When Mom and Dad Decide to Move
Posted on September 22, 2016
During a phone call
with Mom, she mentioned that she and Dad were thinking about selling
their house. They've lived in that house for 40 years, and it was
your childhood home. But now that they're getting older, the extra
space is no longer needed and stairs are harder to navigate.
You and your wife
Susan moved to Pennsylvania after you got a new job six years ago.
The distance hasn't been easy to travel, but your parents always
visited twice a year. Once your daughter Harriet was born, Mom
started to wish that they lived closer. Now she and Dad have decided
to move outside of Philadelphia so they can be closer to you.
excited to have your parents closer to you and your family, the idea
of them moving across the country is daunting. However, with careful
planning and help from experts, the move doesn't have to be.
Start looking into
the real estate market near you. Engaging a local realtor on behalf
of your parents will help make the process easier. Encourage your
parents to look online for places up for sale. When Mom sees a home
she likes, you can check out the open house for her. When you're at
the open house, take lots of pictures. You can send these in an email
to Mom along with all the details about the property.
Sit down with your
parents and plan a moving budget. Dad may have plenty of funds in his
retirement account, but be realistic about the moving costs. Set
aside enough money for the movers, plane tickets, and other fees. A
budget will help to narrow down the house hunt too. Once Mom and Dad
decide if they want a 1 or 2-bedroom house or apartment, you can
adjust the search accordingly.
Set a timeline.
When are Mom and Dad trying to move by? Is it easier to move them in
Summer or in Fall? Make sure to set days of “wiggle room” in case
something comes up.
Finally, help Mom
and Dad find a realtor for their old house in Oregon. While you're
going to miss your childhood home, you know it's the best decision
for them to sell the house. Help make the process easier by making
sure they have a reliable agent to market their home.
Don't Forget About Boxes
Moving is a big
deal. Be ready to take time off of work to travel back to Oregon to
help prepare your parents for moving. Mom will appreciate you being
there to help. Your presence will be emotional support for them,
especially when it's time to go through all the family memories.
Bring an extra suitcase to pack any of your childhood items that you
want to take home with you.
When you're there,
hold a yard sale over the weekend to help Mom and Dad downsize. Items
like garden tools, appliances, extra furniture, and unused holiday
gifts are the perfect things to put out. Anything that doesn't sell
at the yard sale can be donated to a local thrift store.
Determine how your
parent’s things will be moved. Will Mom and Dad get a moving truck
for their stuff? Did they decide to rent those moving 'pods' instead?
Moving companies have different processes for picking-up and
dropping-off belongings. Shop around until they find a company that
they like and can afford.
Open Your Home
Once Mom and Dad are
ready to move across the country, keep your guest room ready. If any
unforeseen events delay moving into their new home, they will
appreciate staying with family over a hotel. And in case the delays
with their new home take longer than anticipated, they'll have a safe
place to be. When their belongings arrive from the movers, plan on
being available to help with all the unpacking.
After Mom and Dad
get settled in their new home, encourage them to go out on the town
and make new friends. Put together a folder ahead of time filled with
fun things to do in the area. Include information on the local senior
center and gym, museums and parks.
Moving is hard on
friendships. Mom and Dad will miss the social circles and friends
they had back in Oregon. Encouraging them to stay busy will help to
fill the space, and bring new friends into their lives.
Spend Time Together
Now that Mom and Dad
are half an hour away, set aside time each week to see them. Schedule
family dinners on Friday night, and fun outings on the weekend. Your
parents can also help get your daughter Harriet ready for school, and
babysit her during the week so you and your wife Susan can have a
night off. And you'll be able to support Mom and Dad as they ease
into their golden years. Be ready to share plenty of years filled
with sunshine, smiles, and laughter.
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