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2019-05-29 14:28:23
Starting Over: Moving After Loss

Starting Over: Moving After Loss and Grief
Feeling overwhelmed with Loss
Image via Pixabay
There are many reasons to move following the loss of a spouse or partner. Better career opportunities, to be closer to family, and to start a new chapter in your life are all valid motivations to seek a fresh start. Assuming you’ve given yourself time to grieve, there is no reason to stay put in a place that keeps you bound to the past. Here are a few practical tips to help you through the process.

Prepare your current home for sale

First, you’re going to have to figure out what to do with your current home. Chances are, this means listing it for sale. Start by finding the right real estate agent. Explain your situation and don’t be afraid to ask for advice on home improvements and upgrades that can help you get the most money at closing.

You will need to make any repairs that you’ve let go over the years, including things like squeaky floors and holes in the yard. A fresh coat of neutral paint and new mulch in the flower beds will go a long way toward upping your home’s appeal. Once you have an offer, plan to contract with an interior house cleaning services to do a final cleaning before you leave. This can cost anywhere from $101-$176 in St. Petersburg, and there are plenty of services to choose from. Opting to outsource this task will enable you to focus on more important tasks as you transition to a new home.

Let go of the past

Part of the reason you are moving is to start a new life. This means letting go of some of your material possessions. When you’ve lost a spouse or partner, you will need to say goodbye to some of their things, too. This does not mean you have to simply box up their life and toss it in the trash. What’s Your Grief? recommends sorting their belongings into piles of things for you to keep, things to donate or sell, things to trash, and keepsakes for others.

The purging process is also important as you depersonalize your space before your home goes on the market. Buyers have a deep need to envision their family in each home they view. The more of your – and your departed loved one’s – personal belongings that are in sight, the harder it is to do this.

Decide where you want to go

If you have not already determined where you’re going to move, now is the time to narrow down your options. It is not enough to simply want to go somewhere new, you will also have to consider the affordability of your new home as well as employment opportunities, the crime rate, proximity to friends and family, and access to public amenities such as healthcare and transportation. Money Crashers lists several different resources to help you research your new future hometown.

Determine if you want to rent or buy

If you have never spent any time in the place you plan to call home, you are probably better off renting for three to six months before committing to a purchase. However, buying a home of your own is one of the best ways to put roots down in a new town. There are financial considerations as well. For example, if you move and realize that you are unhappy, you may wind up having to pay capital gains taxes if your home appreciates and you sell within two years. The decision to rent or buy is completely up to you, but if you do decide to purchase a new home, make sure to find a realtor that knows the area and can point you in the right direction.

Lastly, don’t feel guilty about needing a change of scenery. In life, things change, and you cannot expect yourself to hold on to the past when your future lies ahead. So take the time to grieve but then let go, take a deep breath, and make your move.
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