If you’re like most seniors, you have lived in your home for many years while pursuing your career and raising your children. That’s why, when the time comes to downsize or move closer to family or find a home that is better suited to your health needs, you may be a little unsure about how to go about doing so. If you are beginning to look for a home for your retirement years, our guide will make the process go a little more smoothly.

Determine Your Must-Haves

Determining your must-haves is a twofold process. First, you need to determine which items in your home you want to keep. Then, you need to determine which characteristics and features you absolutely want your new home to have.

 Most seniors downsize when they move to have less to clean, less to store, and less to maintain. When determining your must-have belongings to downsize, you should begin by going room-by-room through your home and asking which items you cannot live without. If that category becomes too broad or overwhelming, pose a hypothetical situation along the lines of all your items become lost or damaged during the move and determine which you would replace. Those items are the ones you should keep while downsizing. You then can decide which items to give to your family, donate, or sell. 

When people begin to look for a new home, they have a few must-haves in mind. Seniors are no different, though their must-haves will differ from those of young families buying a first home. When choosing a home to get through the golden years, you should consider the style and layout of the home, its location, its size, and the features that will accommodate you and your changing health. It is much more difficult to change the location and size of a home than it is to change its layout and amenities. Thus, if you find a ranch-style home in a quiet, well-kept neighborhood within walking distance of shops and church, you should put in an offer because a contractor can change some aspects of its layout and amenities to suit your needs.

 For example, you can hire a contractor to remodel a kitchen if the home is perfect for you in every other way. Seniors often prefer kitchens with an open floor plan that is easy to navigate and cook and entertain in, and a contractor will be able to tell you if he can knock out walls, add an island, or change the location of appliances and cabinets. Kitchen remodels can be as inexpensive or expensive as you want them to be, and if you sell your current home there is a good chance you will be able to purchase a smaller home and remodel the kitchen without needing to take out a large mortgage.

Make Sure the Home Will Fit Your Lifestyle 

If you are downsizing, make sure that you don’t choose a home that is too small to fit your lifestyle. If you like to entertain, for instance, you’ll want to be sure the home has a yard or a patio or a kitchen and living area that is large enough for you to do so. If you enjoy having your family visit for holidays, be sure you have at least one guest room and some open space in a living area for children and grandchildren to sleep comfortably.

 The location of the new home also is important when considering your lifestyle. Don’t choose a home in a loud neighborhood full of young families if you enjoy being in a garden or relaxing outside. If you enjoy going for walks in a park, make sure that the home is in proximity to one. For seniors who own pets, make sure that the home has a yard that is large enough to accommodate the pet. A move to a new home should not mean a completely new lifestyle if you don’t want it to, and you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable in a home that accommodates your way of life.

Buying a home should be exciting for seniors who are moving on to retirement. To make the process seamless so you can begin enjoying this new chapter in your life more quickly, determine which belongings you want to keep, which home features you must have, and whether the size and location of the home will fit your lifestyle.

Image via Pixabay by paulbr75