Right-sizing your home
Courtesy Roxanne Sisneros, SRES, Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, Linn County LIVING WELL Magazine
“Taking the inner journey of downsizing gives us more room for joy, more space for new life to flow in. It opens us to receiving the gift of the present.” Author Unknown
Aging baby boomers want to feel connected. As many of you decide to downsize the size of your current home, your search begins for a new one. However, it’s more than just your living quarters that makes you want to buy.
The preconceived notion that 60+ individuals retire and move to Florida, Arizona, or a nursing home is no longer true. Things are changing for Baby Boomers; you no longer want to be in an isolated setting. Many of you are selling your homes and looking for a community connection in the location where you plan to buy your next home, maybe near your children and grandchildren.
I have been an active realtor in Iowa for 11 years and since then I have earned the SRES designation (Senior Real Estate Specialist). The SRES is awarded to realtors who learn how to assist the 60+ clients through real estate transactions and draw on the expertise of a network of senior specialists such as estate attorneys, CPAs, etc.
For the past year, I have been visiting facilities and services that cater to the 60+ adult and talking with staff to gain knowledge and information to better serve my clients. I have had the privilege to meet a network of people that genuinely care and are devoted to making each and every day a happy experience for older individuals.
The 60+ adult who is looking to downsize is looking for smaller, easy-to-maintain homes, which is very similar to the first-time homebuyer. A lot of you have homes to sell and your mortgages are paid off, making you cash buyers and a stronger buyer in the market. The 60+ buyer tends to be interested in homes that are completely renovated or upgraded.
Universal design features can make it possible for an aging homeowner to remain comfortably and safely in the home on an independent basis and for a longer time. Universal design features are items that contractors can include in a home to make living easier for aging adults such as ramps, lower shelves and hand rails, to name a few.
For those of you who are looking to market your property, there are some specific items that tend to appeal to this group such as on-site maintenance staff and alternate transportation, like a senior shuttle or bus stop nearby. The home also has to be easily locked up and left for periods of time because the Baby Boomer is adventurous and likes to have the ability to easily leave for travel.
If you’re interested in downsizing or right-sizing your home, consider contracting a specialist in transitioning. Right-sizing the home will make life easier, giving you more freedom to enjoy the things you love to do.
Roxanne Sisneros, SRES, is a lifestyle transition specialist and broker associate with Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors, 1100 Fifth St., Suite 201, Coralville, IA. Reach her at 319-573-6637, RoxanneSisneros@RuhlHomes.com, or via www.RuhlHomes/RoxanneSisneros.