How Seniors Can Look for a Smaller Home

October 11, 2018

You probably are familiar with how your decorative trinkets, pieces of furniture and other possessions seem to pile up over time.  You may also be aware that it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a large house as you get older because of decreased flexibility, lower levels of energy and compromised balance.  All of which are reasons why many seniors are choosing to downsize in retirement.  It can be difficult to go through the process of buying a house as a senior, particularly if you haven’t moved in years.  Here are some ways you can make it easier on yourself.

 

Consider the ideal location of your new home

 

There are certain things you should look for when you are initially pursuing the housing market.  First, consider the location of your home.  If you want to live near family or friends, keep that in mind as you narrow down your housing options.  Also, take note of the surrounding neighborhood - do your prospective houses have a senior center or recreation hall nearby where you can develop your social life and get some exercise?  Even in retirement, it is important for your mental health and overall sense of happiness to have an active social circle.  Similarly, how easy are the neighborhoods to navigate?  Are there sidewalks and paths for walking, or will you have to frequently cross busy roads?  While these specifications may seem more demanding than necessary, it is critical that you are able to easily get around in your new neighborhood.

 

Check for accessibility accommodations

 

Once you’ve chosen an ideal location or area for your new home, you can start looking for houses that suit your needs.  You’ll probably want to choose a house that is a single story to avoid having to go up and down flights of stairs.  Also, try to find a house that has its front door level with the yard, instead of having the entrance several steps up.  Not only will this be easier on your knees and legs on a day to day basis, but it will be much safer if it rains. 

 

Inside the house, you’ll want to make sure that you can easily get around.  This means that you should generally avoid houses with slippery flooring, sharp corners on counters, and inconvenient turning hallways.  There are a number of adjustments you can make to your home to make it more accessible, like adding railings in wide hallways or grip-able mats on slippery surfaces, but it will be much easier if you choose a house that is accessible from the start. 

 

In order to find the perfect house while getting the best possible deal, you’ll probably need to research online.  Comparing prices between similar homes is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your search.  Use online services to get details on your neighborhood. For instance, homes in Murrieta, California, have sold for an average of $420,000 in the last month. Hiring a great local Realtor who knows the area can be a tremendous help!

 

Get help on moving day

 

Finally, once you’ve found a home, it’s time to prepare to move.  You probably won’t have space for all your possessions, so go room-by-room and choose items that bring you joy or call back particular memories.  You could also give certain pieces that won’t fit in your new home to your family members, so they’ll stay in the family.  Enlist your family and friends to help you move, since packing, loading and unloading can be a massive undertaking, and quite expensive. 

 

Downsizing is the right choice if you want to save money or if you just have too much space.  When looking for a smaller house, take particular note of its location as well as what accessibility accommodations it provides.

 

Photo Credit: pexels.com

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