The Best Online Tools for Downsizing Your House the Easy Way

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Written by Andrea Needham

Are you planning a move? Whether you’re moving to a retirement community or downsizing to an age-friendly home, moving is different in your senior years than when you were younger. Not only is calling friends for moving help no longer an option, but older adults have different needs when buying a home.

That’s no reason to shy away from downsizing! While some aspects of moving may be harder this time around, there are lots of digital tools to help along the way. Bemidji Senior Center shares the online resources every downsizing senior needs.

Shopping for a House — at Home!

Moving used to require a lot of legwork. These days, homeowners do most of the work online. Here’s how you can start your house hunt from the comfort of home.

  • Searching real estate listings online is easier than ever with websites like these.
  • Some real estate sites even include virtual house shopping extras like 3D walkthroughs and live video open houses.
  • Neighborhood apps like NeighborhoodScout and AreaVibes help senior homebuyers find safe, livable neighborhoods.
  • Older adults can also start their senior living search online with the use of review sites and other tools.

Hiring Downsizing Help Online

When you’re ready to sell your house and downsize, where do you turn for help? You don’t have to go far with online resources like these.

  • Older homeowners benefit from working with a Realtor who specializes in seniors. Search for a local Senior Real Estate Specialist online.
  • A Senior Move Manager, meanwhile, helps older adults with the logistics of decluttering, organizing, and downsizing.
  • How do you choose a reputable moving company? After finding movers in your city online, read reviews and verify credentials before making a final decision.

Online Tools for Planning Your Move

The hardest part of downsizing is deciding where to start. These checklists take the effort out of downsizing your home.

  • The best thing you can do when downsizing is to start early. The second best thing is to use this downsizing checklist to guide the process.
  • Homeowners also need to prepare their houses to sell. From setting the price to making repairs, don’t skip these steps for sellers.
  • If you’re buying a home to age in place, put these design features high on your priority list.
  • What should you bring when moving to assisted living? Every community is different, but this packing list covers the basics.

Your back isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean downsizing has to be a burden. From digital house hunting tools to real estate professionals, there are plenty of resources to make your downsize a breeze!

PRICE OF HANDCRAFTED GREETING CARDS WILL BE $1.00 EACH BEGINNING MONDAY, MAY 3RD, 2021

The Bemidji Senior Center‘s handcrafted greeting cards will increase from $.75 per card to $1.00 per card beginning Monday, May 3rd.  The price increase is due to the rising cost of craft supplies.

Our greeting card recycling program/fundraiser consists of a dedicated group of senior citizen volunteers that devote many hours each week to sort through donated greeting cards, then craft them into something very beautiful and unique. The money raised from the greeting card sales goes back to the Senior Center to support our mission of enriching the lives of our Bemidji area senior citizens.

The handcrafted greeting cards are available for purchase Monday-Friday from 10:00am-2:00PM at the Senior Center, located at 216 3rd St NW.

LOCAL ARTIST OFFERS FREE ART CLASS AT BEMIDJI SENIOR CENTER

Local artist, Mary Therese, invites Bemidji Senior Center to be a part of her project “Visions, Hopes and Dreams” to create and share art with people.  “I am so grateful to the Minnesota State Arts Board for a grant that will serve in making and keeping a connection to my community during the pandemic.”

 The local artist will guide participants in meditation, visualization, and the creation of a drawing with the theme of “Visions, Hopes and Dreams!” The artist will distribute packages containing colored pencils and paper triangles and ask the participants to use colors and words of expression within their design. She will then collage all the drawings together on a large sign board which will travel back to be shared with the participants and the larger community. Working from the inspiration of the collage and the combined vision, she will design and paint a mural to be placed on the exterior wall of Harmony Food Coop in downtown Bemidji.  Her hope is that the simple act of sharing with the greater community, the “Visions, Hopes, and Dreams” of people from many diverse backgrounds will help to create a world where everyone feels included and appreciated.

The free art class will be held at the Bemidji Senior Center on Friday, April 23rd at 12:00pm. Materials are provided. Space is limited, so participants must pre-register by calling 751-8836.

St. Cloud State University DRIVER IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM at the Bemidji Senior Center

ARE YOU 55+ ?


THIS COURSE WILL SAVE YOU 10% ON YOUR AUTO INSURANCE FOR 3 YEARS.
THERE ARE NO WRITTEN OR BEHIND THE WHEEL TESTS!

