F is for Fits

This April’s blog posts will be highlighting some of the knowledge I gathered when I was certified as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and will explore different ways to determine if selling your home is the best course action as you age.  Picking up from last week, one of the quick ways of assessing the need to move or perhaps decide to adapt your current home is to use the acronym S.A.F.E.

Safety, Access, Fits Needs, Ease of Use

Last week I wrote about Access to your home. This week I am going to help you assess if your home is a good Fit for you and your lifestyle.

Does your home fit your needs?

That seems like it should be an easy question – and if we answer it on the most basic level – as long as you have a roof over your head that basic need for shelter is met. However, we typically are looking for our home to do a lot more than keep the rain out.

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Start by making lists. Divide the page into four columns. At the top of the first column write ‘I Use It Every Day”, head the second column, “I Use It Once or Twice a Month”, and the third “I Use It Once or Twice a Year” and the last “I Wish I Had a . . . .”. List aspects of your home in the appropriate areas. This list has probably changed for you over time. Right now, for me, a Formal Dining Room is clearly placed under “Once or Twice a Year”. The spacious garden beds and lawn area I wanted when we first purchased our home is currently under my “Once or Twice a Month” section, I just don’t have the time to maintain or enjoy it right now. However, I do work from home, so I created a Home Office which is firmly on my “Every Day” list. As you prioritize your spaces and amenities you may want to consider your key tasks and activities. If you love to cook, you may prioritize your pantry and extra-large counter and dishwasher, but if you eat out more often than you eat-in these amenities my fall down the list a bit.

Analyze your list. Your list can help you realize several things. First, are there places in your home that could accommodate the “Wish I had . . .” items? If you wish you had a covered entry, can you clean the old camping gear (unused for the last ten years) from the garage to give you access? Or if the washer and dryer are currently in the basement and you wished for easier access, is there space on the main floor for a small washer/dryer combination?

This house is TOO big. Consider your Once or Twice a Month or Year columns – if these are long, it may be time to explore downsizing unless you are expecting changes in the near future – additional friends or family living with you, moving your work into a Home Office or retiring and spending more time at home. If you are considering downsizing, consult a trusted agent first, see if the timeline for your house being ready to go on the market is beneficial as well as whether the potential sale price fits with your life plan.

This house is TOO small. When your “Use It Everyday” list is overflowing into a substantial “Wish List” perhaps it is time to search for a little more space. Again, don’t forget to consider the near future – will  anyone moving out? Starting a career outside the house? As always check-in with an agent. Just because your “I wish I had” column is filled doesn’t mean that moving to a new home is within your budget or good for your timeframe. Your agent can explain prices ranges for various neighborhoods, home sizes and amenities so you can make an educated decision before you start looking.

This house is just RIGHT. If most of your entries are in your “Use Every Day” column, congratulations! Your house is a great fit for your needs.

The Tashana Team is here to provide you with valuable information regarding the Seattle Real Estate Market and help you discover the right fit for you and your family. As always, please do not hesitate to call or email with any of your real estate questions. There are no obligations.

Up next week: Ease of Use