Our Top 8 Tips for Finding the Perfect Home When Downsizing
Are you and your spouse looking to downsize your living arrangements in Virginia Beach? Maybe you’re retiring soon and don’t need as much space as you currently have.
- Consider Your Budget for the Retirement Years
- Make a List of Your Needs and Preferences
- Think About How Much Storage Space You Need
- Consider Your Future Convenience and Comfort
- Factor in the Upkeep of the Inside of the House
- Consider the Amount of Yardwork Required
- Think About the Amenities You Need
- Consider the Type of Neighborhood You Want to Live In
Check out these eight tips to consider as you look to move into a home more suited to your new lifestyle.
1. Consider Your Budget for the Retirement Years
A household’s budget changes after one or both spouses retire. Talking with a financial adviser is an excellent idea before starting the search for a different, smaller home. It’s best to know exactly how much you can afford in regards to mortgage payments, household expenses, insurance and more.
2. Make a List of Your Needs and Preferences
Another helpful tip is to sit down with your spouse to make a list of the needs and preferences you have for your new home. Use this list to evaluate the features of homes in order to narrow down your choices.
Decide on the number of rooms you need as well as the amount of space in each one. Perhaps you need a two-car garage to shelter both of your vehicles.
Other examples of needs on your list may include:
- A bonus room where your spouse can set up an office to work part-time
- A guest room where an adult child can stay when he or she visits
An example of a preference on your list may be a pantry in the kitchen. Maybe you love to try new recipes and have all of the latest utensils and cookware. You’d like a spacious pantry where you can store and organize all of the supplies and ingredients you use when preparing dishes.
Other potential preferences on your list:
- A covered porch
- A kitchen island
- A fireplace in the family room
3. Think About How Much Storage Space You Need
Many people declutter and get rid of a lot of items before downsizing to a new home. Even after decluttering, you’re likely to have some items that need storage. It’s a good idea to factor in how much storage space you’ll need in your new home. Having a room designated for storage will keep your home from becoming overcrowded with the extra items you and your spouse bring along.
4. Consider Your Future Convenience and Comfort
When evaluating a smaller home, give some thought to the future. For example, you may want to go with a ranch style home. A ranch style home is an ideal choice because if you or your spouse begin to have trouble walking in your later years, you don’t have to navigate any stairs to get to the bedroom.
Another element of comfort and convenience relates to the bathroom. You may want to choose a shower instead of a bathtub for your master bathroom. If you or your spouse experience problems with mobility or balance, you can avoid the process of sitting down in a bathtub to bathe.
5. Factor in the Upkeep of the Inside of the House
How much time and effort do you and your spouse want to dedicate to cleaning your new home? The answer to this question can help you determine the type of home you choose. A home with three or four small rooms would be relatively easy to keep clean as compared to a home with more floor space.
Maybe you truly have your heart set on having a couple of large rooms in your new home, but you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning them. One solution is to figure out if you could afford to have your home cleaned once a week by a professional cleaning service. If you have space in your budget to hire a cleaning service, then you could justify getting a smaller home with some large rooms.
6. Consider the Amount of Yardwork Required
The area around a home is definitely something to take into account before making the decision to buy. Will you be able to handle the amount of yardwork the property will require? If you’d like to get a small home with a big yard, you may want to look into how much it would take to pay for a lawn care service.
Remember, as you get older, you may not want to continue to take care of the lawn mowing and gardening duties yourself.
7.Think About the Amenities You Need
Do you want to live in a home located a short driving distance from stores, healthcare facilities and other businesses? This is an important factor for many retirees. If you like the idea of shortening the time it takes to travel to the grocery store or accomplish other errands, then living near a shopping area would be a favorable option.
8.Consider the Type of Neighborhood You Want to Live In
If you and your spouse are very social individuals, you may want to factor in the tone of the neighborhood you're considering. Are the neighbors around you approximately your age or are they a lot younger? This is an important point for some retirees.
If you’re thinking about downsizing your living accommodations, contact an agent and let us help you find exactly what you’re looking for in Virginia Beach.
Originally published April 17, 2019