This week we welcome Jim Vogel, co-founder of ElderAction, is passionate about promoting senior health and safety. He focuses on helping ensure seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years by sharing pertinent resources and information.
If you’re a senior who has recently decided to buy a house in Chicago, you might be thinking about how to downsize or how to find a home that will be more accommodating during your golden years. Depending on where in the city you’re looking to relocate, it may be difficult to find something that has everything you’re looking for, so it’s important to have a good plan in mind before you make any decisions.
Though it’s a big city–the third largest in the U.S., in fact!–decently-priced homes can still be found in Chicago’s best neighborhoods. It also has a ton of great parks and communities full of people who look out for one another, which makes it a wonderful choice for those looking for a place to spend their golden years. Here are some of the best tips on moving to the Chicago area:
- SET SOME GOALS
One of the most important things you can do when looking for a home is to figure out what you want from it. If your current home has stairs that will become hard to traverse every day, or a lawn that’s too much to take care of, put those on the list of things you don’t want. Think about your health and the wellbeing of your spouse or other loved ones; will it be affected by the layout of the new home? If so, it will be important to focus on that first.
- DO SOME RESEARCH
You’ll want to do some research on the homes that fit your needs to find out what the price ranges are, how well-kept they are, and whether the neighborhood is right for you. If you don’t live in the area, there are plenty of online forums that can help you narrow down your search, but it’s always best to take a visit and explore in person, in part because it will allow you to see for yourself what amenities the home has and what types of repairs may need to be done.
It’s also important to look into any state laws regarding home ownership and how the transfer of deeds is handled. Different states have their own laws where this is concerned and it will be extremely helpful to be well informed on them.
- SET A BUDGET
Many seniors live on a limited income, which can make it difficult to secure financing for a home. But there are some options:
- Option 1: You can sell your current home and use the profits as a nice down payment, living in a rental during the time between the sales
- Option 2: You can ask a family member to cosign on a loan
- Option 3: You can borrow the money from a friend or loved one or ask an adult child to put the home in their name.
Keep in mind that Chicago offers many different homes for many different budgets, and it’s also relatively walkable with the “L” train system making public transportation an efficient way to get around and plenty of businesses and stores within most neighborhoods.
- FIND THE RIGHT MOVERS
It’s important to find the right people to help you move when the big day comes, especially if you have special needs, such as a company that can handle extra large furniture. Do some research to find the best movers for the job. Keep in mind, too, that now is a good time to downsize. While you’re packing up, consider whether some items could be sold, donated, or sent to storage. Keeping your new home organized and free of clutter will make it more livable and easier to navigate.
Remember that buying a home is a big decision, and you should never feel pressured to enter into a deal that you don’t feel comfortable with. Talk to your family before making any major decisions and make sure you’re completely happy with the final outcome; after all, you’ve earned it!
For more information regarding ElderAction.org, visit their website HERE.