Category Archives: Real Estate

The Tiny House Trend

A tiny house near a mountain lake

Is it Ideal for Seniors?

Over the last seven years, we have shared our expertise on the downsizing process with boomers and seniors through conferences, blogs and other online resources. We have offered ideas and insight on making a successful transition into a healthier and more manageable living environment, and our eight-step checklist to downsizing successfully and profitably.

When talking about downsizing, we have explored a variety of options. From condominiums and senior retirement communities, to recreational vehicles (RVs) and even boats, we have discussed the pros and cons of each.

Another downsizing option that has been trending in the United States since 1997 is known as the tiny house movement. It was made popular by Sarah Susanka with the publication of her book, The Not So Big House. As early as the 1970s, tiny house pioneers were touting the benefits of downsizing. And now, seniors and boomers are discovering the joys of tiny-house living. Continue reading


A Mobility-Friendly Home Offers Independence and Freedom

Senior enjoying her mobility-friendly home

5 Benefits of Downsizing To A Mobility-Friendly Home.

All of us are at risk of disability at some point in our lifetime, especially once we reach our golden years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five adults in America have a disability, and 13% of adults have mobility problems which make walking or climbing stairs an everyday challenge. For people with disabilities, it’s crucial to live in an environment which will encourage mobility, and downsizing to a mobility-friendly home can make a lot of difference to an older person who values his or her independence.

Why it makes sense to downsize to a mobility-friendly home

A majority of older adults are concerned about preserving their independence and freedom. A study has found that 78% of adults age 65 and older intend to age in their current residence. But staying in a condominium unit or a home with lots of stairs, narrow doorways and passageways and other hazards may present lots of dangers to retirees or seniors with mobility issues. Living in such a home can present the risk of falling, and a serious fall-related injury can lead to disability or even death. Homes that aren’t designed for aging in place can also prevent seniors from doing typical everyday activities on their own. Moreover, all the features of a mobility-friendly home will ensure that retirees get to live in utter comfort as they enjoy their golden years. Here are 5 benefits of downsizing to a mobility-friendly home. Continue reading


Relocating or Downsizing to Another State?

Relocating to a new home

Top Tips to Make Sure the Move is Stress-Free.

Downsizing for any reason can be a taxing endeavor. There are a number of steps in the process that, if not completed in the right order, can end up causing more stress than necessary. In fact, knowing which steps to take and in which order is one of the informational sessions we present at each one of our Upside of Downsizing conferences.

Sometimes downsizing involves moving, and not just from one residence to another, or from one town to another in your home state. It can involve relocating to an entirely new state, which adds another column of items to your “to do” list. Continue reading


There is No Need to Manage the Maze Alone

using a placement agency

Top Tips for using Placement Agencies.

In August 2015, we blogged about care managers and their role in assisting seniors and boomers as they navigate through the maze of downsizing options. Care managers, who also are referred to as case managers and are coordinators, are professionals who specialize in providing a number of services related to the downsizing process.

Care managers can be extremely helpful; however, their services are not free. Sometimes, Medicaid or Medicare will pay for a case manager’s services, but most often, they do not. It is more likely that the client will pay out of pocket for the services, which can range in cost. Some care managers charge a flat fee for their services, while others charge an hourly rate.

Another option for seniors and boomers who need assistance is a placement agency.

Knowing When to Downsize

Before we discuss the details of what a placement agency is and how to select a reputable one to work with, a quick refresher on knowing when to downsize is in order. Continue reading


Don’t Live out of Boxes!

Seniors unpacking after a move

Practical Tips for Unpacking Your New Space.

For the last couple of weeks, we have been discussing the best ways to pack up your belongings and get them to their new destination after making the decision to downsize. This week, we want to provide some practical tips for unpacking the moving van and organizing your new space so you aren’t living out of boxes for months.

While it is true that the decluttering and packing up of the belongings that will be making the move with you is a difficult and time-consuming process, unpacking and arranging your new space can be just as challenging without a little forethought.

Unpacking Rule #1 – Visualize and Assign a Purpose to the Space

Before moving day, visit your new home and make a list of every room and space in it. Don’t forget to include rooms like the bathroom, hallways, the basement and all storage areas (closets, pantries). After you record each space in your new home, write the purpose for each of those spaces next to it on the list. If you are moving into a studio-style apartment, this process is going to look a bit different. Instead of assigning a purpose to each room, assign a purpose to each area of the studio. Continue reading


Don’t Get Dragged Down by Moving Day!

Two movers

Top 5 Tips for Self Movers.

In our blog last week, we discussed strategies for moving day – one of the key parts of the downsizing process. When executed poorly, moving can cause unnecessary and unwanted stress for seniors and boomers.

It can be difficult enough if using professional movers and move managers to assist during this phase of downsizing; but for those who choose to be self movers, there are added challenges if a solid plan is not in place. We are not big fans of trying to move yourself for many reasons, but we do realize that for some seniors and boomers, budgetary constraints may make moving themselves necessary.

If your moving budget is limited, or you simply feel confident in your own ability to get your things moved to your new retirement destination on your own, we’ll discuss the top five ways to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Tip #1 – Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

Would you leave for a weeklong vacation in some far-off tropical paradise without planning in advance? The answer is most likely no, especially if you want to have plane tickets and hotels in which to stay when you arrive. Moving day should be no different, especially when doing the work yourself. Continue reading


Moving Day 101

Professional a moving company

Three Steps for Surviving the Moving Process.

