Downsize Into Your Dream Home Advice For Empty Nesters

Dated: 11/30/2017

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Downsize into Your Dream Home: Advice for Empty Nesters

Being an empty nester means it’s time to start thinking about your future and the choices that are best for you in this new chapter of your life.  More than likely it’s time to reevaluate your living situation. You might even want to consider moving into a home that will be smaller and more manageable in your golden years. Consider this an opportunity to move into a home that will will allow you to age in place and that promotes an enjoyable lifestyle during retirement. Here’s how to make it happen.

Decluttering and communicating

Now is a perfect time to reduce the clutter in your home.  Check with your family members to see what they would like to have.  You may find that just because you held onto an item with someone in mind doesn’t mean it’s something they desired.  Similarly, you may be surprised by what is important to your loved ones.  It’s possible your children may want particular keepsakes that you don’t think much of but remind them of their earlier years.  To be sure, ask.  If your kids leave behind items they don’t want, you can include those with items you will donate or throw away.  

It’s a process

Start going through your closets to pull more items and add them to the donation and trash piles.  Remove clothing you no longer wear and duplicate items, like that extra red sweater or spare coffee pot.  Keep the new or more sentimental items and eliminate the rest.  Similarly, declutter on the front end by throwing out worn out items as you purchase new ones.  If you hit a wall or feel completely overwhelmed, it might be time to call in the help of a professional organizer.  Professional organizers can systematically organize your home by sorting things of value and ease you through the transition.  According to HomeAdvisor, on average it costs about $483 to hire a professional organizer.   

Making your move

Realtor.com notes that moving out of your empty nest into a smaller and more easily managed home is a smart decision.  “This is one time it makes definite sense to buy for the future. It's impossible to know when you will lose your ability or desire to do things like climb stairs or use the combination tub-shower. A sudden disability or health problem will make it very difficult to house hunt and move, and you might feel pressure from family to transfer to a senior living facility.  If you're retired and looking for a home to age in, shop for something with no stairs and accessible features.”

Downsizing

According to Today, consider accessibility throughout potential homes, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom areas.  Even if you don’t need modifications now, bear in mind that you may eventually need to remodel to age in place.  The areas where remodels are most likely needed are the kitchen and bathroom.  Consider lower countertops or a section that can be reached from a seat in the kitchen.  In the bathroom, think about slanted-tile flooring and a wide-mouthed drain, turning the bath into a “wet room.”  When making your decision, factor in the potential cost of accessibility modifications with a home purchase.

Contemplate choices

When making your change, it’s a great time to consider how you want your life to look in the future.  Not only can you find a home to live out your golden years safely, but experts suggest contemplating other bonuses involved with moving.  Do you want to live where public transportation is convenient?  Would you enjoy having less yard to tend to?  Do you prefer to be close to cultural events or the golf course?  Now is the time to choose your retirement dream home.  

From dream to reality

Think through what your future needs may be, and also your desires.  Don’t just downsize, but move into a home that will allow you to age in place and have fun while doing it.  Your empty nest is an opportunity for making dreams come true.  

Thanks to Gene Ramsey at Downsizing Dad for this information, please visit his website for more information on downsizing.

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George Woods

George Woods is a native born and raised in York, PA and graduated in 1993 from Spring Grove High School. George achieved his real estate license and became a full-time, licensed Realtor in 1996, at t....

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