How do you know when it’s time to downsize and relocate?

Part of being a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) is taking the time to truly understand a family’s needs before putting a plan in place. It’s so much more than just buying or selling a home – it’s considering whether the time is right to downsize and relocate to a smaller space. This process involves considering various factors related to a senior’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Here are 12 signs and considerations to help determine if it’s time to downsize that I often share with my clients:

  1. Physical Ability: If daily tasks become challenging due to mobility issues, health concerns, or the size of their current home, downsizing to a more manageable space might be beneficial.
  2. Maintenance and Upkeep: If the current home requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep that is becoming burdensome, downsizing to a smaller place with lower maintenance demands can be a wise choice.
  3. Financial Considerations: Evaluate if the cost of maintaining the current home (property taxes, utilities, repairs) is straining finances. Downsizing can help reduce monthly expenses.
  4. Emotional Well-being: If the senior is feeling isolated or overwhelmed in a large house, moving to a smaller, more social environment (such as a retirement community) could improve their emotional well-being.
  5. Safety Concerns: If the current home poses safety hazards (stairs, slippery floors, difficult-to-navigate spaces), moving to a safer, more accessible living situation might be necessary.
  6. Proximity to Family and Medical Care: Consider the proximity to family members, medical facilities, and services. Moving closer to these resources can provide peace of mind.
  7. Unused Space: If a significant portion of the current home is unused or underutilized, downsizing can help avoid wasting space.
  8. Future Planning: Think about the long-term needs of the senior loved one. A downsized home might be easier to manage as they age, and it could also be more suitable if they require assistance or care.
  9. Desire for a Lifestyle Change: Some seniors want to downsize to simplify their lives, reduce stress, and enjoy retirement without the responsibilities of a larger home.
  10. Sentimental Attachment: While emotional attachment to a home is valid, it’s important to consider whether sentimental value outweighs the practical benefits of downsizing.
  11. Decluttering: Downsizing often requires decluttering and letting go of possessions. If the senior citizen is open to this process, it can lead to a lighter, more organized lifestyle.
  12. Legal and Financial Considerations: Consult legal and financial experts to understand the implications of downsizing, such as selling a home, dealing with property taxes, and managing any inheritance or estate matters.

Ultimately, the decision to downsize should be based on a combination of these factors, the individual’s preferences, and their unique circumstances. Involve the senior in the decision-making process and seek input from family members, friends, and professionals who can provide valuable insights and support.

If you have questions or would like to discuss the process of exploring whether it’s time to downsize and relocate and how to get started, contact Atlanta Seniors Real Estate any time.

5 big purchases retirees may regret.

You’re in the retirement phase of life and for many people that means scaling back, living with less, living more simply, decluttering and, often, relocating. In speaking with my clients, many of them are concerned about their financial sustainability and often express regrets when it comes to some of their past big money expenditures.

Our conversations match up with a recent MSN article called Boomer’s Remorse. Among the purchases seniors tend to regret later are:

  • Swimming Pool
  • Your Child’s Wedding
  • Timeshare
  • Life Insurance
  • Travel

The regret isn’t that money was spent on those items or events, but perhaps more often it is the amount that was spent. They feel they could have spent less and had more money to spread into other areas of their lives.

The article encourages readers to simply be selective when it comes to the financial splurge and make sure you have saved enough to take care of anything you’ll need.

>>Read the full article here.

Lessons learned from estate planning failures.

Working with Atlanta-area seniors and their families, it’s one of the most common discussions I have. Even if you feel you don’t have a large estate, planning for what will happen in the coming years is essential.

It may not be the most fun you’ll have, but estate planning can save your family members years of trouble and heartache. A recent Kiplinger article cites example after example of entertainers who died with their estate wishes unknown, undocumented, or unclear. The list includes Prince, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Ric Ocasek — all who left unclear estate plans that resulted in months or years of legal work to settle. Perhaps worst of all is the fact that their true wishes may have been delayed or not come to fruition at all.

The article suggests we all learn from their mistakes and take action today to give you peace of mind and make things easier for your heirs. It outlines some suggestions to prevent estate issues for your own family which includes:

  • Prepare for death
  • Be clear about who should benefit
  • Charity before death pays benefits
  • Update your estate & complete your will
  • Get help picking trustees
  • Know how divorce affects your estate
  • Protect your legacy
  • Consider selling property while alive
  • Name your beneficiaries.

If you’re looking for resources or have estate planning questions, especially regarding property and real estate, we’re here to help. Contact Atlanta Seniors Real Estate today.

Consider aging in place with home modifications.

Real estate agents sell houses and help people find houses but, on occasion, I’ve advised clients that their best move may be no move at all. If you love a home and are able to age in place, that may be your best option. I’ll be here to facilitate a sale or purchase when the time comes, but I am committed to always doing what’s best for my clients.

Fortunately for all of us, there are a lot of wonderful organizations who are experts in helping families right-size and make adjustments needed so that seniors can safely age in place.

