With an increasing number of citizens getting older, the inevitable questions surrounding staying in their homes or downsizing, begin to surface for seniors. A local realtor recently spoke at the Milton Council on Aging about the pertinent but often stressful topic.
Last month, Tom O'Neill, owner/broker at Success! Real Estate in Milton, appeared at the Council on Aging's Monthly Breakfast. He also made a $1,000 donation to go toward gas for the Senior Center's transportation vans, in honor of long-time neighbor Elaine Kelley, who recently passed away.
Elaine's husband and COA Board Chair, Paul Kelley, reached out to O'Neill after hearing several questions about real estate.
"We keep hearing from seniors about, 'when is the best time to sell your house?'" said Mary Ann Sullivan, Council on Aging Director.
O'Neill provided handouts and answered many questions at the breakfast, which was attended by about 35 people, a great turnout for the monthly event.
Concerns about health, upkeep, size and finding caretakers and workers one can trust, were all expressed.
"They're mainly concerned about the trauma of making any kind of move," O'Neill said.
The link seniors feel to their homes can be a major roadblock in deciding to move out, even if the time may be right.
"There's a real connection with a home emotionally," said O'Neill.
O'Neill suggests that seniors to pretend they are giving advise to a friend, but explains that time must be taken on this very personal decision.
"The time to move is when you're ready to move," O'Neill said.
Aside from the emotional connection to their homes, seniors also struggle with the decision to downsize and get rid of some items they've had for many years.
"It's very difficult for seniors, or anyone, to separate themselves from their things," Sullivan said.
While the time may be right for some people to sell, others may just need renovations or changes to their homes to help them live more independently. The Milton Council on Aging has a wealth of resources for seniors to stay in their homes through South Shore Elder Services.
O'Neill also has resources to help seniors, no matter their decision, at Success! Real Estate.
"At Success, we try to use our training and expertise to help seniors, whether they want to stay in their home or sell it," said O'Neill.