Over the years, many seniors have asked us excellent questions about home downsizing. Usually their first question is something like: “I’ve enjoyed living in my house, but would LOVE something less expensive and easier to manage, now that I’m older. What do you suggest?”
If you identify with this situation—but aren’t interested in a retirement home or moving in with a relative—you may enjoy many attractive smaller home options. Let’s take a moment to focus on the benefits of downsizing, and a few of your best downsizing options.
The Key to Less Expensive, More Stress-Free Living
For seniors, home downsizing is nearly always a win-win option. The rich benefits of it often make it a “no-brainer.” These life-enhancing benefits include (1.) A lower monthly mortgage payment; (2.) A smart way to extend your retirement savings; (3.) A home and yard that are much easier to clean, care for, and manage; (4.) Significantly lower heating and cooling costs; (5.) The potential for less clutter!
Smart Home Downsizing Options
The best mindset to have as you consider downsizing is to ask yourself: “How can I use my downsizing to ENHANCE my all-around quality of life?” For many seniors, this leads directly to buying a small house in a family neighborhood. Moving into a family neighborhood can be the perfect way for you to surround yourself with interesting, neighborly couples—or even become someone’s “honorary grandparent!” If this option is attractive to you, buying a small, two-bedroom house in such a neighborhood will give you less space to have to maintain, yet still give you that guest bedroom for when your adult children or friends come to visit. All the while, you’ll still enjoy all the family-friendly amenities around you that you've always loved.
Another attractive option is to buy a small house or condo that is closer to your family and/or friends. This option offers the perfect balance of allowing you to enhance your family and social life, while retaining your independence and ability to “do your own thing.”
Final Thoughts: Think Long-Term As You Downsize
As you consider one of these home downsizing options, it’s important to simultaneously consider your long-term needs. Ask yourself: Does this smaller home have modifications that will make it easy to age here? Does it have a walk-in bathtub or shower? Is it a single-story dwelling? Does it offer doorways wide enough to accommodate a walker—and cabinets and countertops I’ll always be able to access easily? If not, you may want to invite a contractor in to discuss making modifications for you.