Senior relocation company Caring Transitions created a brief guide to “Bringing Rightsizing and Age in Place Modifications Together.”

(Posted with permission from Caring Transitions of Northeast Atlanta) As we age, it’s important to consider how our living space can support our changing needs. Aging in place home modifications can help seniors maintain their independence and stay in their homes for as long as possible. Combining these modifications with rightsizing, or downsizing to a more manageable living space, can create a safe and comfortable environment for seniors.

  1. Assess Your Home for Safety and Accessibility.
    Before making any modifications to your home, it’s important to assess your current living space for safety and accessibility. This includes identifying potential hazards such as loose rugs, uneven flooring, and narrow doorways. You should also consider the accessibility of your home, including the placement of light switches, electrical outlets, and other fixtures. By identifying potential safety and accessibility issues, you can create a plan for making the necessary modifications to your home to ensure a safe and comfortable living space for seniors.
  2. Prioritize Modifications Based on Needs and Budget.
    When it comes to combining rightsizing and aging in place home modifications, it’s important to prioritize modifications based on both needs and budget. Start by identifying the most critical modifications that need to be made to ensure safety and accessibility in the home. This may include installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways, or adding a stairlift. Once these critical modifications have been made, you can then focus on making additional modifications that will enhance comfort and convenience. Remember to consider your budget when making modifications and look for cost-effective solutions that will still meet your needs.
  3. Consider Universal Design Principles.
    When combining rightsizing and aging in place home modifications, it’s important to consider universal design principles. Universal design is the concept of designing products and spaces that are accessible and usable by people of all ages and abilities. This means incorporating features like zero-step entrances, lever door handles, and adjustable height countertops. By incorporating universal design principles into your home modifications, you can create a space that is not only safe and comfortable for seniors, but also for visitors and family members of all ages and abilities.

Work with a Professional to Ensure Quality and Safety.
When it comes to combining rightsizing and aging in place home modifications, it’s important to work with a professional to ensure that the modifications are done safely and effectively. A professional can help you assess your home and determine which modifications are necessary to create a safe and comfortable living space for seniors. They can also ensure that the modifications are done in compliance with local building codes and regulations. Additionally, a professional can help you select the right products and materials to ensure that the modifications are of high quality and will last for years to come.

As seniors age in place, it’s important to make modifications to their homes to ensure safety and comfort. Design for aging in place includes home modifications such as grab bars, non-slip flooring, and wider doorways. These modifications can help seniors maintain their independence and reduce the risk of falls.

In addition to home modifications, age in place home care can provide assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and transportation. Rightsizing and aging in place together can also be beneficial, as it allows seniors to declutter and downsize their living space while still maintaining their independence. Caring Transitions offers professional guidance and support for these transitions, as well as assistance with estate planning and other services. By incorporating these strategies and seeking professional help when needed, seniors can age in place with peace of mind and improved quality of life.

If you are interested in Caring Transitions for relocation or estate liquidation services, contact Mike DeLeon.

When a realtor tells a senior NOT to relocate.

As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), many of my consultations with older adults who are thinking about downsizing and relocating, (a good 10-15% of them) will lead to a discussion about aging in place.

Aging in place can also be about helping clients find a forever home to move to in a new location, which is conducive to the needs of the person and may even help them stretch their finances, depending on how they chose to finance the next place. In some cases though, I consult about staying put… Many wonder why I would do that instead of finding them another home to move to.

Well, the answer is simple… because sometimes the home is already their forever home, IF, and only if, they consider a few changes to ensure the home is better suited to their current needs. My goal is never to move someone who doesn’t need (or want) to move.

Here’s a case study as an example: I visited a lady who had a 2-story home with a guest bedroom and small bathroom on the main floor, and 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, which included the owner’s suite. The space was open and spacious on the main level. She had recently become a widow and had paid off the mortgage as instructed by her late husband’s final wish. She loved the community she has lived in for 20+ years but thought it would be best to move to a smaller house. As we talked and did the research, we concluded that the equity in her house would not quite cover the purchase of a forever home and she was not willing to go back to having a mortgage payment of any amount.

The plan of action I suggested was to:

  1. Get quotes to remodel the guest bathroom on the main floor allowing that to become a true main level owner’s suite, accessible for her to live in as opposed to having to go up and down stairs every day.
  2. Get quotes to update the entrances to the home adding accessible features including universal design touch-ups that would allow her to age in place in the current home and not have to experience moving from a place and location she loved and could afford to keep. 
  3. Revisit after getting quotes to discuss the options again and consider if she would need additional information to fund the renovations or if moving would be back on the table as an option and how to do that without costing her too much in monthly expenses.

    My role as an SRES Realtor was simply to advise and refer contractors or remodeling companies that would incorporate the ADA/universal design features, as well as staying in touch to provide additional information until the homeowner had made their decisions.

We sometimes provide services without financial gain.

We always say real estate is more than property, it’s about the people!

We are available to answer questions you or someone you know has about aging in place or finding your next home. Contact us any time.

