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MailTribune.com
  • An up-scale downsize in Phoenix

  • Emily Bernhardt and Norman Fisher hadn't envisioned themselves in a manufactured home, but once they saw the Creekside Estates development in Phoenix, with its backdrop of Bear Creek and the Southern Cascades, suddenly their ideas shifted. With the help of some family, they were able to create a sanctuary that suits their ecl...
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    • The secret to a successful downsize
      Dreaming of a downsize? As America's population readies for retirement, more homeowners are considering a move into a smaller residence. The benefits are numerous: Money and time become available f...
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      The secret to a successful downsize
      Dreaming of a downsize? As America's population readies for retirement, more homeowners are considering a move into a smaller residence. The benefits are numerous: Money and time become available for hobbies and travel; you may be able to move closer to family and/or other friends who have already downsized; and you may find your quality of life actually increases—easy-to-reach outlets, fewer stairs, nearby assistance, etc.

      Of course, big change like a move is never easy, yet there are ways to lessen the emotional impact of leaving "the big house."

      First is advance planning. Postponing a move until it must happen means there's less time to find the perfect fit. It can also translate into less money in the bank account, as selling "as is" often delivers smaller returns.

      Once you've decided to downsize, the winning formula for happiness is "location, location, location."

      "Finding a wonderful location is the only thing that really counts," says Ashland Realtor Sam Whitford, who just helped his mother-in-law and her partner downsize from a grand old Tennessee home to a 55-and-older community in Phoenix.

      Contact a local Realtor, gather information about the properties you're interested in, even knock on doors to find out how neighbors like the area.

      Finally, be open to solutions you may not have expected—perhaps a manufactured home or a retirement community will provide everything you're looking for. As long as it's in a location that promises happiness, it just might hold the key to a bright future.
  • Emily Bernhardt and Norman Fisher hadn't envisioned themselves in a manufactured home, but once they saw the Creekside Estates development in Phoenix, with its backdrop of Bear Creek and the Southern Cascades, suddenly their ideas shifted. With the help of some family, they were able to create a sanctuary that suits their eclectic tastes, busy social life and all the furniture and memorabilia they brought from their former home in Memphis, Tennessee.
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