Live Your Dreams: How to Choose a New Neighborhood for a New Lifestyle

Your last little fledging bhgre_fl_day1_dsc2622has left the nest. Actually, your baby has been living on his or her own for a couple of years now. Meanwhile, you’ve been grumbling about lugging the vacuum cleaner upstairs to clean rooms that no one uses anymore. Isn’t it time for you to live some of your dreams?

Just because you’re eligible for a senior discount that doesn’t make you ready for the retirement home. Why wait until you retire to move to a new home or neighborhood that better suits your desire for a vibrant, active lifestyle?

But, where? And, how to make a big decision like this at this point in your life?

Start the conversation

Maybe you and your spouse have already been talking about finding a new community some day. If not, see if your spouse wants to make a change, too. Explain the reasons you would like to move. You may find that both of you have similar feelings, but have been hesitant to say anything because you assumed the other person didn’t feel the same way.

Be Honest

Make a list of priorities. Ideally, each person should make a prioritized list and then the two of you should come together to compare notes. Look at the top three priorities for each person. They don’t have to be the same. Many couples have very different interests, but both should be able continue to pursue their favorite activities, wherever they live. Many communities offer a wide variety of activities, so even the most diverse list may be workable.

Location

Where do you see yourself living? This may be the toughest decision to make. However, if you work and you’re happy with your job, you may just move across town or to a nearby area with resort-style amenities. Even if you want to stay in the area to live near family, you should be able to find a vibrant community that provides the style of living you desire.

If you have already retired, you may want to change towns or regions altogether. Also, if your children are strung out in different locations, you may be as easy to visit in one place as another. If you will be traveling frequently, you may want to live where you have fairly easy access to an airport.

Perhaps, you have a favorite vacation spot you’ve visited many times that you think would be a great place to live. That peaceful little beach spot may be the perfect spot to retire.

Contact a realtor

When you have decided that you’re definitely ready to make a move, contact a realtor to discuss your ideas. Realtors are knowledgeable about their areas and can connect you to realtors in other areas if your move takes you out-of-town.

Some additional tips to consider

 * Before selling your current home, you may want to try out your new spot by renting for a period of time before buying.

* If you’re moving to the coast, are you going to want to evacuate every time a hurricane threatens to hit nearby?

* If you plan to move out-of-town, enlisting the help of a real estate professional is essential because a price that seems reasonable for one area may actually be inflated in another.

* If you have friends who live in areas you are considering, talk to them about the pros and cons of the area.

* With the Internet and social media, you can find out most anything you want to know about an area without ever leaving home. You might want to read the online edition of the area’s newspaper(s) to get a feel for local events, the culture, and other important factors.

Regardless of your interests, a community exists that will allow you to pursue those interests. And, you don’t have to retire to live there.

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