A couple of months ago I shared my plan to uproot my life, sell my home and move back to Michigan from whence I came. It was a very big decision to say the least, and has included many moving parts. As I have transitioned into midlife, I’ve learned that you have to be prepared for life to change, sometimes suddenly and without warning. (Actually, that is true no matter our stage in life!)
I’ve also learned that the further away you move, the more planning has to be done. Moving a few miles down the road is one thing, but relocating more than a thousand miles adds stress, details and decisions.
First, let’s the review process for preparing your home for sale and some of the key factors for success. Whether your motivation for selling is relocation, moving up, downsizing or another situation, some of the basics apply no matter what:
- Decluttering – it takes some time (if you’ve been accumulating stuff for years, it could be quite the project!) but is always, always worth the effort. Your home will look more spacious and clean when the clutter is gone.
- Cleaning – everything in your home deserves a thorough cleaning, no exceptions
- Maintenance and repair, inside and out – take a good, hard look at all of the elements of your home. It’s better to invest in replacement of something that obviously needs attention, like the roof, for example, and show a potential buyer that it is brand new. An established company like Proficient Roofing will help with that project.
- Donating – there is always someone in need, and what better way to help others than to donate that extra or unwanted furniture and decor items.
- Depersonalizing – fact is, potential buyers don’t really want to see all your personal stuff. Put it away for the next home. 🙂
Ultimately the goal is to ensure that your home goes for a good price, and the steps above help you accomplish that.
Here are some photos of my home as taken by my realtor’s photographer of choice, BFFFOTOS. They did a great job! And, my home went under contract in less than 30 days:
We’re still in the process of inspection, appraisal and more, so it’s not a done deal as I write this post. But I’m glad that I prepared well for putting my home up for sale. If all goes well it will be a job well done!
Of course, the other side of a long distance relocation plan is the search for a property in the new location. Even though I am relocating to the area that I lived in for 30+ years, I’ve been away for 12, and so many things have changed. I contacted a realtor that we did a lot of business with when we lived in the area, and feel very confident of his abilities as well as a comfort level with him as a professional.
How to Set Your Criteria for a New Home Search
My circumstances have changed as well, being single again in my 60’s. So before I started spending a ton of time searching for homes in my new area of choice, I thought about what it is that I’m really looking for that would work for my age, lifestyle, budget and priorities.
If you have ever looked at homes for sale, you know that it is incredibly easy to fall down the rabbit hole and fall in love with a home (or lots of homes) that may be way beyond your budget, totally unrealistic for your real, day-to-day life, and just not anything that you, in your real world, would purchase.
So rather than hopping on that emotional roller coaster, take some time to figure out what it is that you want and can afford. Create a list of priorities
This is my list:
Proximity to the family – this is the #1 reason I decided to relocate. So, being within a reasonable driving distance is very important to me. Of course, we all have our own definition of ‘reasonable’. For me, it’s about 20 minutes, no expressway required.
Price – it would be great fun to be able to choose any type of home that I want with no requirement to consider the price. But, I don’t live in that world. I’m happy and grateful with my current financial situation, and know that I have a limit that must be adhered to. For me, it makes no sense to go more than a few thousand over my ability to afford. I’ve been approved for a mortgage already, so I literally know exactly how much home I can purchase.
Style – I have lived in single family homes and condominiums of varying types and sizes. I lived in a mobile home many years ago. And, in my real estate and home staging careers I have been inside of hundreds of homes. So I’ve pretty much seen them all.
For me it is a condominium. That is the type and style of living that works for me. I know that residing on the 1st floor is not a requirement for me, so considering homes that are on the 2nd or 3rd floor would work. No high rises, although where I am going to be living that is not an option anyway.
I like the idea of a condo because I don’t have to worry about exterior maintenance, and I’m willing to pay for that benefit via the HOA fees.
Community amenities – being a Florida resident for 12 years I’ve become accustomed to some ‘standard’ amenities, so if I can find even a few of those in my new, midwest home I would be very happy. Even though the warm season is short, a community with a pool would be lovely. I would also love to have an area for the grand kids to play, maybe a picnic area, a walking path, and a fitness room in the clubhouse would be perfect.
I probably won’t find all of these amenities in a Midwest condo community in my price range, but I will search and see what I can find!
Ultimately, I try to keep an open mind, remain focused, rely on faith, and trust that there is a new home waiting for me in (seasonally