You have finally found the home of your dreams, but how much should you offer? Without a doubt this is the question I am asked most frequently when working with buyers, especially first-time home buyers. It isn’t always an easy question to answer but there are a few tips to help you make that decision:
There often comes a time when the home where we are living just isn’t working anymore. Whether it is trying to navigate stairs after a stroke, opening doors with arthritic hands, or just having a yard that is more work than you choose to manage at this time, the thought of downsizing and moving can be overwhelming. Luckily there are services today that can help with a variety of issues that will need to be addressed, from figuring out a way to stay in your home a little longer to getting help hauling off all those “treasures” that no one in the family seems to want.
How can I age in place? There are modifications that can be made to your current home to help with a variety of issues. If opening and closing doors has become difficult you may want to consider changing out standard door knobs to the lever-type. These are much easier for arthritic hands to manage and can make a world of difference in accessing all the rooms in your home. You can also hire someone to put in ramps to make navigating steps easier. If your yard is more than you can handle, consider hiring a yard service to help with the maintenance. You can even put puff paint (available at most craft stores) on the buttons on your microwave to help you distinguish the start, stop and number buttons. All of these modifications can help you stay in the home you love longer.
Where will I go? When you realize that it is time to downsize you need to sit down and assess your needs. Meeting with family, close friends or trusted professionals such as doctors, attorneys or financial planners can help with this decision. Know what your limitations are and remember to choose something that doesn’t just work today but can work into the future. This may not be your last move but some of the options are a single story smaller home, a condominium, an independent living facility or even an assisted living facility. Knowing where you plan to move to will help you know how many of your things you will need to keep.
I need to downsize, what do I do with my things? Most of us have acquired quite a few possessions throughout life, and it can be overwhelming to know what to do with everything. The first recommendation is that you “gift” away anything you can do without that you would like family or friends to have. From Grandmas’ quilt to Daddy’s coin collection, give away the things that you planned for family members to take. This makes it so you can be sure that the person you wanted to have it actually gets it. For those things you don’t choose to gift away, consider a yard sale or an estate sale.
No one seems to want my doilies and bottle cap collection. It’s true that you probably won’t get a taker for everything you want to get rid of. If you can’t give it away and you can’t sell it, consider donating it. But make sure you are donating something of value. If it really doesn’t have any value, perhaps the local landfill is the best place for it to be. Yes, it’s true that one person’s treasure is another person’s trash. Don’t’ take it personally, after all it is just “stuff”.
Downsizing will never be easy, but finding a service that can help you accomplish all of these tasks can certainly simplify it. Simple Senior Transitions can help you through this process and reduce the stress and worry.
Recently I purchased a home with the purpose of flipping it. It was a much nicer home than I usually buy, but it still needed some improvements. We touched up the paint, replaced the stove, changed
out some light fixtures and replaced some faucets and a vanity top. There were also some miscellaneous repairs that needed to be made and I replaced the front lawn with some low-water
landscaping. And then I
had someone clean it from top to bottom, including sprucing up the backyard. I thought it looked pretty good when all that was done so I took some pictures of it before I had it professionally staged. I usually stage a home myself but this one was vacant and I didn’t want to start from scratch so I hired a design firm from the Roseville area. Wow, that was perhaps the best investment I made on this project.
The home looked spacious and open before the staging, now it looks spacious and beautiful. I can’t even describe the way it feels when you walk in to a lovely living room setting, instead of the empty room that greeted you as you opened the front door. I haven’t had the home listed for even 24 hours and I have multiple offers. Our market is crazy-hot right now, but I know that professional staging works. If I wasn’t a believer before I certainly am now. And I am not alone, according to Realtors who work with buyers, a staged home generally gets higher offers than a similar non-staged home. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend thousands to have your home staged, but there are plenty of things you can do with what you have. Start by de-cluttering and de-personalizing the space. Choose paint that is in neutral tones and clean the house from top to bottom. No one wants to walk in your home, sniff, and say “they have pets”. So clean and de-clutter, get the advice of your Realtor or even an interior designer on how to rearrange your furniture, and happy selling!