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A look at some of the options for downsizing

Chase Binder helps her husband Bud Binder remove old skis from the garage attic in their home of 41 years in Bow on July 26, 2014. "Goodbye, garage attic!" Chase said, after all the skis were down, explaining that it was the last time they would ever have to go into the attic. The couple is downsizing from the 12-room house to a four-room condominium and have to be out of the house by mid-August.

(WILL PARSON/Monitor staff)

Chase Binder helps her husband Bud Binder remove old skis from the garage attic in their home of 41 years in Bow on July 26, 2014. "Goodbye, garage attic!" Chase said, after all the skis were down, explaining that it was the last time they would ever have to go into the attic. The couple is downsizing from the 12-room house to a four-room condominium and have to be out of the house by mid-August. (WILL PARSON/Monitor staff)

We found three basic approaches to downsizing. What’s right for you?

Going smaller

If you’re fed up with the maintenance and expense of a big house, you can just move to another home with less square footage and a smaller yard.

It’s a buyers’ market and interest rates are still low. Websites such as nneren.com, realtor.com or zillow.com let you filter by asking price, location, square footage and amenities and will even email you interesting listings.

Condo world

There are many notions about condo living – out-of-control fees, paper-thin walls, unreasonable restrictions.

Some of these are myths, some depend on your point of view. In fact, the Concord area has lots of condo flavors – townhouses, apartment-style buildings with pools and club houses, and detached individual homes. Scout availability and prices on real estate websites, then visit and talk to residents.

The attorney general’s office “vets” condo developments so consumers don’t get burned by unscrupulous or underfunded developers. It’s comforting, but most complaints arise because people don’t read the covenants before they buy.

Do your homework. We liked the idea of someone else being responsible for upkeep, but couldn’t see ourselves and our two poodles enjoying apartment or townhouse-style living. This led us to “detached style” condos – single-family homes clustered in a condo community, many of which are designed for the active and independent 55 and older crowd – us!

Examples in Bow include The Pines of Bow off White Rock Hill Road (thepinesofbow.com, Masiello Group, 4 Park St., Concord, 228-0151), Windchimes off Albin Road, and Stone Sled Farm off Woodhill Hooksett Road (stonesledfarm.com, Ken Moulton Real Estate, 10 Longview Drive, Bow, 226-9400).

Of course, there are many others, so have fun exploring!

Continuing care

If we wanted to be completely carefree on a more long-term basis, Bud and I could have headed for continuing care option such as the faith-based Havenwood-Heritage Heights in Concord (hhhinfo.com). HHH is the largest of only three accredited continuing care retirement communities in the state. After financial and health assessments, seniors 62 and older enter at the independent living level, renting one of the several apartments or cottages.

When health issues emerge, you transition into various levels of assisted living and long-term care.

Amenities abound – from theater to trips, cooking classes, libraries, exercise and more.

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