The home you spent a majority of your life in probably isn’t suitable as you age. The stairs are more difficult to climb, the yard impossible to maintain, and the rooms too numerous to keep clean.
You’ve realized that a change is necessary, but how do you choose the right downsized home?
The process might seem overwhelming, which is why we’ve created this downsized homebuyer’s checklist. When you’re evaluating new homes, take this checklist with you. It’ll help you find the right fit and eliminate houses that aren’t right for downsizing.
The perfect downsized home will be in a safe neighborhood and in a good enough condition that you don’t have to worry about any significant and expensive repairs. A downsized home should be move-in ready for you and not have a lot of regular maintenance required. If it has a huge lawn you’d have to maintain, find a different option.
You want this house to stay convenient for many years. If there are stairs you can climb now, but may find difficult later, find a house with one floor and little to no stairs leading up to the front door. The process of finding a new downsized home is difficult enough the first time around, so you don’t want to have to do it a second or third time as time goes on.
Downsizing Homebuyer’s Checklist
- Is the home in a safe neighborhood? If you are concerned, consider installing a monitored security alarm system.
- Is the home near family and friends or in an area that is familiar? It may sound exciting to move to a new part of town, but after the newness wears off, most of us want to be close to those we love or nearby places to which we’re accustomed.
- What is the exterior and interior condition of the home? Pay special attention to the age of the big-ticket items like the furnace, air conditioner, plumbing and electric systems, the roof, and the appliances. It’s always best to hire a professionally certified home inspector so that you’re aware of any potential problems. Those that aren’t corrected by the seller prior to buying the home may end up costing a lot of money to address down the road.
- Does the home have stairs inside or at the front or rear entrance? Even if you are fully capable of climbing them now, they may pose a problem at some time in the future.
- How much ongoing maintenance will the exterior of the home require? Be sure to consider the trees. While they’re beautiful and we’re lucky to have so many in our area, they require a lot of work, from raking leaves to dealing with downed branches.
- How much storage do you need and how much is available? If you’re moving to a smaller home, there won’t be as much space to store your belongings.
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions when you’re looking for a downsized home. It’ll make a difference between finding the right home the first time and having to find another home in a few years. Take the downsizing homebuyer’s checklist with you so you have all of your questions and criteria for the right downsized home handy.