Time to Do Our Homework
By Dr. Lisa Cowley and Victor Westgate

Do you remember when you asked your kids each night if they did their homework? We never realized those words would ring so true for us now. We have begun the process of looking for a new home. We have only begun to dip our toes in the water because we have the luxury of time; our son has opened his home to us, temporarily, so that we can explore all options regarding finding our sense of place.

The process is formidable, as there is so much to consider when buying a home in a new area, in the second half of life. Do we want a single-family, townhouse, condo?
Do we want to live in an intentional community, master-planned community, a pocket neighborhood or simply repeat the old format of a single home in an urban, suburban, or rural community?
How will we deal with an HOA or LOA (landowner’s agreement) and will we be ok with lack of privacy after living in a more rural setting with a lot more privacy.

We no longer want a big project but would like to step into something that has been updated already. Looking at all the Zillow listings in our circled area has us wondering if this is possible. We have decided that our priority is living close to our son, but as we have learned from others there is no guarantee your grown child will be locked into the same job or place his whole lives. We say we want to live close by each other but realize circumstances can change. At this point in our lives, we want to make a change that will serve us well for decades to come.

Besides zeroing in on a community that we like, there is the matter of projecting what our home will feel like when we are closer to our late 70’s in another ten years. Climbing stairs to our bedroom and maintaining a big piece of property are out of the question for us. Stepping into a combination of sanctuary/ landing pad versus a sanctuary/project such as our former abode makes more sense at this stage of the game.

The good news is that Chapter 1 of our book, Pack Lightly: Making Sense of the Second Half of Your Life provides us with guidelines to consider as we try to narrow down our choices. Our ideal community needs to have walkability to stores and restaurants, close to hiking and biking trails, access to health care providers, age diversity and a mutual set of values.

As you can read, we have our work cut out for us or should we say, we have a great deal of homework to do. As we continue this assignment, we are more than willing to share our “answers.” Stay tuned…


Dr. Lisa Cowley, a holistic chiropractor and nutritional counselor of 25 years, along with her husband, Victor Westgate, a high school educator of 34 years, are authors of Pack Lightly: Making Sense of the Second Half of Your Life. You can learn more at: www.joyinaging.com


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