This is a guest post from blogger Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom. Elder Freedom is an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. Thank you for providing this important information for older adults.
Even under normal circumstances, downsizing your home can be a complex and stressful transition. With COVID-19 still a public health threat and seniors most at risk, downsizing in the coming weeks and months can be even more complicated. However, finding the perfect home for your golden years doesn’t have to be so challenging. You can keep yourself protected from coronavirus and undue stress by researching these downsizing essentials.
COVID-19 Rules and Precautions
If you’re like most seniors, COVID-19 is at the front of your mind even when it comes to downsizing. That’s because COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life, including purchasing property. So, if you are looking for a new home for your retirement, know that you can use 3D walkthroughs, video-conference tours, and virtual open houses to stay safe. You should also check in with your state’s current COVID-19 updates before you begin downsizing. Pay special attention to reopening plans, as this can impact your home search and move.
Housing Market Prices and Trends
Real estate in some parts of the country shuddered at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the market is picking up steam in many states. Still, you should check in with your real estate agent or check online to see what current housing trends look like in your particular area. Better yet, you can hire DW Slater Company for reliable and expert home appraisal services.
In terms of housing prices, seniors looking to downsize may be in for a bit of sticker shock when it comes to their new homes. That’s because despite being in a recession, housing prices in the US are not expected to fall as drastically as they did back in 2008. So you may end up paying quite a bit more for a smaller home than you were originally expecting.
Aging in Place Home Modifications
Your new home should be perfect for you now and in the future. So as you begin thinking about what sort of features you would like to have in your new home, also start thinking about what sort of home design features will help you age in place. Keep in mind that you can DIY many updates, but some projects will require a professional. Having your cabinets lowered, floors updated or a stairlift added are all modifications that should be completed by a pro Just be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 when scheduling projects. This can include asking contractors about their exposure to coronavirus and requesting they wear protective gear, including shoe covers and masks, while they work inside of your home.
Local Cost of Living Statistics
Comfort and stability are key to preserving your quality of life in retirement and this is why you should calculate costs of living for your desired location. Your housing expenses are bound to make up the bulk of your costs of living, but things like groceries and transportation costs should also be considered. Healthcare costs can be a major expense for seniors as well, so make sure you have the right healthcare plan and will be able to afford the care you need in retirement. Most retirees spend an average of $6,700 out of pocket each year for their healthcare costs, but this total can vary according to your insurance or Medicare coverage and your individual needs.
Downsizing and Moving Guides
Last but certainly not least, you will want to create a plan for downsizing your household. Since things are already so stressful right now, consider using a downsizing guide to help you check each essential task off of your list. For instance, this downsizing guide has some helpful tips for coping with the emotions that often come with decluttering and downsizing your personal possessions. In addition to researching tips for downsizing your home, you should also look for moving guides that include special precautions and considerations for reducing COVID-19 risks.
Downsizing can free up a lot of time, money, and stress for your retirement. So don’t let worries about coronavirus put a damper on your downsizing plans. With a few added precautions, you can keep your move safe and then you can settle into your golden years even sooner!
Author: Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom. Elder Freedom is an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. You can find more about Elder Freedom at their site: http://elderfreedom.net/
Shannon is a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser and serves as the Vice President of the DW Slater Company. She joined David at the DW Slater Company in 2006. Shannon graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a BA degree. Prior to joining the DW Slater Company, she was an Elementary School Teacher for the Pilot Point Independent School District. Shannon is an FHA Certified Appraiser. Shannon is a designated member of the National Association of Appraisers and a member of the Association of Texas Appraisers. In her free time, Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, singing in a local church choir, and tandem cycling with her husband.