Step 3: Relocating and Downsizing
By: Victoria B. Hathaway, Guest Contributor, Director of Silver Group of Bob Lucido Team of Keller Williams Integrity
Where are you going? This is one of the first questions your Agent should ask in order to understand the overview of your needs and to create your best path. Different and common scenarios include moving to a condo or one-level home, in with adult children, moving out-of-state to retirement meccas such as Florida and Arizona, and moving to local retirement communities. One of my passions is making sure that Sellers are as educated as possible about all of the choices available to them. Many people don’t know the very important differences between 55+, CCRC, Independent or Assisted Living communities and the health and financial formats for each can vary greatly. For example, some communities require health as well as financial clearances, some have buy-in fees and some do not. Some are fee-simple in ownership and some have leases, even if they appear to be similar. If you are moving to a location that has not incorporated safety features found in “universal design” construction, be sure to ask for resources for the specialty companies who install grab bars for example, as these can literally be life-savers. Sometimes in-home care is needed if your loved one has been ill and needs help in the interim before the move. I take pride in being able to share these resources as well.
Senior Living Search:
Did you know that there are specialists who can help with your research into the various kinds of senior living communities? Senior care placement professionals are expert guides to all of the various types of senior living communities. Life Care Managers are also able to help guide you to the communities that would be your best fit and are able to provide assessments for level of care, family counseling, and to be a part of the conversation between legal and financial advisors for families when a move is happening quickly or unexpectedly due to health events or the loss of a loved one. Sharing these resources with my clients is often a life-saver for families when the search feels overwhelming and an expert is needed.
Downsizing possessions is your next target. Ideally you have been chipping away at this task well ahead of time, as it can be a lot to tackle simultaneously with preparing your home for sale and for your actual move. You will want to have a grasp of the square footage and storage you’re leaving and those figures for where you’re moving to, and you’ll also want a space plan to help you decide what you will want to take and what will fit, look great and serve you in your new home. Once you know what you’re taking, decide what you’d like to offer to family and friends if treasured heirlooms or larger pieces just don’t work in the new space. Hold on to everything else in order to research and have the best outcome from a potential estate sale. The more items you have, the larger the sale, and the more likely you are to have a higher-dollar final sale, so don’t let your items be “cherry-picked” prior to having a professional consult with an estate sale expert. Then you can identify what items aren’t saleable and arrange for donation and maybe a tax benefit. Finally, you may need your home to be “cleared” of any remaining items, which can be done by friends & family or by a professional hauler.
Victoria Hathaway is the Director of Silver Group, Bob Lucido Team of Keller Williams Integrity’s unique senior division. She is a REALTOR®, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), immediate past President of the Coalition of Geriatric Services (COGS), and serves the board of the Maryland Gerontological Association and advisory boards for Johns Hopkins University’s Aging Studies and the National Association of Senior Advisors (NAOSA). To learn more about our silver group division, call 410.465.6900 or visit boblucidoteam.com/silvergroup