Do you want to move but have nowhere to go? Many of you have told me that the time has come to make a change in address. You sincerely want to move and find a condo or apartment that matches your wish list. You are sincere in your efforts but a bit unsure as to what that list of requirements looks like. There are so many choices but so little direction. Should you sell first and then move or leave your home and then put your home on the market?
Next on the confusion list is the set of choices out there as to housing. Senior communities offer a different set of amenities and programs. Some senior communities require a security deposit and others offer life care requiring a larger endowment fee. Some condominiums are maintenance free and others making you responsible for exterior repairs. Next is the question of what location. Do you want to be near your children and grandchildren or stay within close proximity to your current home? Sound familiar?
Taking small steps can lead to a successful move. Break down your moving plans into understandable segments can give you a sort of momentum. You gain knowledge about one part of your move and then curiosity moves you to the next step. Where to go for that information and who can help guide you is the critical component needed in a successful move!
First I would suggest starting with your current residence. If you own your home or condominium, call an agent today to find out the true value in today’s rapidly changing real estate market. An agent will let you know if any inspections are needed and what the value is based on the way it will be shown to perspective buyers. Some homeowners choose to sell as is, with no work done and needing work. Others make repairs and do minimal painting and cleaning. Yet some sellers decide to stage the home and make it shine. You can sell a home in any condition; it is just a matter of the final selling price based on how you decided to offer it to the public. Now is a good time to get your home ready!
Now that you know approximately what funds will be available, talk to your accountant or financial advisor to see what payment you can afford for your new home. You may be surprised to find out you can afford more than you thought. So many of my clients have told me they live in their home for free. “Free” is a relative term. After home maintenance, taxes, insurance, utilities, and other costs to maintain your current home you may find that your monthly outlay is not much less than your new apartment or condominium. Seeing this on paper will change the way you think and mitigate some of the fears you may have about running out of money.
Now that you know what you can afford, the choices become more focused. The next step is to decide where you want to live. Location, location, location. You’ve heard that phrase which is the most important factor in value, but in this case it has a bit of a different meaning. Location in this case is deciding where you want to live. Talk with your trusted advisors and family. Spend some time writing down what the positives and negatives are for each set of choices. For instance, moving to Florida near your grandchildren may be one of your choices. Is that what you truly want or do you want to be near your friends and neighborhood. Take time to really search your innermost feelings and the right answer will appear.
Once you know for sure where you want to live begin to research your options. Gather all of the information you can about housing options available. There are magazines that list all senior communities within a certain area. A Realtor can provide the many choices in your price range if a condominium or smaller home is your choice. Gather all the information you can so you know what is available when you make your choice.
Next, if moving to a senior community, make a decision. Many or most senior complexes require a small fee to be on their waiting list if the unit type you desire is not currently available. If the apartment is available, commit by signing a lease or paying the endowment fee. It will set you free from that feeling of limbo! The worst place you can be at is one foot here and one there. Once a decision is made the rest of the process will go into motion.
If buying a condominium or smaller home is your wish, then make sure your agent is on top of the newest listings when they hit the market. Properties are moving fast especially in certain subdivisions or developments. Go out to see what is available. By knowing what you don’t want you will be ready when the home you do want hits the market. Have your finances in order so you know how you will pay for your new home.
Take some time to understand what you truly want and where you want to live. Moving is one of the toughest actions you take in your life. Change is tough but living in a situation that does not match who you are today is even more difficult. Invest in your life by assessing what will truly make you most happy. There is an old saying, “know thyself”. Take some time to meet that one person who can truly guide you to a happy more carefree life…that person is you!