Moving on your mind? You may have been considering a move for a while now. You see others do it. And it seems like everyone makes it look so easy.

Buying a home is no easy task. It takes much time, money, and energy to find the perfect property for your aging needs. Selling your current home can be as difficult. Especially if you’re trying to do it while buying another home at the same time.

With some proper planning, you can accomplish this task. 

Here are 5 tips for you to consider while you plan for your next big move.

Tip 1: Never rush the move.

WARNING: Nobody likes taking possession of a dirty house. Having 5 days of overlap between closing on the sale of your property and moving to your new home is NOT enough time. It is best to give yourself at least 30 days, if not 45-60 days of overlap. 

This gives you time to move your belongings, unpack and clean both spaces. You will also need to disconnect/reconnect the utilities and services. And don’t forget, it is important to say a proper goodbye to the place you’ve called home.

Tip 2: Avoid being stuck in a financial conundrum.

In the case of both selling and buying, you must plan to have the funds available to make it all work. Not rushing the move means you may have to carry two mortgages at the same time. Having access to cash might be dependent on selling your home. This can also cause financial strain if you are moving to a rental unit or retirement community. 

Plan ahead. There are financial tools available, such as a bridge loan. This is short-term financing used until a person secures permanent financing or removes an existing obligation. Consult with your bank before starting the process. Your banker will need time to prepare the paperwork and finish the transactions.

Tip 3: Make an effort to update your home(s).

Updating your home for sale can make all the difference. Small improvements like painting, mulching, or pressure washing go a long way. Further updates that generally give good returns are, kitchen and bathroom updates. Purchasing stainless steel appliances, or replacing the tub surround with tile. Have your trusted realtor provide suggestions as they do a walk-through of your home. 

You will likely want to put your personal mark on your new home. If your new home requires renovations or upgrades, it is nice to complete these before you move in. This is where timing is important and having the proper financing in place. 

Tip 4: Be sure to have a backup plan. 

Your home could end up sitting on the market idly. This means double mortgage payments and household expenses. Explore options for worst-case scenarios. Speak with your realtor about short-term rental regulations in your area. Renting in the short to medium term until your home sells is one way to help offset some of the costs.

Tip 5: Don’t forget to budget for professional services. 

A move can be exhausting. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are many professionals available to help you with your transition. A yard maintenance company, painter, downsizer/organizer, professional stager, or a moving company. Plan to have money available to hire help. 

Bonus Tip: Budget for the small things. Tipping the maintenance staff, buying the moving crew lunch, and a thank you gift for your realtor. 

In sum: Juggling selling and buying at the same time is actually achievable when you apply the above 5 tips. So let me leave you with one last tip…

Lean on the professionals around you to make this dream move happen. Write a list of the professionals in your life and start making calls or sending emails today. 

Life is short, so get to it – you’re going to be glad you did!

Ellan Dickieson is the Founder of Senior Transitions Made Simple. As a registered Social Worker and Accredited Financial Counsellor she empowers seniors overcome later life challenges and live out their vision for aging.