Updated: May 7, 2020
Seniors have special considerations when it comes to housing. It’s vital to choose a real estate agent who listens to your needs and has the experience to help make your move a success.
Seniors may need to deal with any of the following:
Recent (or not-so-recent) retirement
Recent loss of a spouse
Need or desire to downsize
Moving closer to children or grandchildren
Living on a fixed income, such as Social Security or a 401K, leaves many at risk in a volatile housing market. Many seniors need financial stability in order to plan out their retirement. Ask your accountant about the benefits and drawbacks of renting versus buying to help decide which path is best for you at this point.
Retirement brings new opportunities. Do you want to spend your free time traveling? Volunteering? Gardening? How can you make a housing choice that meets your needs in this new chapter in your life? Thinking about how you want to spend your time can help guide your housing decisions.
Health challenges can be exacerbated by a difficult home situation. If you’ve lived in the same home for decades, your narrow or steep stairs may no longer be practical. Perhaps you don’t have a bathroom on the first floor, or room for a hospital bed for your spouse. The railing on the front steps may be rusting away. Would it be better to modify your existing home to suit your needs, or to sell the home and purchase an updated condo? If you’re thinking about these issues, read this Angie’s List article to get you started.
Losing a spouse causes tremendous heartache and stress. If this loss means you need to sell your home, you need additional support. Countless decisions need to be made; decisions that will affect you financially and emotionally. If you’re in this situation, you will need to deal with sorting through your spouse’s belongings. We recommend calling a personal organizer to help you. Some organizers specialize in helping seniors, such as this one; or, they have decades of experience that can be incredibly helpful.
Downsizing means just that: selling your larger home and buying or renting something smaller. Many seniors find this move to be freeing and helpful—at least, afterwards! The process of getting rid of even a third of your material possessions can feel daunting. An agent who listens and understands this process can make all the difference. Again, we may recommend using a professional organizer to help you push through some of those tough decisions and start simplifying your life. Here’s another organizer we trust. When you’re settled in your smaller, more convenient and accessible new home, you’ll be thankful you did that hard work!