Additional Resources: AARP article on stylish updates for aging in place.

Factors seniors consider when relocating.

Today’s retirees are on the move. Crime, traffic and more and sending many of them away from the cities they’ve lived in for decades but how do they decide where to move next?

A great article called “Politics and Pickleball” looks at some active seniors who searched for their next home but looked at much more than the real estate. The article says that while they consider proximity to family, recreational opportunities, cultural events, and climate, the surprising factor increasingly cited by retirees is — politics.

Some want a state with politics more in line with their own perspectives while others were interested in the opportunities created by being in a place where their own politics may not be the majority.

Read the full article on

What is the ‘Slow Living’ trend?

There’s little dispute that we’re living in an increasingly stressful world. We’re connected every minute, trying to do more in less time, and the result is stress which compromises our physical and mental health. The list of ailments that can be blamed on stress is familiar and lengthy, and includes headaches, anxiety, poor concentration and insomnia among other things.

A recent Newsweek article looked at the move toward Slow Living which is described as “a movement that encourages people to eliminate external pressures that are fueling their stress, do things that make them happy, and most importantly, slow down the pace of life to be more present in every moment.”

It’s what baby boomers talk about all the time – fondly looking back at days when life seemed simpler, slower, there was quality time spent with loved ones. People actually visited one another unscheduled and spoke face to face. It’s a movement so many people have been craving and it’s paying off for those who are actually able to step back and enjoy even small moments spent with people you care about.

>>Click here to read the article from Newsweek and read about the effects that Slow Living is having on those brave enough to hop off the hamster wheel.

Moving? Use a Senior Real Estate Specialist.

If you’re planning to buy or sell real estate, it’s a good idea to consider working with a senior real estate specialist or SRES like Atlanta Seniors Real Estate.

Here are a few reasons why an SRES will be beneficial:

  1. Experience: A senior real estate specialist has extensive experience working with clients who are 50 years of age or older. This means they understand the unique needs and concerns of seniors when it comes to real estate transactions.
  2. Knowledge: SRES designees have received specialized training in senior real estate, including topics like reverse mortgages, age-restricted communities, and estate planning. They are equipped to provide expert advice and guidance on these topics.
  3. Connections: Senior real estate specialists often have strong connections with other professionals who work with seniors, such as estate planning attorneys, financial planners, and senior living communities. They can help you build a network of resources to assist you in making informed decisions.
  4. Advocacy: A senior real estate specialist can serve as your advocate throughout the real estate transaction, ensuring that your interests are protected and your needs are met.

Overall, working with a senior real estate specialist can help ensure a smoother and more successful real estate transaction, especially if you or a loved one is a senior.

A Guide to Senior Housing Options

It’s time for a move — perhaps it’s downsizing or moving into housing that offers a level of care that you or a loved one needs. There have never been more options for senior living than now, but with so many choices can come quite a bit of confusion.

The list includes:


  • Retirement/Active Adult Communities
  • Senior Apartments
  • Senior Cohousing


  • Assisted Living
  • In-Home Senior Care
  • Active Senior Housing
  • Independent Living
  • Continuing Care Communities
  • Congregational Retirement Communities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Specialized Care
  • Hospice

How do you know which type is right for you? Do you know the questions to ask? is out with an update to its Senior Living Guide. They do a great job of explaining the differences between different options. Then, when it’s time to sell your home and relocate, contact a Senior Real Estate Specialists like Atlanta Senior Real Estate to help you with options in your own community.

>>Check out the Guide and look for options in your area.

Spring Cleaning – 7 Things to Do

Spring is right around the corner so it’s time to look at spring cleaning. If you’ve been wanting to declutter, this is a perfect time to start.

Senior relocation company Caring Transitions (best known for estate sales, packing/unpacking and more services for senior moves) is out with a list of 6 things to incorporate into your spring cleaning routine.

  1. Rearrange closets
    Take everything out, put away the winter clothes, and rearrange shelves and hangers to give yourself some extra storage space and make room for lighter pieces.
  2. Clean out your pantry
    Go through your pantry, fridge, freezers, cabinets, drawers etc., clearing anything that’s expired or unnecessary.
  3. Check for pests
    Be sure that there aren’t any cracks in windows or doors where creepy crawlies could creep in; check window seals for fungus/mold buildup; replace door mats regularly; thoroughly sweep behind furniture at least once a week.
  4. Wash walls
    You should always give walls a good scrub before welcoming warmer air indoors – especially after spending months with thicker clothing on stands indoors gathering dust.
  5. Spring clean appliances
    Be sure all appliances are wiped down with damp cloths or sponges daily and cleaned properly on both inside and outside surfaces every month or two.
  6. Refresh fabrics
    Fabric such as curtains or bedding absorbs smells from cooking throughout winter months same goes with rugs which need vacuumed & freshened regularly too.

>>Click here to read more about Spring Cleaning from senior relocation specialists Caring Transitions.

Article reprinted with permission of Caring Transitions of Northeast Atlanta. Contact Mike DeLeon for information about their services.