Today, there are many options for senior living. However, many seniors are having a difficult time deciding when to stay or when to go. They are on the fence, frustrated, fearful, and not sure exactly whether they should stay in their current home or move into an independent or assisted senior living community, an apartment, or a condominium. Living day to day with uncertainty can take away from the freedom and independence one should enjoy in retirement years.
That is why seniors are considering a move for many reasons. Here are some of them.
Maintenance of Current Home
Responsibility of caring for a home – becoming overwhelming
Home and yard too much work (can’t find reliable or affordable handyman)
Home deterioration (can’t afford or physically maintain good condition)
Health Issues – Now and in Future
Will need medical help in the near future
Physical abilities greatly reduced – loss of eyesight, mobility issues, etc.
Beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
Home too large for current needs
Kids moved out and space no longer necessary
Spouse passed away, living alone now
Looking for companionship, daily interaction with people
Contact with people in health emergencies
Location is not close to shopping, doctors
Security (don’t feel safe in current surroundings)
Physically unable to drive
Getting too old to enjoy home as in younger years
Too expensive to stay: cost of maintenance and upkeep, rising taxes and utilities
Declining ambition – Spouse doing all the work
Need a new lifestyle
Don’t want to burden the children
Loss of family and friends
Sadly, however, too many seniors continue to stay in their homes which do not meet their physical and/or mental needs. The reasons turn out to be a number of seniors’ fears of selling
homes. Some of those fears and uncertainties that crop up include:
Fear of Change – Relocating
New setting – strange surroundings, fear of unknown
Leaving our neighborhood – Loss of neighbors/secure with current friends and neighbors
Emotional separation from home of many years
Fear of Downsizing
Packing and sorting – Where to begin?
Giving up treasured possessions
Entire process too difficult, depressing
What to do with things you won’t have room for in your new home
Physical exertion of moving
I’ll miss my home of many years
What if I cannot take my pet?
Will my new neighbors be friendly?
What if I make a mistake or bad decision?
Will my new home be too small?
Monthly costs and annual increases of new residence
Income won’t cover all costs
Loss of Independence
Lose control of my life – Will others make decisions for me?
Sharing living space with strangers
I have been a Realtor in the Phoenix area for over 10 years and I am a Senior Real Estate Specialist – that is, a specialist in helping senior citizens to make appropriate housing decisions.
And, in this capacity, I advise seniors to take a realistic look at their current environment. That is the first step. It is extremely important to be truly honest with yourself when assessing your current needs for comfort and security.
Seniors should not only look at their current situation, but try to picture the future, taking into account one’s age and needs. The goal is to avoid a crisis situation where a move is made
during a traumatic time in your life. Too many seniors wait until a change in health occurs or a loss of spouse. Decisions are then made in haste, and too often by children or relatives on behalf of the senior.
Therefore, early planning and education is the best direction to follow when preparing for a move to new housing. After you have assessed your current and immediate future needs, begin
educating yourself as to housing available. There is a great resource called PACE Senior Resources Magazine, which describes most of the senior independent and assisted living communities in the Phoenix area. There are descriptions of each facility as well as amenities offered. Visit some of the communities or apartments in the location of your choice. You will be surprised at the comfort and security you will sense at the majority of the communities you visit.
Next, have a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) visit and inform you as to the current value of your home. The Realtor will also examine the major components of your home and alert you to
obvious structural issues. The Realtor is in no way an inspector, but may advise you to obtain a report from a foundation or roof inspector to assess the condition of such areas. It is fine to sell `as is’ but it is better to address any serious issues prior to selling your home. The Senior Specialist will also give you tips on downsizing and provide names of trusted service providers you may need.
Talk with a senior planner or senior financial consultant to know how much you can afford for new housing based on the proceeds from your home as well as other assets. This will be
extremely valuable when looking at housing.
Lastly, consult with your trusted advisors. Let them know about your current housing situation, and your concerns about the future. They will be invaluable in guiding you in the right
direction. They will have your best interests at heart, and will help you to gain insights into your current situation. Remember, freedom and independence are always your top priorities as
to the environment you choose. You deserve the best life has to offer!
Rick Wandrych is prepared to help baby boomers (and their families, fudiciaries and attorneys) with whatever real estate needs they may have. Ricks is an accredited Senior Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Probate Specialist, and is proud to help seniors and their families deal with their life changing moments. In addition, Rick has partnered with Eldercare Consultant, Speaker and Educator Becky Feola who offers her expertise to help seniors successfully navigate the challenges of assisted living assessment and placement.
We work with compassion and understanding to help you sell real estate before a life transition or after a loved one passes on. Call us today at 602-359-9000 for your eldercare real estate needs.