We can all feel that our emotions are unique and sometimes completely out of control. When faced with any new experience most of us pull back, find information, and either fall into procrastination and resistance or take a leap of faith into the world of change. Many of you may be struggling with making the right move to match your needs both physically and emotionally. Guess what; you are not alone by any stretch of the imagination!
Our lives have been subject to circumstances which have dictated which direction to follow. When you purchased your first home you decided on the right neighborhood and schools to best prepare your children for life’s challenges. Of course your budget played a great role as to what you could afford which in turn helped to determine that right location. You probably started out with one set of dreams and then adjusted to the reality of the real estate market.
Your lives and the world have changed significantly since that first purchase. Many of you are still going into the basement to do your laundry. You may have stairs that at one time were no problem but now hard to navigate. Many of your friends may have moved and you now feel it may your time to follow. Uncertainty and fear of change have made any decision almost impossible! The thought of changing your address is life altering and how does one know when the time is just right?
I have worked with thousands of homeowners who have faced these same questions. My first visit with my clients usually involves some hand holding and calming of nerves. The best antidote to this nervous situation is knowledge. Getting facts instead of innuendo and rumor is paramount to making thoughtful decisions in the midst of what feels like chaos.
The best way to begin a possible move is meeting with professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping folks transition from their long-time home to senior apartments, condos, or communities. Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) have the education and dedication needed to help those of you who have been struggling as to how to transition from your long-time home to housing that meets your needs. For baby boomers, most are looking to downsize and purchase a one level condominium. The most desirable is a side-by-side ranch condominium with attached garage and full basement. This type of condominium feels more like a single family home which makes the move so much easier and familiar. Timing is critical. Should you sell first then buy or purchase and then sell your home. My experience in working with this type of purchase has shown that using the equity in your home to purchase the condo first is the best way to go. Trying to purchase and then asking that condominium owner to wait for you to sell is unreasonable in this prolific market. Obtaining the financing to buy first is usually very easy and simple. Your bank will offer several options to use your equity, purchase and then sell.
For those of you who want to move away from real estate and into a senior apartment or community, there are more choices than ever. Prices have conformed to make this type of housing affordable as well as desirable. So many of you have not received accurate information about senior housing and are hearing from the pundits who may mislead you from actual fact. Get in your car and tour some of the many senior housing opportunities and talk with marketing directors at these communities. They will explain the many choices available and qualify you based on your income and assets.
Next, speak with a Senior Real Estate Specialist who will guide through downsizing as well as preparing your home for the market. These Realtor specialists will design a plan for your move. They will give you a market estimate as to value and help you decide how you want to present your home to the buyers waiting to purchase. There are basically three ways to present your home; one is to sell as is and do nothing. In other words do not put any money into your home even if needed and find a buyer who will purchase without asking for improvements. Typically, this type of sale produces the lowest return (40%-60% of full value) as to the price your will attract.
Second would be making sure your home is presented downsized, clean and neat with all major structural issues repaired or replaced. The furnace, roof, basement walls, electric and plumbing should all be up to date and working properly. This type of sale would produce 70%-80% of the top value you can expect.
The third way to offer your home would be to stage your property after doing all upgrades needed, such as flooring, paint, etc. A professional stager would rent furniture and put up pictures and touches that would bring you top dollar.
My point of this article is to get the right information from professionals so that your fear and anxiety level do not overtake your desire to move into the best housing option available. Procrastination is the result of fear of change and anxiety about downsizing and moving. You are not alone. Just about every person I’ve met with has expressed this same uncertainty about moving from their long-time home. However, what I hear often after the move is “I wish I had done it sooner!”