As you approach retirement age, you may be considering downsizing to a smaller home. A popular choice for empty nesters after their kids have moved out, downsizing can save you money and time on maintenance while providing a sense of freedom and security in your later years. But there are several critical factors—financial, logistical, and physical—to ponder carefully before making this life change.
The first thing to consider is how much space you really need. For many people, it’s not as much as they think. It’s also important to determine what items are meaningful and which you’re willing to let go. For instance, a beloved antique dresser or an old-fashioned piano can be beautiful pieces in themselves, but they’re probably not worth lugging around if you’re not going to use them.
When downsizing, it’s also crucial to think about any health or mobility concerns you might have in the future. If you’re concerned about your ability to go up and down stairs, for example, consider a one-story ranch or home with a first-floor master bedroom. You should also look for neighborhoods that offer walking trails or easy access to public transportation, as these will be important features if you want to continue to pursue hobbies like water skiing or hiking.
Often, older homeowners who are downsizing will opt for single-story homes or condos that require less upkeep. But that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. In fact, when done right, downsizing can actually give you a chance to refresh your décor and create a new, more modern look.
For example, if you have a gilt-framed floor-to-ceiling mirror that you just can’t bear to part with, you can frame it with a chrome console table to create a visually appealing yet functional piece that will serve your needs in your new space. In addition, there are now a variety of multifunctional furniture pieces that can be used in any decorating style.
Another space-saving tip is to stop saving things for “special occasions.” Whether it’s your wedding china, guest towels, or Sunday best, get them out of the closet and on your tables for daily use! This will not only free up storage space, but it will also make you feel excited and happy to use these special items on a regular basis.
Lastly, it’s important to talk openly with family members about your decision to downsize. Not only will this help them understand your motivations, but it will also make the transition more seamless. If they’re able to accept your decision, they will be more supportive and help you make the most of this exciting new chapter in your life.
Downsizing in Style: Tips for Seniors and Empty Nesters Buying Smaller Homes is an excellent resource that provides plenty of tips and tricks to help you downsize your home in style. If you’re thinking about downsizing, be sure to contact your local mortgage professional for more information on your options.