Empty Nest? Ready to Downsize?
Are you an “empty nester”? Thinking about downsizing? Don’t think of it as shrinking. Instead, think of it as “rightsizing.”
Today, more and more empty nesters are using their kids’ departure as an opportunity to reevaluate their needs in a home—and create new spaces for their lifelong passions. Here are a few things to think about as you consider rightsizing.
How much space do you really need? More importantly...how much do you want to clean, take care of, and maintain on a daily basis? Will you have grandchildren visiting your house? Consider not only the total square footage—but also sleeping space, hobby areas, an exercise room, or entertaining needs.
What hobbies are you looking forward to indulging in when you have more time? Gardening, horses, or maybe a home-based business? Or have you always wanted to be closer to family or friends? Now is the time to put your needs front and center.
How much home maintenance do you feel comfortable doing on your own over the next 10 years? Are you comfortable with cleaning, minor repairs, lawn mowing, and painting by yourself? Another option—if you like a neat home, but not all of the effort involved, then you might consider looking at homes in a maintenance-free community. While HOA fees may be higher, you will have less responsibility for doing day-to-day upkeep. Your ReeceNichols agent can give you a list of maintenance-free communities in the Kansas City area.
Future layout needs
Although stairs don’t bother you now, you may change your mind in 10 years—when it becomes more challenging to haul a load of laundry or a bag of groceries between floors. Consider a one-level house with minimal stairs for your future comfort and convenience.
How much storage do you really need? What can you sell, give away, or donate before you move? Don’t spend time and money moving or storing knickknacks that will only clutter a small space. Use this opportunity to downsize your belongings—in addition to your living space.
Don’t just consider the mortgage—but also the overall utilities, upkeep, and homeowners association fees associated with your new house. Especially if you know you’ll be living on a fixed income at some point down the road.