Is It Time to Downsize?

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Real Estate

I absolutely love working with Senior adults.  Call them Matures, Seniors, or Well Seasoned, they have so much we can learn from.  Before I obtained my real estate license, I was a Speech-Language Pathologist.  I'm still a Speech-Language Pathologist, and now I can add Realtor® to my credentials.  One of my big "why"s for going into Speech Pathology and Real Estate was I wanted to serve and help people.  I've served seniors by providing geriatric rehabilitation services for the past 22 years, and now I have the privilege of serving seniors through real estate transactions.  

As I visit with the family members of my clients and the clients themselves, one of the things we talk about a lot is whether or not it is time to downsize or age in place.  Within this discussion, some recurrent concerns seem to emerge:

• Cost of living in the current home (rising property taxes, upkeep, utilities)

• Cost of moving to a different level of care such as a skilled nursing facility, assisted living, independent living, or active adult community

• Loss of independence 

• Risk of isolation (feeling isolated in the current home or anticipatory fear of isolation in a new, unfamiliar residence)

• Concerns of growing distance (or lack thereof) between family members

• How to manage the need for more medical or custodial/personal care

• Fear of making a mistake or wrong decision (moving too soon or too late)

These are all legitimate concerns when someone is considering down sizing.  But there are a lot of positives too.  Eliminating property taxes, selling a home and banking or investing the equity, reducing upkeep costs, reducing utility costs, and simplifying life are all good reasons to get rid of that big house you lived in for years.  

Selling a home is also a huge emotional decision, and the biggest push back you might get could be from your own children.  If you kids were born and raised in your current home, you have so much history and emotion tied to it.  On the flip side, I have seen clients live a long productive life in their single family residence with supportive assistance.

So to answer the original question, is it time to downsize, the reality is that only you can answer that question.  However, there are professionals that can help you assess your individual situation, weigh the pros and cons, problem solve for the challenges and hurdles, and give you guidance along the way.  One great resource is a company called Room & Residence, which provides free assessments by a registered nurse to evaluate the best residential placement options for you.  Other companies like Trinity Personal Care can provide private caregivers in your home to help you with things like light housekeeping, laundry, escorts to doctor's appointments, light meal preparation, dressing, grooming, and companionship.  Additional services include arranging for transportation, helping clients with ambulation, and even providing private pay nursing and therapy to maximize independence. Physical and Occupational Therapists are experts at making home modification and equipment recommendations, so utilize those services, too.

I invite and encourage you to reach out to me or other professionals for help if you are considering downsizing or any other real estate move.  I'm here and ready to help.

All the best,