For many seniors, living in the family home isn’t as easy as it used to be.
According to Chris Maguire, managing partner and executive vice president at Atrium Apartments in Beachwood, and Kathleen Wilson, leasing manager at The Beacon in Cleveland, individuals should consider downsizing into an apartment.
“We get a lot of people who are downsizing from homes that they have been in for 30 and 40 years and they don’t want to keep up with it anymore,” Maguire said. “In smaller homes and condos, you still need to care for the property. A lot of these folks travel, and they want to be able to close the door and take off and not have to worry. Homeownership is great, but it can be a lot of work and hassle.”
Wilson agreed, adding apartment living is more of a convenience and lifestyle choice than anything else.
“When you’re moving, whether you’re coming to The Beacon or somewhere else, it’s all about convenience. It’s about not having the worries of maintaining the home and being able to enjoy life more.”
For The Beacon, Wilson said residents not only get the “private, home-like experience” but they’re near local amenities.
“When you come home to The Beacon, you’re truly coming home,” she explained. “There is a private parking garage. The building area isn’t shared with any retailers or the outside public. It’s secured. It’s the comfort of the home as well. We have a few people who are in the middle of downsizing their home and they want to be in the middle of everything.”
Maguire said Atrium Apartments offer larger suites so those downsizing don’t have to sacrifice space to live worry-free.
“If someone is coming from a big home that they’ve lived in for 40 years, they can bring a lot of their things,” she said. “They don’t have to get rid of a lot. They like the space, especially when you’ve been in a home for a long time. It can be a big adjustment.”
On the topic of scaling down one’s belongings to fit in an apartment, Maguire and Wilson offered tips.
“What I have seen people do is hire companies to come in and look at all of their stuff and determine what they should get rid of,” Maguire stated. “It’s time to decide what you’re going to do with those things, either giving it away to family and friends or donating it. That is a good first step. It can be very overwhelming to do on your own.”
Wilson added, “Scaling down is always a task, even if you’re just getting rid of things in your closet. It’s about looking at the space that you have, and what is most important to you. It’s about looking for those key points. This is really on an individual basis and prioritizing what is most important to you.”
When starting the process of moving into an apartment, the professionals said there are a few things to be done before even selecting a building.
“I would suggest to go out and touring the different apartment communities,” Wilson suggested. “But before this, make a list of what is important to you in the home. If you are going to be downsizing from a house, make a list of the things that are your priority. So, when you’re going to visit those communities, you’ll know what you’re looking for.”
Maguire added, “They need to figure out what is essential to them and go through the process of streamlining. A lot of these folks are seniors, and it’s a very difficult stage of your life when you realize everything is changing and you can’t keep all your stuff. Start by coming to terms with that fact. It’s not a bad thing, just different.”