Over the years, while interacting with attendees at our Upside of Downsizing conferences, we have been told that the process of de-cluttering and organizing a home can be the most stressful and time-consuming part of downsizing.  Sorting, donating and eliminating a lifetime worth of possessions can be overwhelming for individuals downsizing for the first time. It is why the Eight-Step Checklist we created at the Upside of Downsizing is so important to follow.

Once the de-cluttering phase is over, and individuals have placed their homes on the market and identified where they will be moving, the home stretch of downsizing is finally in sight. Moving day is next on the agenda, and we have some tips to help make moving day a success.

Step #1 – Hire a Professional

Seniors who are on a budget may be concerned that hiring professionals to help in the downsizing process will be a budget buster for them. But failing to get the help of a professional when it is warranted can end up costing downsizers a lot more money in the long run. Continue reading


Maximize Your Home-Selling Profits

Benefits of a home stager

Top Reasons to Hire a Professional Home Stager.

One of the most important steps in downsizing for seniors and boomers is the ability to sell their existing property – at the highest profit possible – to help fund their retirement years.

While most homeowners know it’s important to declutter their home and keep it clean during its time on the market, some may not realize the benefits of another home-selling strategy: home staging.

Home staging is the process of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace with the goal of making it appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. Home staging can involve everything from arranging furniture and belongings in a specific way to enhancing curb appeal to attract the attention of potential buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 49 percent of realtors surveyed said they believe home staging has a positive effect on a buyer’s view of a property. Of those Realtors® strictly representing buyers, 81 percent said home staging helped their clients to visualize the property as a future home.

There are other reasons to stage your home during the selling process. Let’s discuss a few of the highlights. Continue reading


When it Comes to Home Values, Trust and Verify

How much is your home worth written on a chalk board

Knowing how to Value Your Home is Key Step in Downsizing Process

As we have discussed in previous articles, the sale of an existing home or property often is part of the downsizing process for seniors and boomers.

There are a lot of steps involved in getting your property ready for sale, including determining its market value. While many people immediately turn to a real estate agent for assistance in this area, the Upside of Downsizing recommends a number of other ways to evaluate the worth of your home before calling in an agent to list it on the market. Continue reading


2016 Home Sales Expected to Rise

Man calculating increased value of a home

It’s common knowledge among real estate professionals that spring is the best time to buy or sell a home. For buyers, it’s the time of year when higher selling prices are the norm, allowing property owners to capitalize on their home’s overall value; for buyers, it’s the perfect time to find a great selection of homes available on the market.

The National Association of Realtors® is predicting a 3 percent increase in existing-home sales for 2016, which indicates more balance and stability than the real estate market has seen in years.

For seniors and boomers who are downsizing, selling a home is often a vital part of the process. Profits from a home sale can be used to fund retirement, whether that includes living in a small condominium or apartment, moving to a senior living community or traveling the world as a missionary for your favorite charity. Continue reading


Home Sales Hinge on Exterior Appearance

Attractive home with external appeal

One of the busiest – and best – times of the year to sell a home is during what is known as the prime real estate season, which starts in the spring and lasts through the summer months.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, just over half of all homes sold each year are sold during this peak season, which lasts roughly five months. One of the biggest contributing factors to this time of year being the prime home-selling season is because of families with children, who are searching for a home that will allow them to move in before the start of a new school year. Continue reading


Downsize While Maintaining Control

Items a property manager handle

Many seniors and boomers put off the decision to downsize because they want to keep their current home. It’s not that they’re necessarily interested in living in their current home, but do not see the benefit in selling it at the time.

Perhaps one of their children would like to live in the home, but is unable at this time to afford to pay the property taxes, utilities and maintenance fees associated with owning a home. The market also is favoring buyers instead of sellers at this time, so some home owners wish to hold onto their homes until the market is more favorable to them as sellers. Continue reading


Not all Seniors Forced to Sell

happy seniors choosing renting or home sharing

Selling a home to downsize is not always the best option for seniors and boomers.

For some, selling an existing home in order to help fund retirement is a reality. Their home may be too big and too expensive to maintain on their own. For others, the death of a spouse leaves them lonely and concerned for their safety when living alone. Seniors and boomers in those situations absolutely should consider selling and downsizing. Continue reading


Home Upgrades Guarantee a Return on Investment

home upgrades

So you’ve finally made the decision to downsize. As part of the process, you have to get your existing home ready to sell.

If you’re like most people, you’ve lived in your current home for awhile, which probably means it is in need of updating and/or repairs. But if you’re like many Boomers and seniors, your income is limited, so spending tens of thousands of dollars on repairs and upgrades is not in the budget. So how can you attract buyers and earn enough money to hopefully fund your retirement? Continue reading


Right Time to Sell

Senior couple choose to sell their home

Housing makes up roughly 30 percent of a budget for retirees, which is why many seniors and boomers choose to sell an existing property as part of the downsizing process.  By moving to a smaller home, a retirement community or a senior-housing complex, they are better able to fund their retirement without breaking the bank.

Home stagers and real estate professionals can assist seniors and boomers with the process of preparing their home for the market. But getting the house ready for prospective buyers is just the first step in the process. Knowing when to put a home on the market is a vital piece of the puzzle for seniors and boomers who wish to sell their home quickly. Continue reading