After her husband passed away, Martha found herself left with the responsibility of maintaining her aging, two story home in which she had lived for more than thirty years. Although she knew the house needed several improvements, she lived on a tight budget and did not have the resources to maintain it, as she would have liked. Her home began to deteriorate, and because she was ashamed of its condition, Martha stopped entertaining.
Also during this time, Martha’s friend recently fell down her steps and Martha felt she was also at risk, so now Martha felt trapped and lived only on her first floor. Martha isolated herself and could no longer enjoy the home she had once cherished. Although Martha felt trapped in her home, she also feared moving out, and so she simply stayed where she was and watched as her house became more and more of a liability.
As homeowners grow older, the constant, sometimes backbreaking work it takes to maintain that home – Not to mention the hazardous stairs and escalating costs – can turn that dream into a nightmare. While people enjoyed the privacy and size that comes with owning their own home, many also found the upkeep and stairs to be a hardship.
She knew she had to do something about her situation, but she didn’t know what to do or where to start. When we received her letter, we called her and suggested she come to see us.
During our chat, we asked Martha some important questions:
* Do you have trouble maintaining your home the way you’d like to?
* Do you have any difficulty going up and down the stairs in your home?
* Have there been health changes or restrictions limiting your ability to maintain your home, and does your home meet those challenges?
* Is this the best location to proximity to doctors, family, etc.?
* Have you cut yourself off from your friends and family because you’re no longer proud to invite them to your home?
* Have you had trouble finding good workers to take care of the maintenance problems?
* Are finances keeping you from enjoying the home you’ve loved for so many years?
Once Martha thought about and answered these questions, it became clear to her what she should do. She made the decision to move from her home and we were able to help her sell the home and find new housing that better suited her needs.
Although Martha felt alone in her failure to maintain her home, the truth is we have seen clients suffer through Martha’s situation time and time again. We always reassure them that they needn’t feel ashamed; it’s a fact of life that to maintain a home takes time, money, and physical ability. As people grow older they may not be able to invest either to keep up their home. Also, if they are maneuvering steps or stairs, it can be dangerous to their well-being.
If you’re considering a move, ask yourself the same questions we asked Martha to help clarify your situation. If you answer “yes” to more than one of the questions, then a change would probably be advantageous for you. Leaving your home of many years may seem scary, but the good news is that lots of cost effective options are out there and you can find something that fits both your needs and your budget. Of course, it takes a little legwork, but there are people who can help. The HARP team can help you with every step of the process to save you time, legwork, and money.
Ready to get started?
We want to hear from you. Please call us at 619-871-0900 and we will work with you and your family to sell your current home and assist you in every step of the way to transition to your new home. If you prefer you can also contact us by filling out our form and we will respond to you as soon as possible.