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Moving as a Senior

Image of House Plan for Seniors, fail to plan, plan to failBenjamin Franklin said Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.  Those words are very true when it comes to moving as a senior.  The reality is that seniors have very different moving needs than those of younger generations.  Today’s Senior Citizen tip is about having a moving plan.

Moving is stressful, regardless of your age.  But moving as a senior is more stressful and the stress can accelerate health problems and even land you in the hospital.  As a senior, to reduce stress, you must have a moving plan.  But after decades of living in the same home, where do you start?  Follow these tips and your plan will come together quickly.

1.  Know where you want to live. The very first part of your plan is to decide where you’re going.  Before you pack away one picture or dish, you need to decide where you want to live and this will depend on what level senior you are.  If you’re a new senior and downsizing, you might want a smaller single family home, if you are a mid-level senior, maybe you want a condo or gated community for security.  And if you are an upper-level senior with serious health concerns, you might want an assisted living or continuous care retirement community.

2.  Next, meet with your financial advisor and lender. You need to know if you can afford your next home.  Before you meet with a financial advisor, use a checklist to compare current costs versus future costs at your new home.  Include expenses such as utility, rent or mortgage, food, telephone, insurance, cable, and maintenance.  You also want to get a pre-approval letter if you plan to buy your next home.

3.  Meet with a realtor. You want to consider using a Senior Real Estate Specialist who is specially trained to work with seniors and their families.  Your realtor will give you a comparable market analysis to help you decide how much your house is worth and how to price it.

4.  Once you decide on the where to move and when to sell your home, make necessary improvements to get the best price possible. Consider using a professional home stager and get a pre-sale home inspection.  Most people believe home inspections are for buyers but a pre-sale inspection can help you avoid delays in the transaction and net you more money.

5.  Start packing. Don’t wait until you are under contract.  A professional home stager will instruct you to put away anything with eyes-like personal pictures or knick knacks.  If you’re like most seniors, you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.  The sooner you start packing, the better.

6.  Market and show your home. Your realtor will help you set up a showing schedule for you to be out of the house.  It’s always best to be out during a showing to make buyers see the home as their own.  Buyers often feel like they are imposing when the seller is home.  Plus, the buyer may be tempted to ask you questions which may compromise your negotiations.  Ideally, you should move before you start showing but if you need the money from the sale to use on your next home, this may not be possible.

7.  Next, decide on the best offer. Your realtor can help you negotiate the best price and terms for you.

8.  Once under contract, continue packing and purging your home while you wait for the inspection, appraisal, and buyer’s funding to finalize. You’ll also want to set a move-in date for your new home and finalize your affairs.    Also, make sure you have a first day box.  This is a box with important items for your first day in your new home.

9.  Once you receive the lender’s clear to close, notify your utility companies and put in a change of address at the post office. You’ll also want to notify any companies you do business with and update your new address.

10.  On the day of closing, turn over the keys and give up possession of your house and move to your new home.

Of course there are many more details in between that your realtor will help you with but having a sound plan and starting early is essential to reduce stress during your move.

Many seniors procrastinate to the point where they must move due to health issues.  Ideally, seniors will start their plan one to two years before moving.  The key is to allow as much time as needed to keep the stress low and avoid any further health complications.

Are you a senior or senior helper needing help moving?  Contact Georgene today at 219-315-6569 to find out what your home is worth.  Remember to ask for your free guide or request your copy by completing the form on this page today.

For more tips on real estate, aging-in-place, and not outliving your money, request a copy of our free book, The Northwest Indiana Guide for Seniors.

NWI Realtors