My mother has begun to discuss selling her home and moving into a senior’s apartment complex. While I think this is a good idea, I think it is too soon for her to give up her home, but I do concur that now would be a good time to start planning. If we were to sell in the next year, what do you think we should be doing today?
One Step Ahead
Dear One Step Ahead,
This is a great question! Take your mother to look at a couple of housing options; there are senior apartments on Honolulu in Montrose. After she determines the size of where she might move, she can determine what she can bring with her. Likely the closet, kitchen and bathroom storage is less than what she is accustomed to.
Start decluttering: Does your mother have a collection of books? If so, thin them out; her favorite cookbooks might be special keepsakes for other family members. Look through your mother’s closet – I imagine it is packed. The longer one has lived in the home, the more unnecessary items one clings to. If your mother is not frequently cooking, perhaps you could pass along some of the unneeded items to family members. I still have my Grandmother’s rolling pin and garlic press; they are my favorite kitchen items.
Remember to donate what you aren’t passing on to friends or family and ask for a receipt for tax purposes. I suggest you go through papers and decide which should be saved and which should be shredded. Try to tackle one closet or one drawer a week. Try to focus on the positive aspects such as less responsibility, less maintenance because this “move down” can be a very difficult one for seniors.
If your mother seems receptive to these changes, you are probably ready to meet with a Realtor®. Now might be a good time for your Realtor® to provide you with a list of suggested improvements that will pay for themselves at the time of closing. Why shouldn’t your mother enjoy them another year or so?
Phyllis Harb is a Realtor with Dickson Podley Realtors. She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email AskPhyllis@Realtorharb.com.