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Downsizing and Transitioning Seniors

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty, Westport CT

Many dream downsizing our home as a well earned reward--I got to the finish line and now I can let it all go and enjoy my golden years!  Occasionally however, downsizing is met with tremendous reluctance and sadness.  This often happens to the families that face the needed transitioning of mom and/or dad to a more manageable living situations, whether it's a smaller one-level house/condo, a senior housing complex or assisted living facility. 

I have watched families struggle with making that difficult decision to sell the "family home."  Recognizing when "it's time" often comes clouded with doubt.  Recognizing these changes can help make the necessary decisions:

Is your loved one living in just a few rooms of the home?  Perhaps it's not out of choice but rather they can no longer move freely and safely in all areas of the home.  Special measures are often taken in  accident prone areas such a holding bars in bathrooms or stair chair lifts--that is not uncommon.  However, be conscience of rooms that are no longer safely accessible or looked after.  This would include basements, walk-up attics, third floor living spaces and detached garages. 

Is the home being  cared for by the owner or is it now a team effort? It is stressful for everyone involved when your loved one is depending on family members, friends and neighbors to do most of the daily/weekly chores.  It's stressful on their wallet when they hire workers to do the tasks that they used to handle themselves.

Is there deferred maintenance and neglect happening either inside or outside the home?  This may be due to the lack of funds to address the issues or the lack of time and energy by the gracious volunteers to take on the projects.  Either way, deferred maintenance has a significant impact on the sale price of a home.

Can your love-one make the best decisions for their own health and safety while being in their current home?  Excessive need for post-it note reminders throughout the house can indicate that living in the house is overwhelming. Be especially conscience of those reminders that directly impact the safety or health of your loved one such as reminders to turn off the stove, take medications, lock doors, etc.

Reaching out to physicians, friends, neighbors and caregivers can often give valuable insight.  Don't be afraid to ask questions of those surrounding folks.  Transitioning or downsizing is a difficult decision that should be made for best interest and well being of your loved one.





Posted by

Nancy Manby  203-856-7069

Serving Lower Fairfield County CT

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nancy, getting to a point in life needing to downsize is not always an easy decision, and tough to part with some treasures.  Great post.

Feb 08, 2018 11:40 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I find that it can take seniors  several month to finally get off the fence.  Most are not sure how well they will like a smaller home or and HOA

Feb 08, 2018 01:41 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Nancy those are four excellent questions, and in my opinion if the answer is yes to any of the first three questions, or NO for the last one, then it is time to sell and downsize or move to where assistance can be provided.

Feb 08, 2018 04:38 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

This is a great post to share with people trying to figure out whether they should downsize! 

May 09, 2018 05:15 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Nancy Manby good post for those who are contemplating a move to a 55+ commnity.... I've marketed many of them, and they are a wise move for most....

May 09, 2018 05:17 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

We are currently smack in the middle of downsizing! We have partially moved into our new home (movers bring the remaining furniture tomorrow) and we are closing on the previous one next week!

I didn't want to get to that point you describe. We wanted to retire and travel and have less to care for and less for our children to deal with in the future.

We cut our square footage in half....now have about 1500 sf. I LOVE it!

May 09, 2018 06:24 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Nancy- both a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Reluctance, sadness definitely need to be addressed. 

May 09, 2018 07:07 AM