The Up Side of Downsizing Your Home

 A lot of people, especially after retirement, decide to sell their large family home and buy something less expensive, whether it’s just less square footage, or a condo townhouse or apartment. Seniors often find that the house seems to grow larger and become less manageable as they grow older. For these reasons people often begin to think of downsizing their homes in their later years.

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But, there are many other reasons for downsizing your home prior retirement. Perhaps your children have moved away or perhaps your neighborhood has changed so that it no longer meets your needs. You can also, downsize to a less expensive home and create equity for your retirement income. Maybe, it is only your desire for more simplicity and less clutter.

Of course, downsizing your home, like most life transitions, has its emotional impact. Downsizing usually means leaving a home full of memories, a familiar neighborhood, and friends. You have to say good bye to your furniture, family treasures, and items of sentimental value.

However, moving to smaller premises does have its benefits.

  • No more up-keeping of a large house, both inside and out
  • You want reduce your living expenses
  • You want to travel more
  • Elderly homeowners find their houses too big for their needs
  • Ready to put your energies in creative projects, not housework (or simply living a simpler life and having more free time)

The reasons for downsizing your home will help you determine the type of accommodation you need.

Whatever are the reasons, popularity of condominium as a lifestyle option with homebuyers of all age groups has brought about a fascinating trend. Condo purchasers who are moving from large homes with separate rooms are learning to adapt to today’s gorgeous open concept suite designs. Plus, modern condos can mean smaller budgets without forgoing accommodations of homeowners’ lifestyles.

Perhaps one of the beauties of modern condos is the open space, the generous open-concept cooking/living/dining area. Usually the ceiling is nine ft. in height, or even higher, which creates an inviting “great room” feeling.

These open areas accommodate the way people live today, which is less formal than previous generations. Young people in particular are just as happy eating dinner at a breakfast bar and watching television.

However, some home owners report feeling cramped because there is less space in which to maneuver. It’s hard to get away from other family members and enjoy private, quiet time, because there are fewer rooms to escape to when needed. And maybe for others, appearances are more important than comfort levels. For home owners who place a great deal of importance on how they are perceived by others, which is often exemplified by offering the appearance that one is maintaining a certain level of financial success, a smaller home might not project that image.

But these people who complain, especially seniors who are thinking of downsizing their living area should remember that any decisions about new living arrangements should be made with their changing physical needs in mind. First of all location and facilities are very important:

– Within walking distance of their pharmacy, doctor’s office, grocery store, and church
– Close from hospital
– Public transport readily available
– Are the doorways wide enough for wheelchair or walker access, should they be needed in the future
– Is the home close enough for family members to visit frequently
– Is there a walk-in shower
– How safe is the surrounding neighborhood

Many people feel that seniors should not consider purchasing a home on more than one level in case of mobility issues in later years.

And safety is probably the most important factor in deciding whether a house is suitable for those entering their golden years. The smaller aspects of safety are often overlooked. For example, the texture of the flooring is quite important. Finding a way to reach higher areas of the home is also problematic, so low kitchen surfaces, cabinets, and appliances are very helpful. Downsizing your home may be an important step in self-care.

Today, demand for smaller homes is on an unprecedented upswing. Modern amenities, homeownership, a wide range of building materials, custom furniture—it’s all there, in a much more efficiently sized package.

Design innovation also, has made modern condo suites live enormously larger than their square feet dictate. When you move from a large home to a more compact condominium suite, it’s a win-win situation.

Seniors who are patient and take the time to find the right home for their personal needs will find themselves excited about what the future holds and may lengthen the period of time that they can live independently.

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