Seniors Should Consider These Essential Factors Before Downsizing

October 30, 2019
Last updated:
March 23, 2022
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Do you want to have a simpler life during your golden years? Have you ever looked around you and thought that your home was too big for the number of people in it? Has the thought crossed your mind that it would be nice not to have so much maintenance, upkeep, and cleaning? Have you wanted to have some extra money in the bank?

If so, it may be time to consider downsizing. Here are some things to take into account before you make the change.

Plan Ahead

If you have determined it’s time to downsize, you don’t have to go it alone. Enlist the help of a realtor who is knowledgeable about your area and can assist you in locating the dream home that meets your needs. Since the goal is to simplify your life, consider locations in relation to hospitals, grocery stores, and other essential locations that you frequent.

When purchasing a new home, you first need to figure out what you can afford (homes in Bellevue have been selling for $1,446,106 on average, as of March 2022). Then, you’ll have to shop around for a mortgage and research which types of loans you may qualify for. If you’re a veteran with at least 181 days of service, you may be eligible for a VA loan. VA loans offer more favorable terms, such as no down payment and lower interest rates.

If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, there are additional considerations to factor into your moving plan. Changing routines and environments can be particularly stressful for people with Alzheimer’s, so it is essential to plan ahead.

For instance, in order to get them used to the new home, it can help to visit the area multiple times before the move. It can also help to arrange to have your loved one’s new surroundings be as similar as possible upon moving in.

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Lighten Your Load

Like most people, you have likely collected a fair amount of belongings over the years, ranging from keepsakes to junk. If you choose to downsize, it’s time to lighten your load. Downsizing will mean less space to clean but also less space to store all the stuff you have accumulated.

Your first task should be deciding what to keep, what to toss, and what to give away. If you have not used an item within the last six months to a year — and it is not a family heirloom or of high significance to you — then you should consider whether it’s time to donate it.

If you decide that the item is not fit for donation, then, if possible, recycle it. Many nonprofit organizations who resell used items — or provide them to people free of charge — will pick up larger donations from your home, which makes giving easy.

Make Moving Easy

Inevitably, “moving” is synonymous with “work.” Don’t take on too much in any one day. Develop a plan, moving from one area of the house to the next, and work during certain times of the day to determine which of your belongings you want to take and which will be left behind.

If you choose to do some of the packing by yourself, break the packing into smaller jobs, mix heavy items in with light items, and keep in mind the box weight before lifting. To help prevent injury, avoid hunched-over positions, use proper lifting techniques (don’t lift with your back), make sure pathways are clear, and use helpful items such as a dolly or a cart.

Once you have decided what you’re taking, you should utilize the services of a packing company to help with the heavy lifting, wrap breakables in bubble wrap and/or paper, and fill up boxes (expect to pay $35 – $40 an hour per packer).

Typically the best times to move are mid-September through April, during the middle of the month, on weekdays, and during the morning. Once you decide on a time to move, hire the best team for you. Aside from forgoing the back and knee pain that moving can cause, hiring movers will also help you avoid some of the sad feelings that may arise in departing a home you love.

Downsizing is the right step to take for many seniors, and making preparations will help your experience be less stressful. Remember to plan ahead regarding your new home and location, to be thorough when downsizing your belongings, and to be smart about the actual moving process. Whatever your reasons may be, downsizing can be a great way for you to thrive in your golden years.

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Reach Out to Sammamish Mortgage

If you’d like to learn more about the home buying process, mortgage rates, loan programs or other related topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Sammamish Mortgage today! We are a family-owned mortgage company with plenty of experience offering mortgage programs to customers in the Pacific Northwest at competitive interest rates since 1992. States include WA, OR, CO & ID. Contact us to learn more, you can also View Rates, get a Rate Quote, or Apply Now using our new online automated mortgage application system!

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