Purchasing a home, selling your old one, and moving can feel like a cumbersome process. As a senior, chances are you want to select a property that will support your golden years with comfort and safety. With careful planning, the whole affair can go smoothly and provide you with the perfect home for your future.
Buying the Right Home
What does your dream home look like for your senior years? Your home should provide you comfort and safety, a space you can not only enjoy but that is practical and affordable and supports your needs. Take certain factors into account when making your selection:
- Look for low maintenance. Choose products that require minimal upkeep, such as a metal roof, vinyl siding, and composite materials for decks and porches.
- Reduce steps. Stairs become increasingly difficult to navigate as we age. Bob Vila suggests reducing or eliminating steps whenever possible.
- One-floor living. Being able to do all or most of your living on one level can mean increased safety and independence as you age. Make sure your ground floor offers a bedroom, bathroom, laundry and kitchen.
- Add conveniences. Kitchen cabinets with pull out shelves and bins on rollers can be a boon as you get older, and installing your dishwasher one foot higher allows you to use it with minimal bending.
- Modify the bath. Curbless showers are much safer than step-in or tub designs. Installing grab bars and a shower seat also reduces risks, and taller, comfort-height toilets are easier on aging bodies.
- Levers. It sounds like a small thing, but some experts note that replacing standard doorknobs and faucet handles with lever designs can help as dexterity wains.
- Flooring. Installing flooring that is smooth and soft is gentler on joints and reduces the risk of tripping. Choose options such as cork, rubber or linoleum.
Selling Your Home and Moving
It’s important for potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in your home. Clear personal items and mementos so buyers can focus on the house itself. Take the opportunity to get a head start on packing and store those items you will definitely take to your new home. Items that will be rehomed, donated or thrown away should be dealt with accordingly.
As you box up items you’re keeping, note their destinations and contents as you go. Some professionals recommend making sure that you don’t mix together items from different rooms in the same box. This will help you stay more organized as you unpack in your new home.
Fix any broken items before you begin showing your home. Clean the house from top to bottom, shampoo carpeting, and give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Don’t forget to brighten the exterior of your home to welcome potential buyers. A new doormat, tidy landscaping, and a freshly painted front door make a good first impression.
Once you’re packed and your home sells you’ll be ready for the big move. Of course, moving is a challenge all its own, and you’ll want the transition to go as smoothly as possible. Packing, organizing and managing any home modifications may leave you strung out and weary. If you are becoming overwhelmed, the AARP recommends hiring a senior move manager. These professionals can assist with any or every phase of the move, start to finish, even with organization on both ends.
Home Sweet Home
Finding the right home will make all the difference as you grow older. Choose well and make modifications as needed. Present your home appropriately to buyers, and prepare for an efficient move. With these plans in place you’ll be in your dream home in no time!