8 HOUR CLASS FOR THE FIRST TIME STUDENTS
4 HOUR REFRESHER FOR THE REPEAT STUDENT

TO REGISTER FOR THESE OR OTHER CLASSES IN YOUR
AREA CALL 1-888-234-1294 OR VISIT http://www.mnsafetycenter.org


UPCOMING CLASSES OFFERED AT BEMIDJI SENIOR CENTER, 216 3RD ST NW, BEMIDJI:

Apr 10 (4 Hr Refresher) 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Apr 21 (4 Hr Refresher) 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM
May 8 (4 Hr Refresher) 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
May 15 (4 Hr Refresher) 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

“Our Family” Direct Your Labels Program

Please help the Bemidji Senior Center by donating Our Family brand labels with the bar code attached.  Look for this brand at Lueken’s Village Foods, Marketplace Foods and Teal’s Market.  500 labels/barcodes equals $25.00 for our Center.  Every little bit helps!

You may drop labels off at the hostess desk of the Bemidji Senior Center Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.   The Bemidji Senior Center is located at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji.

FALL PREVENTION SERIES NOW OFFERED AT BEMIDJI SENIOR CENTER

The Bemidji Senior Center is offering Fall Prevention:  Moving Beyond “Get Rid of the Throw Rug”.  This free educational series will take a proactive approach on actions you can take to help prevent falls.  This four-part series is designed to inform, educate, and empower.  Sessions will be held on the following Tuesdays:  April 13th, April 27th, May 11th, and May 25th from 12:00pm-1:00pm at the Bemidji Senior Center located at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji. 

The series is designed for participants to attend all four classes.  You must sign up for the class ahead of time as space is limited to 10 participants for social distancing.  Please call 751-8836 to register.

PRESENTATION: MILLINERY IN EARLY BEMIDJI

Do you remember the LaFontisee sisters (Kate, Ella, and Lucy) and their millinery shop at 307 Beltrami Avenue in the 1950s?

These women purchased Mrs. Conger’s Parlor in 1912 and had a long career in the business, but there were also other interesting and independent women who made up the dressmaking and millinery industry here in Bemidji.  These two occupations gave women social stature and a way to support themselves long before the days of Rosie the Riveter.

Join us for conversation on Tuesday, March 23rd at 12:30pm in the Bemidji Senior Center dining room.

*Space is limited, so please call ahead to sign up at 751-8836.*

UPDATE ON TAX AIDE PROGRAM AT BEMIDJI SENIOR CENTER

Tax preparation assistance for people over 60 or for anyone with a moderate income will begin on February 12. Due to the pandemic, the process will be substantially different this year.

All visits will be by appointment only. Please call the Bemidji Senior Center starting on Thursday, February 11 from 10am to 2pm to schedule an appointment (751-8836). After that you may schedule an appointment on any Monday, Thursday or Friday during the tax season. It will require two visits. On the first visit, the client’s documents will be scanned into the system. One week later the client will return to review the completed return and have it efiled.

Clients need to bring photo ID, social security cards for all individuals on the return including dependents, copies of all forms of income including tax exempt income, information on health insurance coverage and last year’s tax return. If applying for a renter’s rebate, the certificate of rent paid (CRP) is also needed.

This free service is provided by the Bemidji Senior Center, AARP, IRS, and MN Dept of Revenue.

TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IN PLANNING STAGE

The VITA/TCE tax assistance program located at the Bemidji Senior Center is
planning on operating again this year. How it will happen is still in the planning stages
but some general guidelines have been put into place. The plan is to limit face to face
contact between the volunteer and the client so as to reduce the exposure for everyone
involved. It will involve two visits to the Center by the taxpayer.

Assistance will be available by appointment only. The taxpayer will bring their
paper work in and meet with a volunteer who will scan the documents into the computer. The clients will leave with an appointment to return a week later. In the meantime, another volunteer will call the client to clarify the return and another volunteer will review it. When the clients return, they will meet with a volunteer who will review the return with them. If it meets with the clients’ approval, they will sign the return, and the tax return will be efiled. All scanned documents will be deleted.

The earliest this could start is Thursday, Feb 11. Specific information will be
published as it is finalized. Appointments are not yet being scheduled, so please wait to call.

BEMIDJI SENIOR CENTER REOPENING MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH, 2021

The Bemidji Senior Center will re-open on Monday, January 4th, 2021.

  • Hours will be 10:00am-2:00pm Monday-Friday
  • Senior Creations Gift Shop will be open 10:00am-2:00pm Monday-Friday
  • There will be a limit of 2 customers and 1 clerk in the Gift Shop at one time
  • ***No large group activities will be held for the time being***
  • Small group activities are being held…see monthly activity calendar for more details
  • MASK OR FACE COVERING REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE ENTERING THE BUILDING
  • Hand washing or hand sanitizing required for everyone entering the building
  • Non family members must remain 6 feet apart
  • Group gatherings limited to 10 people or less
  • No food or drink will be served for indoor consumption (no coffee or treats!)
  • Lutheran Social Services is offering “curb side pickup” for meals as well as Meals on Wheels
  • High touch surfaces disinfected frequently
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have had exposure to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, STAY HOME and call your health care provider

The Bemidji Senior Center is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all that enter our building.  Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19.