Helping Mom Downsize: Proactive Tips For Helping An Elderly Parent Make The Move To A Smaller Home

Losing a spouse at any age is a harrowing experience, but for many senior women in the United States, it is a reality that must be faced. According to current statistics senior females have an average life expectancy of approximately 81 years, which is about 5 years longer than males of the same general age group, who have a life expectancy rate of approximately 76 years. If you are an adult child who is currently helping your widowed mom navigate the process of downsizing into a smaller, more comfortable home after becoming widowed, use the following tips to make the move as easier as possible for both of you.

Determine where she will be moving to

Before beginning the process of preparing the current home for the market help your Mom explore her options. Some possibilities include:

  • buying a smaller, single family home
  • buying or renting a condo or apartment
  • moving to an apartment in a retirement or assisted living community
  • moving in with a child or other relative

Once Mom decides where she wants to move to, it will be much easier for her to face letting go of her current home.

Consider the financial picture

If Mom has the funds to do so, helping her to acquire and move into the new home before putting the current home on the market can make the process of preparing the home much faster and more efficient. If the funds to pay for purchasing or leasing the next home are not available until the first home sells, consider asking Mom to consider moving into your home or that of another siblings while the home is being prepared for the market. This will make the process of removing the furnishings and making any needed repairs or updates easier to arrange. Even better, this will help your mother adjust to her new surroundings much faster and begin making new friends who will help her move forward with her life.

Have a CMA done

Since there are many factors involved in determining the best price at which to market the home it is wise to arrange for a comparative market analysis (CMA) to be done as soon as possible. Unlike an appraisal which seeks to establish a mortgage value for the home, a comparative market analysis is performed at no cost by your real estate agent. By comparing recently listed and sold homes in the immediate area of your mother's home, the CMA can make adjustments based on condition, square footage and other factors to pinpoint a listing price and help get your mother's home sold quickly and at the best price.