On Seniors Issues of Housing and Moving

by Diane Hoffmann, CPCA

When reaching the pre-retirement phase of life (50+), people begin to think about housing: "When will I have to sell my house and downsize?" At retirement (65+) the question becomes "Do I sell my home now and downsize? and "Do I move from a house to an apartment or Condo -- Or to the basement of my children's home?"

I'll talk more about the last question in next month's newsletter. These issues need a lot of planning, discussions and decision-making. There are a lot of resources available for reading and considering, like seniors magazines, books on retirement at your local library, etc. Start to read early.

But, the purpose of this article is to share something that happened to my husband and I which I think will help many of you in that situation. When we reached our retirement age, we decided to downsize. The way we would do it is sell the house and move into an apartment -- which had good financial benefits for us.

However, after finding a nice apartment with ocean view and all the amenities for good living, we soon discovered that apartment living was not for us. We were still too active to go through the corridors, elevators and underground parking several times a week to get to our business and community involvements.

So we kept an eye open on the housing market to be ready for when the time came after our year lease came up. However, as we did that, we came across the perfect house for us and called the real estate listing agent to see the details. Having had a good pulse on what's available out there, we knew this house would be hard to beat and did not want to lose this opportunity.

So we thought, we'll sub-lease our apartment and buy the house and move in. Well, we immediately found out that some landlords are not enthusiastic about their tenants sub-leasing and will try and make it hard for you, even though they cannot refuse under the local Residential Tenancy Act -- which I found out during my extensive research.

To make a long story short, it took a lot of frustrating work to get permission to sub-lease our apartment which I would not wish on anyone. Then afterwards, it was not easy to find new tenants either.

The point to catch here is this: if you want to sell your house and move into an apartment, be prepared to stay put for a year, or find a place where you can have a month to month rental arrangement until you are sure that this is the life for you. The latter is what I would now do after learning it the hard way./dmh

Article copyright(c)by Diane M. Hoffmann. See web site at www.hofron.com for more on Diane and her business Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications-Seniors Services.

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