8 Steps for Transitioning to Senior Living in Grand Rapids

Are you starting to think about moving yourself or a parent from their home to assisted or independent senior living in Grand Rapids, and you just don’t know where to start? We’re going to break it down for you with the eight steps of moving from your single-family home or condo into the next stage of life. We have a ton of experience working with the senior population and their families to help them navigate this process, so we thought this would be helpful, whether or not you’re in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. 

Step 1: Gather Your Notes 

What we have found to be the most helpful for seniors is getting together your package of notes. We’ve actually seen people write a timeline of steps that they need to focus on because if you’ve been in your home for 30 to 40 years, this is a massive move. There are going to be a lot of things to think about to get you from your current house to independent or assisted living. Start the process of transitioning to senior living in Grand Rapids by writing out the next steps, keeping that all in one spot, and getting organized.

Step 2: Rightsizing 

We often help our clients and tell them it’s time to begin rightsizing. If you’re unfamiliar with the term rightsizing, this would be going through room by room and analyzing what you’re going to need in that next space and what you won’t need. Obviously, you may have many years of family heirlooms and things of that nature, so you’ll want to get with your family and make a list of who gets what. So step two is really analyzing that next space, seeing what makes sense, marking that down, telling yourself you’re going to take that, and then figuring out a plan for how you’re going to get rid of everything else.

Step 3: Connect with a Financial Planner 

In step three, we’re going to advise you to work with a financial planner. You’re potentially going from a very fixed mortgage or maybe at this point in your life you don’t have a mortgage, and you need to plan for the future. You want to speak with a financial planner to make sure that you have your finances set, and that you’re going to be taken care of for the next stage of your life. The financial piece of senior living will be a really big part of it.

Step 4: Work with an Experience Real Estate Professional 

Obviously, this is our specialty, but in step four, you want to work with an experienced real estate professional. Specifically, you want to look for someone with the designation of a senior real estate specialist or ensure that this is somebody that has done this before and understands the ins and outs of the process, and is good at taking the stress out of the equation. This is going to be the time when you’ve gone through some of the rightsizing, you’ve had the financial conversations, and you’ve started to make a roadmap of what you need to do next. This is the time to bring in a real estate professional. We would sit down and start to help you also map out that plan. The initial meeting is going to be a casual discussion, asking a lot of questions about what your ideal timeframe is, when you’re moving into the next place, and really working back on the next steps. At that point, we would certainly do a walkthrough of the house, and give you our opinions of any cost-effective improvements. We’re going to set you up with a stager, which is a designer to work on some declutter techniques, and then we’ll end that meeting with some marketing conversations, and overall pricing, and really set you up with what it looks like to sell your home in today’s market.

Step 5: Mapping out your Move and Listing Timeline 

Step 5 does play into the conversation of working with a real estate professional.  Another part of that real estate conversation is going to be mapping out your move and maybe looking at, “When is it going to be a good time to sell? Are we going to target the spring months? Are we going to target the summer months?” Some of this can be based on when you’re moving into your new place. We may want to focus on interest rates and a good time to sell since the real estate market is not always the same. If you’re making this big move, it’s important to check the market and understand what is going to be the best time of year to sell.

Step 6: Meet with a Stager in Grand Rapids

We talked about this in the initial conversation about meeting with a real estate agent, but one of the next steps is meeting with a stager or designer. We certainly offer this as a service to our clients, and we believe in it as the stager will focus on decluttering techniques. It’s all about decluttering and depersonalizing. A lot of times when people are moving, and they’re making that last move, they have a lot of stuff, and they have been in their house for a long time. We want to focus room by room on things we’re going to get rid of, things we’re going to depersonalize, and how we’re going to remove some family photos and put your house in the best position to sell.

Step 7: Hitting the Market and Closing 

Finally, we have reached the point of being ready for pictures, videos, and the home hitting the market. By this time, whether you’re in your new living place or still in the home, we’re going to navigate what those showings look like and we’ll try and make everything as convenient as possible. We’re also going to talk about final pricing at this time, and then we’re going to hit the market. We’re going to get people through the house and it’s going to be an exciting time. At that point, we’ll accept an offer, and from the time we accept an offer to the time we close, it’s going to be about a 30-day process. If you’re still living in the house, we would negotiate for you potentially some time in the home afterward to work through that transition, but if you’re out of the house, we’ll make sure, at close, everything is removed from the house and you’re on your way.

Step 8: The Final Move to Senior Living

The last piece of the puzzle is the final move. Getting your house ready, selecting the right moving company, and working with somebody that has great resources to help finalize everything getting out of your house and into your new place.

While this process may not necessarily be easy, we try to take all the stress out of the equation for our clients. We would certainly love to help anybody that has any questions about this process of transitioning to senior living as our team is specialists at this in the Grand Rapids area. We do it all the time, and we’re very good at taking stress out of the equation. Give us a call or send us an email with your questions to get started working with our team of real estate professionals.