Helpful hints for downsizing

COMMENTARY /// Real estate for seniors
Linda Colvin and Nanci Insul

Linda Colvin and Nanci Insul

Are you thinking of selling your home to move into a senior supportive community? Perhaps you are considering moving in with an adult child who can help you with your needs as you grow older.

Many seniors would prefer to continue living in their own home, but sometimes circumstances work against those preferences. Home maintenance can become a burden. A major life event can force you to consider a move. An aging parent wants to move closer to adult children.

Financial concerns may make it difficult to keep the house, or support services are needed that are not available at home.

Whatever the reason, there may come a time when parents, along with their adult children, consider selling and moving on. Complex issues and unique situations may be encountered during this process.

Some essential steps to expect during this time include pricing considerations, decluttering, downsizing, repair or maintenance issues, staging the home for sale, showing the home, negotiating the sale, packing and moving.

Selling a senior’s home can be much more complicated due to the number of issues and decisions and, sometimes, the number of people involved. Though seniors usually make the decision to sell for themselves, it is common for adult children to help them sort through the issues.

Things to consider: Is moving the best alternative? If so, where? Have other options been explored? Are close family members on board with a decision to sell?

What is the best way to downsize a lifetime’s worth of possessions and family heirlooms? What are the tax-related implications of a sale? What effect might a sale have on future income?

Moving from the family home can be overwhelming, especially for those facing a lifetime of possessions and making choices about what to bring and what to let go. These decisions can be paralyzing because each possession often triggers a walk down memory lane.

Family members can help a parent sort through possessions, pack and move. However, sometimes hiring a third party is the best thing to do. Senior moving managers are a new type of service provider helping attend to the needs of seniors who must downsize when moving.

Families facing the task of packing and moving on their own should think about starting the process well in advance. Set small, achievable daily goals. Establish plans for tackling different rooms. Remember that packing can be emotionally taxing on everyone, so consider ways to make it more enjoyable.

Linda Colvin and Nanci Insul are seniors real estate specialists, qualified to assist seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.

They help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of a home. They will be able to refer families to many senior resource specialists in their area.

For more information, call (805) 338-4041, email Realtors- 4Seniors@gmail.com or go to Facebook at Realtors Serving Seniors.

Colvin and Insul are Realtors at Dilbeck Real Estate in Westlake Village.