Going through the loss of a loved one is a
life-changing event for you. Deciding to move, whether for a change of scenery
to start fresh or out of necessity, is a decision that brings about another big
change. A lot of different factors go into this decision from practical matters
like the process of selling and packing to the emotional matters of deciding
where to move and handling your loved one’s belongings.
you know if moving is the right thing to do?
For some people, moving after a loss is the
most practical thing to do, especially choosing to downsize
to a smaller place that’s more
manageable. You may also consider your social network and whether moving to be
closer to friends and family could help you get through this emotional time.
Your home is more than just a house, and you naturally have an emotional
attachment to where you spent the most time with your loved one.
At the same time, it can be healthy to keep
those memories in your heart while moving to a new place where you can start
fresh. Considering all of these factors, make sure you do what’s right for you
because well-meaning friends and family members will probably give you
should you consider when selling and buying a new home?
If you’re selling the home you owned with your
spouse, there may be legal and tax considerations, like the tax deduction
for a jointly owned property.
You also will want to consider the value of the home you’re selling when budgeting
for your new home, especially if your loss means finances will be tighter. An
experienced real estate agent can be valuable in helping you navigate these
complex legal and financial considerations.
You may also need to make some changes to get
your home ready to sell. The Balance
recommends being as practical as possible
about making the changes necessary to increase the home’s value and suggests
following a checklist to help keep you on track. You may need to paint, remove
dated window coverings and replace old flooring to get your home in the best
condition for selling.
When looking for a new home, start by thinking
about where you see yourself in the future. For many people, going “home” to be
closer to family gives them a sense of comfort and normalcy following a death.
For others, this is an opportunity to branch out to a spot they’ve always
dreamed of. Whichever is best for you, don’t let your emotions keep you from
finding a home that truly suits your needs, now and for the future. You may
want a home that’s on a single level and that will require minimal maintenance.
Downsizing to a smaller home also has the added benefit of reduced energy costs
. Make sure to research
home prices in the areas where you want to live.
Like most people, you’ll need to find a way to
finance a new house, which is usually done via a mortgage loan. There are many different loans
to choose from (fixed rate,
adjustable rate, etc.), so make sure you do plenty of research to ensure you
find one that fits your budget and needs. However, if you’re a veteran, there
are special loans you can pursue, such as a VA loan
. VA loans provide benefits you won’t receive through other loan
programs. VA loans have lower interest rates, and you won’t have to pay monthly
mortgage insurance payments, also known as PMI (private mortgage insurance).
you navigate packing and sorting your loved one’s belongings?
Once you sell your home, the time will come to
pack up and get ready for the move. This is naturally going to be a highly
emotional process, so it’s important to have a plan and do your best to make
decisions wisely. What’s Your Grief
recommends sorting belongings based on the 4Ps —
participants, people, prioritize & plan, and pace yourself. Approaching
sorting items with this plan won’t take away your grief, but it can make the
The “participants” part of this plan is about
whether you do this alone or get help and support from others. Even if there
are some parts you feel you need to do alone, don’t try to take on everything
by yourself. You may even benefit from hiring professional movers
who offer a packing
service. Having this help relieves a lot of pressure from your shoulders, and
hiring a professional allows you to take a step back. Just be sure to take the
time to shop around.
Whatever your reasons are for moving after
your loss, this isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Leaning on the support of
professionals and those who are close to you can make it easier, though. They
can help you navigate this process so you’re able to start over in a space
where you can honor your loved one while also making it your own.
Article written by Lucille Rosetti at The Bereaved
You may contact her at: Info@TheBereaved.org