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10 Topics To Consider As You Think About Downsizing

The children are grown and moved out. You are retired or almost ready to retire. You’ve dusted those shelves and swept those floors one too many times. For whatever your reason for moving out of your large family home, here are 10 topics to consider as you think about downsizing:

1. How Much Home Can You Afford? Do you want to build a dream retirement house? Would you like leftover cash from the house you are selling for your retirement? How much resale value do you want to anticipate in the new home? Answering these kinds of questions with a financial planner can be a great place to start.

2. What Kind of Neighborhood? Do you still love to have young children running around? Would you prefer a quieter retreat? Do you need a little buffer from your neighbors? Do you need to be closer to doctors, health-care facilities, etc.? Do you like bike paths, walking trails, parks nearby?

3. Have You Had Enough of Home Maintenance? Choosing to construct your smaller home could save you time and aggravation in the future as you will not need to deal with issues of an aging house. Once you have a new heating-cooling system, a new roof, a new foundation, new plumbing, all those major expense headaches can disappear. You also could consider a smaller lot so there’s less mowing and watering (unless, of course, you love gardening and lawn care).

4. How’s Your Health? When it comes to designing the house, are there considerations pertaining to your health you should consider? Maybe you have bad knees and don’t want a second floor or basement. Or maybe the second floor can be a guest space and all your preferred and necessary spaces (laundry, main bath, etc.) can be on the main floor.

5. Where Do Your Kids Live? Do they live close by and won’t make overnight visits? Or will you be expected to have bedrooms for everyone when they come to town? How about the grandchildren? Will floor space be OK for them? Will they enjoy piling up in the family room or media room?

6. Will a Child Move Home — Or an Aging Parent? Do you need to be prepared in case one of the kids asks to move back in, hopefully temporarily? Will one of your parents need special care? Plan for an in-law suite and it can serve hobby or guest purposes before or after it’s no longer needed.

7. What Are Your Hobbies? Do you need a sewing room? A craft room? Room for a quilting machine? An office with a computer? A collection room? A media room? If you keep the clutter to a minimum, these spaces convert to guest rooms when the family does come.

8. Do You and Your Spouse Watch the Same TV Programs? Maybe you need separate, comfortable spaces to watch TV. That would be a great way to avoid fights over the remote. And it gives you a little space when you’re not used to being together 24/7.

9. Do You Love to Spend Time Outdoors? Don’t neglect planning for your outside space. Your needs here could dictate the type of lot you search for. You also might want to allocate some of your budget into outside amenities such as a covered patio, pool or outdoor kitchen.

10. Do You Entertain? On open floor plan where you can interact with your guests would be a consideration. Or maybe they can join you in the outdoor space.

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