Finding the right home can be the key to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life as you grow older, and for most seniors, that includes downsizing to a more manageable property. It’s also a chance to rethink your lifestyle. Here is essential advice for making the transition in a way that encourages a great quality of life throughout your golden years.  


The Wisdom of Downsizing


Downsizing is a popular movement for many important reasons, and for seniors, it can make especially good sense. Having a home that is more than you need, or more than you want to tend, can be a drain on your money and energy. As HomeAdvisor explains, “Having fewer financial- and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home,” making downsizing ideal for your golden years. Weigh what your priorities are for your future. Are you ready to spend more time with your grandchildren? Do the golf links call your name? Would you like to be within walking distance of parks, groceries, public transportation, or the farmers market? Now is your chance to reframe your life in a manner that will be satisfying, safe, and fun.


Cutting Clutter


Moving into a smaller home means you will have less space for belongings. Paring down tends to be a time-consuming task, so the sooner you start, the better. Go through your home, area by area, and declutter. Try starting with items you have duplicates of, and keep your favorites or the newest of those particular items. Sort everything into piles of things that you intend to keep, those you will sell or rehome, and items better off recycled or discarded. You can even take the opportunity to start packing the keepers.


Do Some Pruning


Editing furniture can be especially challenging, particularly if you have large, overstuffed selections to contend with, or you aren’t sure what will fit in the new place. Once you decide on a property, one idea is to take measurements of the rooms and make some sketches of how you can lay out the pieces. Move things around so you can find solutions, and bear in mind that you can always sell things that won’t work and use the funds toward new furniture.   


Future-Focused


Selecting the right property for your golden years can be a challenge, and most seniors want to remain in their homes as they grow older. With that in mind, it’s smart to search for an abode that is conducive to aging in place. A one-story home is ideal. If you don’t want to mess with a lot of modifications, you should search for a house that offers at least one stairless entryway. Ample windows provide good light, an open floor plan eases navigation, and wide hallways and doorways are also ideal in the event you need an assistive device. Some desirable features are simple modifications, such as lever-style handles on doors and faucets, as well as grab bars in bathrooms. As you evaluate properties, you can use a printable aging-in-place design checklist to help you determine how well a home will suit your needs.  


Packing and Moving


Boxing up all your belongings and getting them loaded, unloaded, and unpacked is a major undertaking. To streamline your efforts, the Frugal Girls suggests assembling boxes in uniform sizes so they are easier to stack and maneuver. However, be sure not to pack heavy items in large boxes, and save those for bulky but lightweight items, such as bed linens. Think creatively and make use of empty spaces, such as packing your herbs and spices inside of cookery. One recommendation is to hire some help. This could be a professional moving company, though many seniors opt to employ a senior move manager. It alleviates a lot of headaches since they can organize as much or as little of the move as you want.  


Finding the perfect place for your golden years is a challenge, but the transition is a healthy choice. Look for a property that will be enjoyable and supportive as you grow older. With smart decision-making, you can find a place that helps you thrive in your golden years.  

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The kids have been back in school for awhile, the leaves are turning and a chill is in the air. If you’re like most homeowners, fall also means an opportunity to spruce up your yard and cut down on the work you’ll need to do when the weather turns warm again. A little bit of work in the fall will really pay off with spring rounds around. 

  • RAKE THOSE LEAVES - Once the snow flies, an unraked layer of leaves can get matted down over the turf and smother it all winter long. Raking or using a mulching mover in the fall helps avoid dead patches in the spring. But in the garden, don’t worry about getting every last leaf as they help insulate plants, and as they decompose, they provide valuable nutrients. 
  • MOW A FINAL TIME - Trim turf down to 11/4” for the last cut of the season. Disease has a harder time with shorter grass, and fallen leaves blow across the lawn because they have nothing to latch on to. Don’t go too low though. 
  • FEED THE GRASS - Fertilizing in the fall is like a day at the spa for your lawn. Using a slow-release fertilizer allow the grass to soak up nutrients and, just as important, spend the cool days and nights of autumn recovering from summer heat and stress. And building a healthy rejuvenated lawn is one of the best ways to protect against heat, cold, drought, insects and other stresses. 
  • AERATE THE LAWN - If rainfall pools on the grass, it’s time to aerate compressed soil so water and nutrients can reach the roots. A garden fork can do the job on a small yard, or a power aerator for larger areas.
  • WEED ALL ABOUT IT - Weeding in the fall is probably the most valuable thing you can do to prepare for spring, and it’s one many people overlook. 
  • CLEAN OUT YOUR GARDEN - Fruits and vegetables left in the garden can rot all winter long, and provide a comfy home for insect eggs so be sure to clear them out. Now is the time to get rid of diseased plants too, but keep them out of the compost pile so the problems do not spread. 
  • TRIM DEAD LIMBS - Lifeless branches can succumb to winter snow and winds, endangering you and your home. You can take care of the small trees by cutting cracked, loose and diseased limbs close to (but not flush) the trunk. Leave the wounds exposed to heal. Call in the pros for bigger jobs. 
  • GIVE YOUR TOOLS A TUNE-UP - Wipe down your tools and remove any dirt and debris on your tools before putting them away for the winter. You can even apply a light layer of oil to keep them all from rusting. 

 

 

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Say you’re a homeowner wanting to sell your two-storey, detached home. You sit down and make a list of things that need to get done to make your property as attractive as possible to buyers.

 

You consider the backyard. “Hmm,” you think. “Doesn’t our deck need a new finish and our flowerbed need new edging stones?”

 

Then you think about the living room. “The carpeting is old. We really should replace it."

 

Then you step into the kitchen and think, “Our kitchen cabinets look worn. We should get a contractor to quote on replacing them. Maybe we should install a brand new shiny sink and faucet too. That should increase the resale value of our home, shouldn’t it?”

 

Before you know it, you have a long list of updates, repairs and renovations that you think should be done before listing and you haven’t even reached the second floor!

 

It’s easy to get carried away with a list of repairs and upgrades that need to be done to prepare your home for the market. But, you don't want to end up spending more money than you’ll ever get back from the eventual sale. So, how do you determine what improvements you should be making in order to get your property ready to be listed?

That’s easy. Talk to a good REALTOR®.

 

I can inspect your property and advise you of the repairs and upgrades you need to make. I know what buyers are looking for, and will also have a good idea of the return on investment you can expect from a particular improvement.

I would also be able to recommend reputable trades people and other professionals to assist you in making those improvements.

 

So go ahead and make that long list. Then, let's review it, so you can make an informed decision on how to get your property ready for sale.

 

Contact Bruce today. 

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Bruce Fournier: Chilliwack Realtor
Office: (604) 819-0120
Toll Free: (800) 830-7175
Bruce's Cell: (604) 819-0120
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Bruce Fournier & Associates are RE/MAX realtors located in beautiful Chilliwack, BC. We serve all parts of Chilliwack and the surrounding areas including Agassiz, Promontory, Sardis, Greendale, Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs, Rosedale, Yarrow and Ryder Lake.