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Fischer: May may be the busiest month for house hunting

By Jen Fischer - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 17, 2024

Photo supplied

Jen Fischer

Ode to the month of May, the month of big changes. Graduation ceremonies abound, festivals, parades, maypoles, mothers and tacos are all celebrated in this fifth month of the year, named after Maia, the Roman goddess of spring. At the end of the month, we also honor those who died in the service of our country. It is a month of beginnings and endings. It is no wonder, then, that May is one of the busiest months in real estate, especially in Utah.

As the school year begins to wind down, families with school-age children will consider this the best time to move. There doesn’t need to be a disruption in the school year, and the kids can have the entire summer to make new friends in a new area before starting at a different school. It also is a time when the lawns look the greenest, the flowers are in fresh bloom and the windows can stay clean for more than a day. Perhaps that is also why, statistically, homes sell for more money in May than in any other month.

It is not just the school kids and their parents who are moving, however. This seems to be a good time for older members of the population to move as well. There comes a time when all the kids have moved out, including the ones in the basement, and all the yardwork and home maintenance that we all once enjoyed so much (did we?) becomes more of a nuisance and a source of muscular discomfort. Stairs become tripping hazards and the bathtub is used only for aesthetic purposes. This is one of the most difficult transitions that people can make in a lifetime.

Throughout my career as a Realtor, I have helped many clients make this transition. Whether it is to a senior living facility, a smaller patio home or into a home with a relative, it is no small task. It can be such a daunting and overwhelming undertaking for some that they can experience serious emotional and physical symptoms. In fact, it is so common that there is now a term for it … transfer trauma. This is characterized by symptoms of anxiety, confusion and loneliness, which are generally noticed after completion of the move. Awareness and acknowledgment are key in ensuring a less stressful transition. At the core, seniors feel fear, loss of choice and lack of control. Ensuring that something familiar is still within reach can assist in this move as well. I have found that the aging population who tend to make the transition most smoothly are the ones who come to the decision by themselves that a move is necessary. We all like to make our own decisions, especially those of us more stubborn, ornery and adamant types.

Understandably, not all the elderly have the capacity to make their own choices about housing arrangements. My own mom, for example, had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for a few years before we decided it was time to move her from her home. It was a difficult decision for all, especially for her husband who had taken such good care of her for as long as he possibly could on his own. When she began to go for midnight walks around the neighborhood and knock on doors, unable to tell the homeowner where she lived, it became apparent that it was time. We packed a few of her favorite things (some books, pictures, slippers and a sweater) and moved her over to assisted care. The initial move was difficult. We noticed a quick decline. However, by visiting often, taking her for walks, and bringing ice cream and root beer, she began to do well. She was often pleasant and seemed happy for the last few months until a quick decline before making her final move into her permanent residence … which is an entire topic of its own. … Stay tuned.

Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jen@jen-fischer.com.

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