Downsizing and Real Estate

3/28/2022 | By Bob Shannon

These days, more and more seniors are looking to downsize their homes in search of something that’s both more affordable and easier to maintain. With that comes some questions. Where can they store their excess possessions? How can retirees achieve the lifestyle they want without blowing their budget? Well, these downsizing resources for independent seniors can guide your search for affordable retirement living.

How much home can you afford?

This is the first question every buyer needs to answer, but the answer is complicated.

  • The basic home affordability equation takes a buyer’s income, down payment, and monthly debts to determine their housing budget.
  • Retirees also need to factor rising health care costs into their budget. The average retired couple will spend nearly $300,000 on health care in retirement.
  • Luckily, many retirees have sizable equity gains to tap. Calculate what you’ll net from selling your home then decide how much to put towards a down payment.
  • Should you buy your next home in cash? Before spending all of your proceeds on a new home, consider the drawbacks of buying a house in cash.
  • If you have a lot of paperwork related to selling your home or buying a new home, use software to scan and convert them to PDFs. You can also use apps to combine PDFs into one easy-to-use file that contains all the information you need.

Downsizing resources on living options for older adults

Couple In Front Of New House. Photo by Arne9011, Dreamstime

If you’ve lived in a single-family home for years, buying anything else may seem out of the question. However, there’s a lot to gain from downsizing your space.

  • Compared to single-family homes, condos often cost less, offer more amenities, and are easier to maintain – three benefits that are ideal for retirees seeking a simpler lifestyle.
  • Some retirees may also have co-ops in their area. Buying into a housing co-op usually costs less than a condo. However, there are key differences to consider.
  • Independent living communities are another option for the 55+ crowd. Independent living communities run the gamut from apartments to single-family homes and offer senior-friendly design and all-inclusive amenities.

Living large in small spaces

How can retirees make the most of downsized living spaces? These are must-know downsizing resources and tips for small space living.

  • For starters, don’t force yourself to do all the heavy lifting. Instead, look for movers who can help you with this task.
  • Before moving, obtain a floor plan of the new home and use it to determine what will (and won’t) fit in your home.
  • Don’t panic if you need to downsize drastically to fit in your new home. This step-by-step guide makes sorting through your stuff a painless process.
  • Wall-mounted storage, multifunctional pieces, and slim furniture maximize square footage. Light colors and good lighting are also key for making small rooms feel spacious.

You don’t have to give up a great location for lower housing costs in retirement. Retirees who downsize their space can continue to enjoy all that your new home has to offer on a smaller budget.

Seniors Guide can help you figure out where to live in retirement. Start building your roadmap by clicking here.

Bob Shannon created, along with his wife, Mary, to have a website that allows seniors to meet up and talk about topics that are relevant to their daily lives. They hope to build SeniorsMeet into a community of like-minded seniors.

Bob Shannon