From the Ground Up

4 Things to Consider When Downsizing


A big life change is one of the most common reasons why people start to search for a new home. Lots of people choose to downsize, whether it’s because you’re searching for your perfect retirement home, sending the kids to college, or just want a smaller space that fits your lifestyle better.

As you prepare to downsize, there are several factors to consider before you make any plans. Here are 4 things to consider when downsizing:

1. Overall Cost

As kids leave the home, an opportunity arises to assess your financial situation. Is this a good time for you to choose a smaller home that fits well within your budget? You should also consider how much money you might be able to save in your mortgage and energy costs by downsizing. One thing to be aware of is that the highest percentage of people building new custom homes are Baby Boomers aged 54-73, and because of this, the demand for smaller homes is only increasing and driving up prices of existing properties. This is a good reason why it might be a better choice to build a custom home and get the most out of your money.

2. Your Changing Lifestyle

If you are about to become an empty nester, think about how you want to spend your time in this new phase of life. You might have the opportunity to travel more, have guests over more frequently, or dedicate more time to personal hobbies. Think about these things when you’re considering the type of home you may want and make sure it fits well within your “new” lifestyle.

For a lot of homeowners, at this stage in life having a bigger home comes with a big downside - cleaning and maintaining it. If you are living alone or in a couple, it may not be necessary to live in a 4,000 square foot house. Many empty nester home floor plans are between the range of 1,000-2,000 square feet to reduce the amount of maintenance that is required. This is a simple change that could make a big difference in your life, and instead of spending hours upon hours cleaning and maintaining your home, you could spend that time focusing on hobbies and spending time with family.

3. The Opportunity to Build A Custom Home

Downsizing doesn’t mean you have to buy an existing property. The years as an “empty nester” may be the best time to build a custom home. Your home should reflect your lifestyle and preferences, and a custom home will allow you to customize every element of the home to match your lifestyle. If you love cooking and baking, you can have the kitchen of your dreams. Or if you love entertaining guests, build out a huge living room built for a host. Or if you spend a lot of time outside, make an area where you can socialize and relax outside. If you love all of those things, you can have all of them. There’s really no limit when it comes to a custom home, it’s completely unique to you and your lifestyle.

4. Your Golden Years

The “empty nest” years may be a good time to consider retirement. If you plan for this home to be your home into retirement, consider things related to health and safety when you are building it. You might want a smaller, single story home that won’t require frequent upkeep. You may also want to consider things like a walk-in shower or an upstairs where you won’t need to go frequently (such as an office or guest room).

If you want to learn more about choosing the perfect home for retirement, check out our ebook here.