The prospect of selling your home and moving into a senior living community is exciting.
Yet, there’s a lot to sort out before you can move and settle into a new home.
At first, it may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, you’re about to start the next chapter of your life. You should be thrilled!
Retirement communities are a great option when you want to simplify your life. Instead of having to repair your home and tend to your lawn yourself, those things will be taken care of for you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy life!
But now that you’re ready to make a move, how do you start the process?
Here’s our seven-step guide to help you sell your home and move into an active living community.
1. Find Out Your Home’s Value
Before you put your house on the market, you have to figure out what it’s worth.
You can start researching on your own by visiting Zillow.com. Just type your address into the search bar and ta-da! The tool will give you an estimate (or Zestimate™) of your home’s value.
It’s a reliable tool, and can also show you what your neighbors’ homes are worth. When trying to price your house, this is a fantastic place for you to start.
Before making a final decision, make sure to consult with a licensed real estate agent. They may have some insider info that will help you get the best deal on your sale. After all, you’d ideally like to receive as much money as possible.
2. Present Your Home Well
When people look at your house on the internet, they should be able to envision themselves in it. If they can see themselves living in it, they’ll be much more likely to buy.
So, you need to stage it to make it more appealing.
To gear up for a successful sale, you should contact a few professionals to help freshen up your house and put it on the market.
Here are some folks you might want to call:
- Home Inspector
If you or a loved one can handle any of these tasks, great!
Maybe, for example, you have a grandchild who takes beautiful photos. If that’s the case, ask them to snap some pictures of your house for the real estate listing!
If you need a hand, however, don’t be afraid to hire a pro. Having professionals prepare your home for the market will make things a lot easier. You already have enough on your plate!
Go the extra mile to get your home in tip-top condition, and it’s bound to pay off (literally!).
Plus, your efforts will make your home look warm and inviting. That’s exactly what potential buyers are looking for when investing in a property.
3. Find the Right Retirement Community
Once you settle on a sale price, you can start to look at retirement communities. Use the price to determine what you can afford to spend on retirement living.
Also, think about where you want to live and which amenities are most important to you.
Do you want to spend your retirement years in a warm climate, or would you rather be in the mountains?
Would you like your active living community to have a 24-7 fitness center, or are you okay traveling to the gym?
These are the types of questions you should ask yourself when making a decision.
If you are having a tough time pinpointing your needs, consider talking to a senior living referral agent. They’ll be able to answer any questions you have and help you through the transition.
4. Consider Your Future Needs
Finding an active living community just about satisfying your current needs — it’s also about finding a place that can meet your long-term needs.
So, you should look for communities that will be able to take care of you today and in the future.
For example, if you think you’ll need assisted living in the next few years, look for a community that provides that type of care.
Here are a few other questions to ask yourself:
- Is there 24-7 staffing to ensure my safety?
- Is there an emergency care unit in case I need it?
- Will I be happy in a one-bedroom apartment, or would a two-bedroom better suit my needs?
Again, don’t just consider what you want today. Ask yourself how your needs might change over time, and choose a community that can meet those needs.
5. Downsize Accordingly
Unfortunately, downsizing takes a lot of time, but you can handle it.
If you already know where you’re going to move, consider this an advantage. Now you know how much space you have! Look at the layout of your new apartment, and decide how much stuff you can bring with you.
Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of possessions you no longer need. Take advantage of that!
When downsizing, categorize your belongings based on the rooms you have. Bring things for your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. Try not to bring too much, or else you might end up with a cluttered apartment!
If you have any furniture or personal belongings that you don’t need, you can either donate them or keep in a storage unit.
Or, better yet — hand them down to a friend or family member who can use them. Your granddaughter might love some of those old vinyl records from your collection!
Moving into an active living center should be light-hearted and enjoyable. These steps can help you keep the process simple.
Be proud of yourself for setting out to get a reasonable price for your home. You should also feel proud knowing you downsized to the best of your ability.
As you get older, you won’t want to deal with having a bunch of extra belongings. So, do your best to declutter now so you won’t have to worry about it later on.
Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying a wonderful new life in your charming active living community!
Leon Grundstein has nearly 30 years of experience in real estate development and over two decades of experience in the retirement industry. He founded GenCare Lifestyle with a game-changing business model to promote a healthy and robust retirement lifestyle for older adults.