Remember your parents and grandparents telling you that as you get older life will accelerate?
Does it seem that days seem to be moving by faster and faster? Do you see your grandchildren aging at light speed? If the answer to these questions is an emphatic yes, join the group! Einstein’s theory of relativity is quite complex yet simple. One aspect of his genius is that time is relative. It involves the perspective from which you view time and space. An example of this is how long or short 10 seconds can be. If you are sitting on a hot stove, 10 seconds would be an eternity versus the same time span when going for a pleasurable walk. It is true as we age that time perception is far different at 70 years old than at 20!
What does this have to do with real estate? Everything! Our home is an integral part of who we are. Many of us have lived in our houses for many years. We know the neighborhood, the stores, the people. Leaving your surroundings can be like leaving a best friend. First is denial. We often try to ignore the signs letting us know that our current homes may not be suitable for our mental and physical current status. Every moment counts as time moves quicker. Procrastination and fear of the unknown hold us down from make a decision that could truly enhance our quality of life. Next is anger. Those that love us and care about our wellbeing are hinting that a change in residence would make our lives better. We know they mean well but inside we are upset and sometimes can lash out at the message we don’t want to face. Now comes bargaining. “I know the steps to the basement and second floor are difficult, but I need the exercise”. Telling stories to ourselves and loved ones about our ability to take care of our homes can be fiction, but by repeating the same story over and over it can become reality and a perceived comforting thought. Now comes the truly tough sequence of grieving for a loss of your friend…your home...depression! Sadness can set in after denying reality, anger at those trying to help our situation, bargaining with ourselves and finally falling into a world of hurt. Denying our feelings can cause physical and mental anguish and eventually must be dealt with by medication or action to change a bad situation into a healthy happy new set of circumstances. Finally, after much soul searching and facing our own fears, acceptance can be the positive outcome. Accepting our current situation can set you free. It can open doors you never thought possible. I have seen so many folks go from stagnation and isolation to connecting with others and enjoying their lives in a way they never thought possible.
A positive change can be the decision to stay in your home and retro fit the interior to meet your current physical needs. There are many companies that specialize in adding grab bars, raising your cabinet and counter tops, and installing chair elevators if necessary. This is the right decision for some but not all. Another decision may be to move closer to your children and grandchildren. At the same time you move closer to your loved ones, you would also find housing more suitable to who you are today. Solving two problems at the same time…connecting with those you love and living in a home that meets all of your needs. Some of us decide to stay near to our current home and move into a senior community or apartment. This is most common for those reaching their late 60’s up to mid 80’s. Finding an apartment or community frees one from the maintenance of a single family home as well as provide services and community to connect.
My point is that time is precious. Time is moving faster and faster. Time won’t stop for any of us and enjoying every day is so critical to leading a fulfilling and healthy life. The real estate market has recovered and prices are back to pre-recession values in most areas. We never know what the future will bring as displayed in the great recession. Why take chances of waiting for the optimum time to sell? What if there is a world event that affects the housing market and takes away our ability to attract top dollar. My best advice is to plan your future by focusing on who you are today, not who you may be in a few years from now. The present is a gift and that it is why it is called the “present”.