenient lifestyle where a homeowners’ association takes care of the maintenance and upkeep of residences. But this means paying regular association dues. Include these costs when looking for your new home. The upside of living in a condo is less energy and insurance costs because of the smaller space.
- Prepare your home for the sale
This means de-cluttering and getting rid of many of the things you’ve accumulated over the years. This is often an emotional process, so it would be a good idea to get the family involved in it. Ask your children if they want to have some of your old silverware, furniture, memorabilia, or other things with material and sentimental value.
Sort the rest of your belongings. Separate the items that you can take with you to your new home and those that you can’t. Find a good way to dispose of unnecessary items – donate them to charity, hold a garage sale, sell them on eBay, or throw them away through the community disposal.
Downsizing can be challenging, but it can be made easier with the right assistance. If you’re looking to downsize in the San Diego area, give us a call at 619.709.3196 and we’ll be happy to help you find the right place and experience a seamless move.