Central Florida Real Estate and Community News

Sept. 27, 2021

14 Ideas to Simplify a Senior Downsize

Are you looking to sell your home? Then you need experts like The ViP Home Team by your side. Our dedicated real estate advisors can help you every step of the way. Reach out today to get started! 407-744-1681

14 Ideas to Simplify a Senior Downsize
By Penny Martin

Downsizing can sound like a daunting task, especially when the next step is to pack up and move households. There are ways to make things easier, though. The ViP Home Team offers these resources to help you get a head start on downsizing.

Break Up With the Junk

Letting go of unneeded belongings can free you up to enjoy life more — and spend less while moving. Here’s how to break up with the junk in your life (while keeping the important items close).

      Recognize emotional connections to objects and work on loosening that bond.

      Gift family heirlooms or other special items now rather than leaving them in a will.

      Find out what your local charities need and pass along gently used items as appropriate.

      Digitize photographs, artwork, and anything else you want to keep but don’t have room for.

Know Your Property Needs

Before you start boxing up (or donating) your belongings, think about what you need from your new home — and the current one. From floorplans to finances, get ahead of your move with these tips.

      Determine what your new home needs are, including square footage.

      Use an appraisal calculator to determine the true value of a house and any acreage.

      Visit neighborhoods to get a feel for the local ambiance and amenities.

      If you’re looking to buy, an easy fixer-upper can be a great way to save money. And sites like Home Life Daily offer a wealth of home improvement tips to help you get started.

      Remember that senior-friendly features and universal design amenities at the top of your priority list.

      If you plan to rent, there are a variety of options in Orlando and the surrounding areas. Central Florida, in particular, boasts at least 1,397 rental homes,

Take a Load Off

Outsourcing your moving (or even packing) tasks can help make downsizing easier. Plus, offloading some of your stuff before moving day helps cut down on transport costs.

      Host a yard sale to offload some of your stuff before you start organizing a move.

      Locate charities that offer pickup services for donations.

      Enlist the help of a moving company that can even help you pack.

      Consider selling your home as-is, furniture included, if you don’t want to take it with you.

Prepping for a move is never fun, but by downsizing before you lock the door for a final time, you’ll be ahead of the game. Then, you can enjoy your retirement in your new home, without a ton of stuff lingering in never-unpacked boxes.

Photo via Unsplash


Aug. 4, 2021

Rightsizing in Retirement: How to Find the Perfect Home for Homesteading and Entertaining

Rightsizing in Retirement

Image via Pexels


Rightsizing in Retirement: How to Find the Perfect Home for Homesteading and Entertaining

By Bob Shannon


Downsizing gets a lot of attention and for very good reason. Paring down your belongings and responsibilities later in life can be a boon for older adults looking to save money, travel, or have fewer obligations. However, other housing trends are also on the rise amongst seniors, such as aging in place, urbanization, and rightsizing.

By following the rightsizing trend, for instance, you’ll focus on finding a home that meets your specific wants and needs in retirement, giving you the opportunity to pursue new hobbies and passions in your golden years. And for many seniors, a homesteading hobby can be a great way to stay active, bring in some extra cash, and become more self-sufficient in retirement.

Check out these tips (presented by The ViP Home Team) to learn how to find the right home for your post-retirement hobbies and passions — including homesteading, gardening, entertaining, and anything else you’d like to pursue in your golden years.

List Your Home Must-Haves

If you’re looking to upsize (or rightsize) in retirement, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before beginning your search for a new home. These include: 

      Location. Are there local groups, community centers, and ministries you’d like to stay in contact with as you age? Now that urban homesteading is becoming more popular, you don’t necessarily need to move to a rural area with lots of outdoor space to pursue a homesteading hobby.

      Goals. What kinds of hobbies and activities would you like to pursue in retirement? Do you need adequate outdoor space for raising chickens and planting a vegetable garden? Are you going to make your own soaps, herbal remedies, and clothing? To find the right home for your golden years, you’ll need to identify your goals and the different activities you’d like to pursue.

      Size. Do you have kids, grandkids, friends, and other loved ones you’d like to entertain in your new home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you and your guests need? Will you need outdoor space for building a pole barn, shed, porch, or guest house?

      Business. Do you plan to monetize your homesteading hobby? If so, you’ll need to keep things in mind like zoning and whether to form an entity. This ZenBusiness article offers some pretty helpful advice on what it takes to establish an LLC.

