When you find yourself with an empty nest and you have too much house for your needs, a smaller home and maybe a different area or lifestyle may be the best option. Here are some tips for empty nest homebuyers or senior homebuyers when you are considering a home change.
Assess what you want in a home and what you need for the way you live now. As an empty-nester, the way you lived in your family home when you had kids is not the way you live now. You want to look for an area, home style or needs that suits your new empty-nest lifestyle.
Do you want to do yardwork anymore? Are you ok being in an attached home? Maintenance-free homes are popular among empty nest homebuyers because they no longer want to spend time or have the capability to mow lawns and tend yards. Townhomes or condos are the best bet for a maintenance-free home, but cost of assessments and being attached is something that goes a long with the maintenance-free home benefit.
Do you want activities and a lifestyle? For those over 55, active adult communities can offer a maintenance-free home, even in a single-family home, and also offer activities and other benefits for empty nest homebuyers or senior homebuyers.
Where do you want to live now? Area also can play a part in a new lifestyle. Empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers may want to live near friends, relatives or their children. Schools are no longer the main factor in the home buying decision, but affordability and taxes could be the most important aspects for empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers who can be on retirement or moving toward a fixed income. Crime, transportation and proximity to shopping, restuarants, doctors or services also can be relevant looking at current and future needs.
What kind of home do you need – how big and how small? Size and style of a home are a consideration. Empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers no longer need 4 bedrooms, a huge home and a big basement. They may or may not want a basement. They can usually do 2 or 3 bedrooms, and scale down on square footage. Just eliminating one or two bedrooms and redundant family areas like family room and living room spaces can naturally reduce the square footage. Remember, whatever space you have, you will need to clean and pay for the taxes, maintenance and upkeep. Most empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers are moving to reduce that work and cost anyway, so it is a good time to look at what your space needs are.
One big mistake empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers do is try to fit their old lifestyle into a new home. Furniture is the biggest issue. You may not need a big dining room set for your new home. But if you plan to host family gatherings, you may still need the space. If you don’t have kids anymore, why have so many sets of bedroom furniture? Take the best and sell or donate the rest. Don’t make the new house fit your furniture, make it fit your new lifestyle and needs. And make your kids come and get all the stuff they left behind in your home. They have homes of their own and if they wanted the old trophies, posters, games and other memorabilia that bad, it would already be at their homes. You don’t need to keep or get a big home to store their belongings.
Do you want stairs or one level? Stairs may be something you don’t want to deal with. Even if your mobility is perfect now, you need to think down the line to avoid being forced to move again.
Is outdoor space important? A big yard is probably not essential anymore. Empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers mostly don’t want to deal with a lot of outdoor space, but may still want some outdoor options. So even single-family homes can have less outdoor play areas.
Resale is less of a consideration on these homes as empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers are not looking to climb the property ladder anymore. Lifestyle and affordability are more of a factor as empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers usually have more equity in these homes and are not likely to go underwater. However, resale always needs to be in the thought process somewhere, just may not be in the top priorities.
One big caution for empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers is to make these decisions with their needs in mind, not necessarily the opinions of their family. While family and adult children may offer opinions on any of these decisions, as empty nest homebuyers and senior homebuyers, it is important to listen, consider and then make the decisions that suit you the best. Sometimes adult children let sentimentality toward a family home interfere with what is the best for their parents. And their tastes, desires and thoughts are not always yours. Remember, it is your home, you need to live there, not them.