So, you’re thinking of downsizing. You’ll have less house to clean, less up keep, less financial pressure, more time to enjoy the golden years. Maybe even take a trip or two. All good. You move out of the old place smoothly and into the smaller new one in a breeze. It all makes good sense. And it’s easy. Right? Well maybe, or maybe not:
Let’s take the easy example first. You prepare for the move well before you put your home on the market, getting rid of the stuff you won’t be taking, maybe a garage sale or two as well. You have good equity in the bigger home, more than enough money to buy something a little littler. You put the old place on the market. It sells quickly for the price you want. The buyer is well qualified. Escrow sales through without a hitch. You found the new house to buy. You have enough wherewithal to make a deal and open the buying escrow while your selling escrow works its way through. You’ve arranged simultaneous closings. You move out of the old house and into the new one on the same day. Excellent. Except for Murphy’s Law…Murphy says, If something can go wrong, it will. Not to mention Harrigan’s Law…Harrigan says, Murphy was an optimist.
Perhaps it will all come together just like the example above and we can forget all about Murphy and Harrigan. The point here is that this is a pretty good list of things to think about and be ready to adjust to if either of our Irish friends are even a little bit right.
But then there may be another thing to deal with if you are an emotional type, or types. I know a senior couple who have moved seven times since they were married over 50 years ago. Not that they are cold and emotionless, but they have done it with out falling to pieces inside. Some of their moves were necessary, like a job for instance, some were to keep the family close, some were just moves. As they put it, a house, even a home is a building. Being together trumps everything else.
But, it’s just that leaving your family home can be jolting, like many things in life that we have to deal with. I can tell you about a senior couple who have lived in their home for over 40 years. They were young marrieds when they moved in. They raised their kids there and now it’s the second home to their kids, kids.. Seven dogs two cats and four hamsters have called it home. It has become the anchor to four decades of friends, little ones and big ones. Many of the big ones began coming through its welcoming doors when they were little ones. I’m told that one of those said the house was their second home too, that it was the always reliable gathering point that brought and kept an ever expanding bunch of young and old relatives and friends together through all the years, where the annual Christmas party was a tradition for them to grow old with too.
Anyway, it’s only to say that the inevitable changes in our lives aren’t always just dollar and cents matters. But, as another old saying reminds us, when one door closes, another one opens. And after all is said and done, that’s a beautiful thing.