I was honoured to be asked to write an article for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News recently. This piece was featured in a special section forcussing on senior's in our community. I have met many seniors who readily admit that it is time to downsize, however they are too worried about where they would go to and shared my thoughts on how to overcome this road block.
Making the decision to move can be very stressful, especially if you have lived in your current residence for many years. One thing to think about before making this decision is whether or not you have a clear idea of where you plan to move to and what the process will look like.
Whether or not you are purchasing again or moving into a senior’s residence, speaking to your bank, mortgage broker, and/or financial planner is a good first step. He or she will be able to tell you what price range you are able to go to and whether or not you have to sell your current home before moving forward. Once you know these things, speaking to your real estate agent would be a good step two. Together you can discuss what is available in your price range, what your current home may be worth, and if there are any things that you may want to do before listing your home. If you are moving into a senior’s residence, visiting the various facilities to learn about their prices and options is also suggested.
The ability to purchase or choose your next step without selling first has its advantages and disadvantages. While it is great that you are able to take your time looking and be firm on your criteria, this process can become very time consuming and disappointing if the perfect choice doesn’t seem to exist. The older we get, the more criteria we seem to accumulate. This comes from living in different homes and learning what we like and don’t like. Best advice I can give is to remember that no home is perfect and that you will very likely learn to love what you choose despite this fact.
If you have to sell your home first before looking, you will most likely be under a pre-determined timeline, and while this can be worrisome, it also forces you to focus on the task at hand and provides more motivation to make a choice. Another advantage to selling first is that you will know how much money your house has sold for and so have a clearer idea of where your finances sit.
Touching on criteria, an important thing to remember is that parts of a home or property that may not seem to fit, can often be changed. It’s amazing how a bit of professional landscaping can create a private oasis in your backyard, or how a small amount of updating can freshen up an older home. We are seeing stair lifts and even elevators be added to homes to make them more accessible. Working these items into your budget may open up the options of what you can look at.
Staying in a home that is not working for you simply for fear of where you will go is quite common, but not necessary. Getting the conversation going with your chosen professionals will help you feel more comfortable with the process and get you moving forward.