Ahhh…. The golden years. For some of us, they’re just around the corner. Others have much longer to prepare.
But if you’re buying a house that you may want to stay in for a long time, it’s wise to think about the life stages ahead of you. Your needs and pursuits in your retirement years may be very different than what they are today.
Here are 4 things to ask yourself as you evaluate:
1) Does the house align with your hobbies? Do you picture yourself entertaining a lot? If so, a great space for cooking, dining, and hosting friends is a must. Planning on nurturing the artistic talent you’ve never had time to explore? A craft or art room could be a wonderful feature. Love long walks and bike rides? Make sure your new neighborhood can accommodate that aspect of your life.
2) Is it a single level home? One of the top requests from retirees is that most of the living can be done on a single level. This may mean a ranch style house, a master bedroom on the ground floor, or a full bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor that can be converted to the primary bedroom in future years.
3) How much maintenance will the home require? Another highly desired feature during the retirement years is a “lock and leave” home that requires little upkeep and maintenance. Since travel can be a big part of retirement, low maintenance and low low-water landscaping is a critical aspect for many.
4) Empty nest or family hub? While many retirees are looking forward to some solitary peace and quiet in their new homes, others have large extended families and visiting grandchildren. If you’re planning on hosting large family gatherings and having out of town guests, you may want to plan for larger guest quarters and communal spaces.
Undeniably, the most important thing is that you love your home, that you feel comfortable there, and that it makes you happy. If you can accomplish that – you’ll never want to leave. All the more reason to make sure whatever home you buy can see you through all the stages of your life.