To move or not to move, that is the question . . .

In the good old days, when parents reached their senior years, they often moved in with their children, who loved and cared for them as they became less and less able to do so for themselves.  It wasn’t all one-sided, though, because the older folks were happy to serve as built-in babysitters, invariably spoiling the grandkids.  Their life experience and advice was respected and appreciated.  Today, however, that has all changed.  Families are spread all over the country, often with brothers and sisters separated by thousands of miles.  If you move to be closer to one child, you’ll probably be separated even further from the other.  And people move.  That’s not the answer.

Today’s seniors live longer and are generally more independent.  FaceTime and Skype has made it possible to visit without actually traveling across country.  But inevitably there comes a point when staying in a private, stand-alone home becomes too much for most seniors to manage.  The lawn requires constant maintenance; shrubs and plantings demand watering, feeding, and trimming; and driveways need to be shoveled when it snows.  In most cases, it’s all just too much for most seniors to handle.  But parting is difficult.  There are established friendships that span decades and relationships with doctors, dentists, post office employees, etc., all of which constitute the fabric of our lives.

What do you do?  Do you hang on to the old homeplace, relying on paid help you with the various chores as needed (if you can find someone to do them), or do you bite the bullet and move to a smaller house, or better yet, a condominium, where maintenance is performed for you?  That is the question we have been facing for the last several years.  After much reflection, and after weighing the pros and cons of staying versus moving, we have finally made a decision.  We are selling our home and moving to a condominium.  The real estate market definitely favors sellers at the moment, especially where we live in Western North Carolina, where inventory is in short supply.  But that could change at the drop of a hat (or of the stock market).  So, our emphasis is definitely on selling—and the sooner the better.

Now that we’ve made the call, the pressure is totally off.  We’ve begun the tedious process of divesting ourselves of as much excess baggage as possible.  Already, thanks to Craigslist and other online sales avenues, we’ve managed to sell: a bicycle; two sets of golf clubs with carts; a bedroom set; CD/DVD player and amplifier; and a SLR film camera.  The landfill will probably be the recipient of the remaining stuff that no longer has a meaningful purpose.  But go it will.

Where will we go?  We don’t know yet (of course we’ll remain here in the mountains).  But, in the short term, we don’t particularly care—just as long as we can sell our house.  In fact, we’ll probably rent a furnished apartment for six months, so we can take our time finding the condominium that suits us best.  And, believe it or not, we’re actually getting excited—energized— about the move.  We’ve been kind of reborn if you will.  It’s going to be fun deciding where to place the big screen TV, whether or not we’ll have a guest bedroom, or who’ll get the loft or bonus room all to himself (or herself, as will most likely be the case).

There’s a lot to be said for taking matters into your own hands.  I must admit that we had become somewhat paralyzed by our situation, preferring to let the course of our future be dictated by chance.  But thanks to our daughter and son-in-law, who provided us with some much-needed insight into the benefits of being proactive, our “paralysis through analysis” is a thing of the past.  For better or for worse, we took matters into our own hands and made a decision, and now it’s full steam ahead.  Look out world, here we come!

If you’re at that juncture in your own lives, where it’s time to fish or cut bait regarding the old homestead, why not sit down and make a list of the pros and cons of staying in your home (in most cases, it’s not hard to predict what the result will be).  Then make a decision.  Either way, you’ll be glad you did.  We certainly are.

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at:
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16 Responses to To move or not to move, that is the question . . .

  1. Bruce Pfeffer says:

    Your decision to sell is the right one, Joe. The timing is right, like the alignment of the Stars. My old neighbor in Orlando had the same alignment. Like a spaceship launch, everything was go. There age and family situation timing was appropriate. Their home had appreciated, That was in 2007. They bet that 2008 would bring even better money. You guessed the outcome. Kudos on getting rid of excess baggage. The reality of “stuff” is that it owns us. My only caveat with condos is parking for your guests. Imagine a family visit where there are no spaces available. Well, I have a few more. Annoying neighbors on the other side of common walls. Yappy dogs, Bug infestations. Vandalism to cars. Family violence two doors down. Draconian rules on what you can do with your own place and overzealous enforcement with threats of liens or even foreclosure. Ever seen them during construction? Tinderboxes with nice looking skins. What’s wrong with a tiny ranch style on a tenth acre and no HOA? Paint it pink if you want. Park guests on the grass. Whatever you decide, best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Condos here are built much better than say ones in Florida. The idea of a smaller stand-alone crossed my mind . . . for all of 30 seconds . . . LOL.
      Having been on the Board of our HOA, I am well aware of those pitfalls as well.
      No up-and-down unit, that’s for certain. I just need to be diligent with my homework. Maybe a pink bathroom . . . 😱
      Certainly do appreciate your input. All good points, Bruce. 😀


  2. I contemplate this question all the time, Joe. But I am alone and want the move to be the last one I have to make. I think when I can’t take care of myself, I need to move close to my sister who lives in the Atlanta area. I feel I have many more years here in the mountains teaching and being near my writing friends, but my house has stairs which have become difficult for me to manage. If I could find a one story house with the room I have now, I’d move, but I don’t think houses are selling that well in my area. Sounds like you have made your decision and enjoying the plans. I think we made your decision when we left the “homestead” in Georgia in 1995 and moved to Hayesville. Now my last move is likely to be an assisted living place. I dread that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can certainly understead your reticence to move if you don’t have to. I have never considered an assisted-living residence, but that’s only because I could never afford one. Many of our friends have chosen that route, however, and seem very happy with their choice. Independence is a double-edged sword, and I’m sure you realize that. I wish you well in whatever direction you decide to go. 🙂


  3. Sue Merritt says:

    GREAT entry … Isn’t it interesting how many “brand new adventures” we are STILL offered in this life?? Amazing. As a “recycled parent” (bringing up our grandson!), I am constantly afforded the chance to do old/new things! Thanks, Joe, and enjoy the new beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Priscilla says:

    Exactly what we did!!! Pulled out of the driveway and never looked back…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now that you’ve taken the big step, exciting new adventures await… Know you’ll have fun finding a perfect fit and wish you both the best! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. allenrizzi says:

    We are a couple of steps behind you because as you know we have to sell that damned house in Italy. “Fish or cut bait?” Maybe a poor metaphor for a fly fisherman….😎

    Liked by 1 person

  7. delphini510 says:

    Wishing you a wonderful time in your new life and in the place you will find. A new dream place.
    It is good to divest but I have moved both countries and within this country and you find what you need and love.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. balroop2013 says:

    I like your decision Joe. I hope you would find a lovely little condo and be more comfortable in your new surroundings. Changes may be hard but some of them are inevitable, with age. Stay happy and positive.

    Liked by 1 person

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