Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Baltimore

Downsizing

Downsizing. It is an event that some look forward to, but that others approach with feelings of uncertainty or dread. Most of us know that one day we will either want to, or need to, make the move to a smaller home. It can seem like a daunting task, but with some careful planning, we can all make a successful transition to a smaller space.

Even if you think that you may not need to downsize your residence for another year or so, now is the time to start planning. The first thing that you may want to do is contact your local real estate professional. He or she can meet with you to discuss your options and help you decide what type of move would be best for you. Perhaps you would prefer a one-story rancher to your current four bedroom colonial. Or maybe you no longer want to maintain the exterior of your home and your yard, and think that a condo would suit your needs. You might want to live in a senior’s only community. If you are still active, but want to plan for your later years, you may want to look into a continuing care retirement community. The options are many and varied, and a realtor can help you to weigh your wants and your needs and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

So now you have decided where you would like to live, but what next? Again, this is where your local realtor can be invaluable. She can help you start the process of preparing your current home for the market. The earlier you start, the less stressful this task may be. Your realtor can tell you what needs to be done to your home in order to get your best price. He can save you both time and money by making sure that you update and replace only necessary items. He can also give you tips for decluttering and paring down your belongings. Not only will your home show better, but also you will have a head start on packing your belongings!

One thing that we all have in common when we downsize is that we learn to live in a smaller space. That means that some of the furniture has to go. Some can be handed down to family or friends. Other pieces may be destined for your local thrift shop. But what do you do with the furniture that nobody needs, but is too valuable to throw away? For many, the answer is an auctioneer. Furniture and many other household goods can be sold at auction. Your local real estate professional would be happy to provide you with a list of local auction houses that would be able to assist you.

Now that you have prepared your home for the market, scaled back on your belongings, and have decided on the type of housing that best fits your needs, you are well on your way to a successful downsizing experience. Your realtor will work with you to determine the best time to place your current home on the market and to find your new dream home. And when it is time to move into your new space, he or she can help you find a reputable moving company to pack and move your belongings.

With less space to maintain, there is more time for leisure activities. Many senior communities have daily activities that are included in the monthly payment. No matter the type of housing you have chosen, you will find that less really can be more, and that downsizing need not be a task to be feared.

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