The kids have grown and have begun lives outside of the house — leaving it empty and a bit too spacious. Sound familiar? As an empty nester, it’s only natural to start thinking about downsizing both your home and possessions. Whether you’re thinking about moving to a small condo in the city or a bungalow on the lake, taking steps to reduce the amount of space your family takes up is just another exciting stage in life.
So are you ready to start the process of living large in a smaller space? Here are some things to consider while you make the big transition.
First of all, consider how much you can realistically sell your home for in today’s market. In some cases, it may be less than the condo or smaller home you’ve had your eye on, depending on the location. After you’ve got an idea of what you can afford, take stock of hidden costs. Of course, there’s always the cost of moving, but relocating to a smaller space might mean buying new furniture, smaller appliances, and remodeling costs. Also take into consideration condo fees, security deposits, storage unit fees, and the cost of living.
Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, it’s important to think critically about your familial and social life. As an older adult, having an active social is an important aspect of your wellbeing. Will your new place be close enough for friends and family to visit, or will visits require an expensive plane ticket and week of vacation? Depending on how you’d like to proceed with your relationships, plan with your social circle in mind.
Downsizing your home can also mean a change of lifestyle. It’s important to consider the basics like transportation and access to basic needs like healthcare, grocery shopping, etc., but also other things, like routines, activities, and hobbies. Will moving to this new space require a major shift in the way you do things and the way you spend your time?
Lastly, it’s important to think of the future. How long are you looking to live in your new, downsized location? If it’s for a long period of time, or perhaps, permanently, is it equipped for comfortable living as you grow older? Think about things like stairs, a yard in need of maintenance, and a remote location.