7 Things to Consider, before you make that critical move....scroll down...
Moving as a retiree or Senior is a new beginning for most. As young buyers of a home, we had 3 primary concerns, How much can I afford? Where I can live in relation to my work? and how much house do I NEED? As we moved up it was similar we had to consider our work, we purchased as much as we could for what we could afford, and what was the best neighbourhood (schools) for our family. BUT Alas this has changed dramatically. So we have devised a 7 Step guide for a successful move.
Where to start
One of the concepts that we have heard so very often, "Aging in Place" is a catch phrase that we like to put a spin on we like our friends to "THRIVE" and if you choose to stay in the home you have been in for many years, we have 2 requests, do it safely and stay as healthy and active as possible.
BUT first things first,
START with that sometimes difficult but necessary "Serious Conversation"
1: How is my health? really/ and what is my family health history? we are not wanting to be negative but it does affect our ability to live in a particular home style and community. Family history CAN illuminate our future.
2:What are my real financial abilities? Here is where I find some folks simply underestimating their abilities. Use the services of a trustworthy financial advisor. Many products that are great as we grow are not the right product for retirement.
3: What is most important to me?- proximity to family? travel? recreational activates? community family? church? taking out equity? my experience has shown me that each of us has different priorities and sometimes they can change even as we go through retirement. To Thrive we must accomplish objectives.
4: What would I gain if I move to a (say a Condo?) or (say a residence?) and what would that do for me? and what might that be like?
you will have friends who have moved and have an opinion just remember that is their opinion and this is YOUR life. If you have a spouse or partner, talk about your real feelings. Learn about all the different choices of ownership and levels of services in and around the home. We do seminars on housing options looking at freehold, condo, lease land, life lease communities as well as active and assisted living properties.
5: DO not move too fast! BUT, We do want you to be proactive, it is much easier to make these moves, have these conversations and move at your choice not uncontrollable circumstances or a crisis!
6:Talk with professionals who specialize in working with seniors, it can prevent misunderstandings for example, I have spoken to families who thought if they had mom or dad in a condo, there would be lots of people around to socialize, and this is NOT necessarily true. If dad has a tendency to stay to himself, he will simply be in an apartment alone. Understand the truth in ownership, there is NO such thing as an adult only community!! Talk to us for an explanation, Sales staff of new home sites working for the builder directly have no regulators to insure you are protected, they will use words that may suggest but not confirm certain facts.
7:If you choose to stay in your current home we can provide assistance in making your home safe with a review of the safety features that could be installed or implemented. We can recommend services that will make your life simpler and safer inside and outside your home.
PLEASE call or email me if you have ANY questions about this information...….I am here to help!!
The time line
The timeline depends very much on your current stage, we have folks who plan 5 years before reirement and we have folks who wait till the last moment. I think I can relate to the later best, I think there are more of us who procrastinate then plan way in advance. having said that unless YOU are ready and your home is ready, a move should not be rushed. It is a recepe for disapointment and financial shortcomings
Typically we would suggest at least 6 months to 1 year to put a plan into action, we really think one needs a couple of months to prepare themselves and their home for sale. However if you find yourself in a circumstance that demands immediate action contact us. We can usually bring in our team and have a home ready in 2 weeks, without jeopardising quality or return.
Development of the team
Having the right team often starts with the right lead. A team will depend on you and your families ability and desire. We believe that professionals that should be involved for certain a qualified REALTOR® downsizer and staging professional, photographer and media production,(great pictures and video tour) Lawyer, possibly a financial planner and accountant. Find your lead with good referrals, ask questions, speak to them, ask for references, and make sure it feels good.
TIP: Real Estate Agents have 2 opportunities for knowledge building courses to help them help Seniors, ASA Accredited Senior Agent, a course based on an American designation that has been written by a REALTOR for Realtors, and trains the realtor to think more about the interests of Seniors and give some guidance on their decision making triggers. Canadian Realtors have access to both courses.
A very very small number of Realtors have a more general designation the CPCA (Certified Professional Consultant on Aging) which is an in-depth look at the seniors on subjects from health, (eyesight to dementia) Financial issues, social, spiritual influences, and wellness. WE ae proud to be one of he 1/2 dozen Agents in Canada who carry this designation as well as being designated as an Age Friendly Business.
Tricks to research
I'm pleased to say that over the past 5-6 years we have been working to Learn more about what works for our senior clients. Very proud of the fact we (my wife Liz and I) have been part of the Flower City Seniors Community We have also operated a non profit organization "Making Our Seniors Matter" and from those activates we have insights that is for, from and about seniors.
Find a place that provides free seminars for seniors on lifestyles, this is not just information but you might find folks with similar objectives and comparing notes can be very helpful
If you are looking in a new community , visit the local museum, because they are explaining the history of the community they also have great insight into what direction the community is heading.
Look for a local seniors community centre and visit, All seniors centres are happy to show you around and you can talk to local seniors and you know that they will be more then happy to tell you all they know to help
A local community centre will likely have all the information on local clubs, service groups and activates within the communities.
Talk to the neighbors of the house you are looking to buy, neighbors can be painfully honest.
The internet is full of helpful information on all communities in Canada.
Please feel free to go through the varies pages of our website and your feedback is always welcome..