Downsizing for Seniors
If the children have flown the coop, it may be time to start thinking about downsizing your nest. With empty rooms and a quiet backyard, many empty nesters find that downsizing their home is the best option when it comes to living day-to-day. While a home may have been practical in size when the kids were little, now that it is devoid of running feet and shouting voices, perhaps the house is ready for a new young family to call home.
Making the move out of a family home can be filled with emotion for everyone – even the children -however it is important to keep practical goals in mind when moving out and on with the next family chapter. Here are several considerations for an empty nester’s new home wish list:
Empty Nesters Wish List
- Size: Obviously, a large home is not pragmatic for everyday living. Yes, there might be visits from children and future grandchildren, but everyone can squeeze in when needed. An empty nester needs to consider their day-to-day living needs and what size home they can realistically maintain for the years to come. Less square footage means less cleaning, less maintenance, and perhaps less of a price tag as well.
- Layout: Traditional family housing often consists of bedrooms on a different level than living rooms and kitchens. Looking for a property with a single-floor layout or a master on the main floor might suit an empty nester much more. Furthermore, a home office might be a priority as an empty nester migrates from full-time work into retirement.
- Housing Type: A single-family home works well with kids, but come the empty nest years and it might be time to consider a condominium or townhome. With less maintenance and a smaller yard or outside space to maintain, packing up and leaving for last-minute trips might actually be doable. Moving into an apartment might even allow empty nesters to consider purchasing that second vacation home they have always wanted.
- Heating/Cooling Costs: With a smaller home often comes a smaller heating and cooling bill. Having large amounts of unused spaces unnecessarily heated in the winter and cooled in the summer will add to the monthly expense of the home. Newer properties are offering energy efficient finishes, features, and appliances that offer a significant savings on monthly expenses.
- Location: The suburbs may have been ideal for riding bikes and trick or treating, but now that the children are gone, an urban environment might be beckoning some empty nesters. With many city homes offering local amenities within walking distance, there is a significant advantage to walking out the front door for dinner, the theatre, or shopping. Living closer to the city often allows a shorter commute to work, and come retirement years, an even shorter commute for a relaxing morning at the neighborhood coffee shops.
Overall, the options for empty nesters go beyond living in a too large and too quiet home. Relocating to a new house that can fulfill new needs is an opportunity to start making new family memories.