      Budget. Of course, the right home for your senior years will depend largely on your budget. We’ll talk more about setting a home buying budget in the next section.

Set Your Budget

Depending on your desired location, homesteading goals, and the size of the home you’re looking to buy, the cost of upsizing could easily exceed what you’re able to afford in retirement. As such, it’s important to set your home buying budget early on and compare several mortgage options if you’ll be financing the purchase of your new homestead. You’ll also want to work closely with an experienced mortgage lender and real estate agent, specifically one with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation.

When setting your home buying budget, it’s also important to factor in the cost of repairs and improvements that your new home may need. Common home repairs include water damage, mold removal, electrical issues, and roof replacements.

To reduce your risk of injury on moving day, you’ll also want to budget for professional moving expenses. HuffPost offers some tips on finding the best moving company for you.

Is Rightsizing the Right Move for You?

Downsizing can be a great solution for some retirees, but it isn’t ideal if you’re looking to entertain loved ones, pursue a homesteading hobby, and stay active in your golden years. By following the rightsizing trend in retirement, you can find a home that has everything you want and need for better health and happiness in your golden years.

If you’re searching for a new home in Central Florida, look no further than The ViP Home Team. Get in touch with us by calling 407-744-1681.

Posted in Retirement
July 20, 2021

Retiring Up: How a Big House Can Make for a Happy Retirement

Image: Pexels

Retiring Up: How A Big House Can Make For A Happy Retirement

By Bob Shannon 

While many seniors opt to downsize in retirement, others decide to embark on a new phase of life by upscaling instead. This might involve buying a larger residence, potentially with land, to accommodate large family gatherings, facilitate entertaining and drop-in guests, and even provide room for a post-retirement business or hobby farm. The VIP Home Team realtors can help you find the ideal location for launching your post-retirement life.

What Can You Afford?

Before you start looking at trading up in the housing department, you’ll want to do some research and make a determination about what you can afford to buy. A professional real estate agent can help you assess the value of your current property; a qualified lender can help examine your income, assets, and your debt, as well as give you a price range to work within. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your credit and your debt-to-income ratio will also be evaluated, so consider checking your credit score in advance and contest any errors on your report before talking with a lender. You may need to pay down some debt and/or sell your existing property to put yourself in a better qualifying position.

How Will You Use The Home?

The type of home you buy will depend on the specific uses you have in mind. For example, if you'd love to host a large extended family on a regular basis, square footage and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms might be a priority. If you're interested in entertaining grandkids, a rec room and opportunities for outside fun might be key. Think about how you will use the property, including any interest you have in starting a post-retirement hobby, launching a business or even homesteading. You may decide you need land, outbuildings, or workshop space for these purposes. Don’t forget about upkeep - you want to buy a home that you’ll be able to maintain and be comfortable in for the foreseeable future.

Finding The Right Place

You can start your home search online, or utilize a real estate professional to help you narrow your choices. When you tour properties, give consideration to the accessibility of the area, the quality of local amenities, and the proximity to major services and transportation hubs. According to Hobby Farms, if you want to build out, start a farm, or have animals, you’ll want to ensure you’re familiar with zoning regulations, and that you have adequate space for your needs. A pre-offer inspection can help you assess the property’s age and condition, and give you an idea of what you’ll need if repairs or upgrades are necessary.

Pre-Move-In Services

If you decide to buy an older property, you may need to have some work done before it's move-in ready. For example, you may choose to install new carpet, replace countertops, or perhaps most important, be sure your windows are in good condition. If you need your windows repaired, it's wise to do it before you move in. This can help you save on energy costs, as well as make your place more comfortable. The average cost for repairs is about $290 per window, but the price will ultimately depend on the type of windows and the repairs necessary. Search “home window repair companies near me,” read reviews online, ask for referrals from satisfied customers, and get estimates in writing. You’ll want to choose a company that is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Moving into a larger house as a retiree can create opportunities for family bonding, launching a new business, or expanding a hobby. Take time to find the property that's right for you and is a good fit for your post-retirement life.


The VIP Home Team serves Orlando, Fla., and surrounding areas. Learn more about your home’s value, what you qualify for, and browse available properties by visiting the site. 

Posted in Buying a Home