Downsizing means eliminating and simplifying so the sooner you begin sorting and whittling the better. Here are a few tips to make the process easier.
1. Ask yourself: Does this possession serve a useful purpose or are you keeping it because of an emotional attachment? If the item is useful and has an emotional attachment then keep it but the key is that it must be useful.
2. How long has it been since you used the item? You would be surprised at how many items you find you forgot you even had. Do you really need them anymore?
3. When sorting your items, go to each room with three boxes. If the items are in good condition but you don't use them, put them in a "give away or sell" box. Place unusable items in a "throw away box". Place items you want to keep in a "save" box.
4. Respect your significant other. They might have an emotional attachment to an item that you don't understand. Give them time to process their feelings about the item. They may decide to keep the item and likewise, you may keep something they don't understand. You don't need to get rid of every single item you have an emotional attachment to but remember, the item itself is just an object.
5. When you can't agree on whether to give something away or keep it, keep it and discuss it again after you have settled into your new home.
6. What to do with your grown kids belongings: Ask the kids to come and sort through their personal items and toss out anything they don't want. If they are unable to come and sort out their things, ask them for permission to do it for them. You may have to ship some items to them or ask them to rent a storage facility to store their items but make it clear you can no longer store these things for them. You may be surprised at how much they don't want to keep! It was convenient for them for you to store their things, and the clutter was not in their way. Chances are good they would have let you store it for the rest of your life.
Downsizing can be painful but remember, you will always have the memories just not the clutter. Also, remember that keeping something because you may need it someday defeats the whole concept of downsizing.
Once you have downsized, you will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Less clutter has a wonderful freeing affect.
There is a great article in Sunday January 11, 2009 Oregonian by Connie Potter that talks about USDA and Rural Housing Direct Loans. Both programs are offered by the USDA and are geared toward helping people into home ownership in rural areas of Oregon. Your clients do not need to have money for a down payment. Here are some key points of the article:
USDA's Guaranteed Rural Home Loans are meant for "middle America" The loans originate with an approved lender but have a loan guarantee from USDA that protects the lender from the risk of loan loss. Borrowers don't have to have a perfect credit score to qualify. There are limits on household income. A family of five can make up to $84,300.00. Loans are available for new or existing homes, town homes and condos. New manufactured homes are eligible if they are purchased through an approved under certain rules.
Closing costs and necessary repairs can be financed into the loan, up to 100 percent of appraised value.
Rural Housing Direct Loans are available for low and very low income households. There are specific limits and a maximum loan amount for different areas.
With direct loans the mortgage payments are subsidized based on the household's adjusted income. Borrowers are required to repay all or a portion of the payment subsidy received when the home is sold. In order to qualify for this type of loan, the family must be without adequate housing but must be able to afford the mortgage payments including taxes and insurance. The USDA and Rural Housing Direct Loans do not require a down payment. FHA loans require a 3% down payment.
For more information, contact Rachel Reister, USDA Rual Development, 1201 N.E. Lloyd Blvd. Ste. 801 Portland, OR. or call 1-866-923-5626 Ext.1 or see on line at: www.rurdev.usda.gov
There is also a property eligibility calculator at: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeaction.do where buyer's can check the eligibility of properties.
Also contact Naida Paris, Senior Loan Officer of Valley Mortgage at email@example.com 503-537-0132. or at her office located at 2505 Portland Rd. Newberg, Oregon 97132