Hello from Susan Santangelo. I write the Baby Boomer mysteries, a series of humorous cozies that follows the adventures of Carol Andrews and her long-suffering husband, Jim, as they navigate their way along life’s rocky road toward their twilight years. With one dead body thrown in, just to make things more interesting.May is National Moving Month. Yep, that’s right. Turns out that more people move during the month of May than during any other time of the year according to realtors, moving companies, and relocation specialists. With that in mind, I decided to blog today about the second book in my series, Moving Can Be Murder.
Here’s the back cover blurb: Empty nester Carol Andrews would prefer leaving her beautiful antique house in Fairport, Connecticut “feet first” to selling it and moving on. But her Beloved Husband Jim convinces her that a nearby active adult community is the best fit for them at this time of life. Their house sells, and Carol returns alone the night before the closing for a “pity party” farewell tour. And discovers the dead body of the buyer in her living room. Wow. Talk about seller’s remorse!Selling a house and moving can be very stressful, even without a dead body involved. So, to make the ordeal a little easier, I included a quiz at the back of the book, which I’m happy to share.
The Moving Quiz
Are you (and Your Beloved) having the Relocation Conversation? Should you stay in your current home, or strike out for someplace new?To get the conversation started, here are some things to consider.
How do you rate the community where you now live? Include factors like public safety, property taxes (and the possibility of an increase), access to public transportation, availability of senior services, and trash/recycling collection.Do you love your current home? Is it convenient to stores, dry cleaners, your faith community, and other things that are important to you? If you live alone, is there someone you can count on to check on you to be sure you are okay?
Does your current home have potential for a first-floor master bedroom and bath, with no stairs involved? Ditto a convenient laundry area? Are doorways wide, or could they be widened easily if necessary?Could you close off some unused rooms and save on energy costs?
Is your mortgage paid off? Can you manage the property taxes, insurance and maintenance expenses?Does the idea of cleaning out closets and packing up belongings overwhelm you?
Could you keep your house in “company” condition all the time? Could you tolerate showing your house to potential buyers at a moment’s notice?Are you prepared to move away from family and friends? Your doctors and dentist? (Your hairdresser?)
OK, let’s say you’ve thought about all these questions and you’ve decided to move. Let’s think about where to go.Do you have a bit of wanderlust and want a complete change in lifestyle, climate or even country?
Do you prefer to live in a city, suburb, small town, or rural area?Which of these appeals to you the most: a golf community, beach resort, over-55 development or a diverse, mixed-age neighborhood? None of these?
If you are a couple, do you both want to move, or is one of you doing it for the other? (Be honest with this answer. This is a big step and both partners should agree.)How quickly do you think you’d develop friendships in a new location?
Do you have hobbies or other activities that will get you out of the house in your new community? Does your partner?Realistically, could you have a change of heart and want to move back home before too long?
Would you want to try a new location for a year or two or make this a permanent move? If the former appeals to you more, perhaps you should consider renting for a while to be sure you really love your new location.What happens if your partner dies, and you are on your own in a new town?
Everyone’s answers to this quiz will be different, of course. And there are many other factors which may play into whatever decision you make about where to spend the next part of your life.If you decide to stay in your current home, here are some resources that can help.
CAPS is a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist program developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in association with AARP. Check out www.nahb.com/caps.The National Aging in Place Council’s website has information on all matters relating to safety and Universal Design. Check out www.ageinginplace.org.
The American Society of Interior Design (ASID) also has an aging-in-place component on its website: www.asid.org/designknowledge/aa.inplace.Good luck!