When you think about retirement, downsizing probably comes to mind. But you may actually enjoy a greater quality of life by moving into a larger home that has more space for your friends and family. If your retirement goals are to strengthen your relationships and to enjoy downtime and relaxation, a bigger home can help you make it happen.
First and foremost, buying a larger home can make more financial sense than living in a smaller space. If you are currently in the city, moving to outlying areas – typically outside of city limits – can help you get more home for less. You’ll also likely have no problem finding a property with land where you can build a swimming pool, plant a garden, or install a playset for the grandkids.
Keep in mind, however, that if you do currently own your home, you may find yourself in a position where you have to sell and buy at the same time. Talk to your realtor to find out if it’s feasible to extend your closing time. Accepting an offer on your current property before making an offer on the one you want can be a great move.
Living outside of the city, you’ll likely have lower property taxes, and the overall cost of living may be less expensive. Plus, since you will have room for friends and family to visit, you’ll save on the expenses of traveling across the country to spend time with those you love.
When moving as a senior, there are several things to keep in mind. One is how easily navigable your new property will be. Ideally, you’ll find a ranch-style dwelling with a flat lot. Look at the size of your bathroom. If you plan to age in place, you’ll want to have considerable open space so that you can maneuver a walker or wheelchair comfortably.
Proximity to senior-friendly services is also important. If you’re moving out into the country especially, find out where the closest fire and police stations are. You want to ensure you are close enough to where you can get help if needed within minutes.
Having friends and family visit is just one reason to buy a larger home. Others to consider are establishing a homestead and planning for a multi-generational living situation.
A homestead, which may come with some tax advantages, is essentially a piece of land with a primary residence that you intend to inhabit for the foreseeable future. You may purchase this with the intent of leaving your real estate as a legacy for your children and grandchildren. Similarly, you may consider your property a homestead if you have it separated into many different buildable plots for members of your extended family.
Speaking of family, a roomier estate can put you in a better position for multi-generational living arrangements. A larger home will allow you to create what Toll Brothers calls a “multi-generational suite.” This is essentially an apartment within your main house where your adult children or grandchildren can live with relative privacy. Multi-generational living is a great option for families who wish to remain close – it also ensures that you have someone in the home that can provide for your care if the time comes that you cannot.
Upsizing during your retirement may not be your first idea. But it is one to consider. Take a close look at larger properties to see whether or not it makes financial sense. Then, think long and hard about what you want in your golden years. You may just find that having more space to entertain and interact with your loved ones is a more appealing option over a traditional retirement model.
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