Are you thinking about downsizing? There are a variety of reasons you may want to simplify and move to a smaller, more manageable home. Despite having wonderful memories in your current home, now may be the time to make new ones in a new space. However, before you decide, it’s important to have a plan in place. Here are 9 things to consider when thinking about downsizing, both in general and specific to West Virginia.
9 Things to Consider When Downsizing in or to West Virginia
- Why are you considering downsizing? Does your current home feel too big or too empty? Is it straining your finances? Do you want to distance yourself from bad memories? Does it feel too far away from family? When considering this change, be sure to have a professional realtor who can guide you and take some of the emotion out of it so that you stay on track with your financial goals. It’s best to take your time to find the best solution and research based on these tips and questions to ask yourself.
- Special needs for your physical or mental health. You may have a desire to spread out and buy land with some space: acreage, off-the-beaten-path. While it sounds lovely, it’s not for everyone. It can be far from relaxing when you have to seriously consider every trip to the store to make sure you don’t forget anything and have to go back if that drive is an hour both ways. Also, do you rely on neighbors from time to time or hope someone would be willing to check in on you? What about doctors, hospitals, mental therapy, support groups, church, clubs? Those are all part of your mental well-being. How far do you want to be from them? Are you OK starting from scratch to build these, or do you need to stay near all of your existing doctors and groups? This will affect the distance of your move greatly.
- Do you have new or upcoming health concerns? This would include mobility, extra equipment required in your home, vision issues. This will greatly affect the layout of your home. You may need to only consider homes with a single level. Perhaps you need to have an attached garage to make it easy to get to your car in any weather. What about ventilation, air filtration? Flooring – will a stone floor be too slippery? Will carpet cause respiratory issues or aggravate them? How about that little step out the back door to the patio or yard? Does it all need to be level or ramped? Are the showers, doorways, and halls friendly for wheelchairs if you need them? In West Virginia, swamp coolers are common. If you need more filtered air than that, be ready to add it yourself. Older homes have older foundations, walls and other features prone to moisture.
- Pets – assuming you are bringing them or will you add one in your new home? Is it an area prone to ticks, animal attacks? Do your cats need to plan on becoming indoor cats only? Will you be able to walk your dog on short notice, or do you have to make a big effort?
- Who will help you with this move? Can you count on your kids to help you pack? They may not be super helpful if they are bringing a lot of emotion to your decision. You need to be prepared to do this on your own. Set aside money to hire movers. There is an age we get to when it’s no longer a fun day helping your pals and laughing over pizza and beer after. When we’re ready to downsize, we know the value of a professional mover. We can’t stress enough to thoroughly check references, reviews, call past clients, talk to people who have moved in recently. Your local realtor may be able to point you to a few. It can go seriously wrong. Don’t let your story be the one shared by well-meaning friends grateful it didn’t happen to them.
- Perhaps people will visit you here, including your family. Where will they stay? Is there enough parking? Do you have enough beds for them or are you relying on air mattresses and your RV stored on-premise? That could be handy, but make sure they know ahead of time.
- Transportation needs. Do you have reliable transportation or are you dependent on public transit, buses and the like? You’ll want to be able to easily get where you need when you need – day, night, weekends, good and bad weather. Do you have a lot of cars in various conditions to store? It may be time to thin those out, too. Do you need easy access to an airport for business travel or family emergencies? If you have that need more than a few times a year, you’ll want to carefully consider the proximity.
- Check the reviews for the common business services you’ll need. When you move to a new area that means new grocery stores, mechanics, HVAC servicer, gardeners, hardware stores, hair salons, dentists, doctors, restaurants and more. If you are considering an older home, you’ll really want your on-call repair team vetted. Stop by some of the businesses when you are there exploring. Meet the owners. They may have additional insights into common problems to the specific area that you can avoid armed with this knowledge.
- Local rules, local laws. What are the quirky laws unique to the area you are considering? City/County laws do vary and if you are moving to another state, really be aware. It’s on you to know the laws of the land. This includes CCRs – those associations that we love and hate. Are there visitor and additional car limits? Quiet hours? If you want to make changes to your new home, how difficult is it to get it approved? What’s the permit process? While you’re at it, check the crime rate in the area. Bars on the windows and doors aren’t a local custom or decorating style, really.
Are you considering downsizing in West Virginia or moving to our beautiful state from somewhere else? Let’s talk first. We want your next move to be a happy experience all the way around.
BONUS: Some crazy laws in West Virginia you need to know about:
- Whistling underwater is prohibited.
- When a railroad passes within 1 mile of a community of 100 or more people in it, they must build a station and stop there regularly to pick up and drop off passengers.
- Roadkill may be taken home for supper. Don’t knock it. Readily available and there are even cookbooks just for the meal treasures you find.
- It is illegal to snooze on a train.
- A tax of 1 cent is levied for every 16 and 9-ounce containers of coke sold in a store.
- A person may not hold public office if he or she has ever participated in a duel.
- For each act of public swearing, a person shall be fined one dollar. (Basically, Mom’s swear jar.)
- Only in the city of Alderson: One may not walk a lion, tiger or leopard, even on a leash.
When You’re Ready, So Are We
Once you’ve decided it’s time, we are here and ready to help you find the home and neighborhood you love. Contact us today and we’ll get started!