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Top Empty Nester Home Designs


If you're looking forward to retiring or perhaps already are — you might be considering downsizing. Lucky for you, you'll have plenty of choices when it comes to the type of home you want to live in. Empty nester home designs come in all shapes and sizes. What's the best house for retirement for some — wouldn't work for others. Retiring or even semi-retiring can bring about a change of pace, from having more time to spend with family and grandchildren to traveling. Read on to discover the latest in 55+ real estate trends.

Real Estate for Retirees — Latest Trends

Most empty nester house plans are either single-level or have the master suite on the first floor. Planning means contemplating whether you want to climb flights of stairs. On the other hand, if you move to a beach location where lots are small, you might not have any other choice than a multi-level home. In that case, if stairs are an issue, consider having an elevator installed.

The other elements common for homes for retirees are open floor plans that make entertaining a breeze. That, along with large windows that bring the outside in, makes barbequing in the nice weather a special treat. The right floor plan makes having friends and family over enjoyable in any season.

Certain builders design homes specifically for the active retiree. Every part of the floorplan is considered. It may be worth your while to visit some of these gated communities to see what they have to offer. You'll no doubt get lots of ideas of what you'd like in a home design.

Baby Boomers Downsizing — Real Estate Tips

If you live in a large house now — one that's too big for what you need, perhaps it's time to shop for your dream retirement home. Before you start going to open houses, consider your lifestyle. House plans for seniors not only consider space — but also lifestyle.

Make a list of what's important to you.

  • Do you want to have time to travel and not worry about home maintenance?
  • Are you going to have frequent visitors and overnight guests?
  • Do you have small grandchildren now or on the way that you need to consider?
  • Do you want a pool, or do you love to entertain outside?
  • Is gardening vital to you? Would you like a larger lot?
  • What about entertaining? Will you be having lots of family and friends over?
  • What about the location? Do you need to be close to medical care?
  • Would you like to live in a 55+ gated community?
  • Would you prefer city or country life?
  • If you want to live in the city – is walkability important?
  • Is there a specific climate you enjoy?
  • Do you want to live by the water or mountains?

When you consider all of these points, your ideal home will start to materialize in your mind. For example, if you want to live in a large city — a condo might be the best option. On the other hand, if you're going to live in a 55+ community, that brings your choices down to what builders and locations you prefer.

Condo or Home for Retirement?

Over 55 real estate can also be split into deciding on a single-family home vs. a condominium or townhome. Both have their pros and cons. Consider the future — would either be a detriment to how you want to spend your time? Here are a few points to consider.

If you plan to spend most of your time at home rather than traveling, having a single-family home could be the best option. That's especially true if you like to entertain.

But if you've been looking forward to your retirement years so you could travel — you might not want to get tied down with a house that you have to hire someone to watch and maintain while you're away.

Homes do offer more privacy than most condos, so consider that too. If you've always lived in a single-family home, do lots of research and visit any condominium complex or townhome you're considering before making an offer. And if you have pets, make sure the condo association will allow them. 

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home After 60

One significant advantage of buying a home after 60 is that you know what you want. Many people retiring consider this the right time to build their dream home. Houses constructed for seniors don't have to be smaller — but they can be. Many empty nester home plans have two master bedroom suites. This provides you and your guests the ultimate privacy and enjoyment.

When looking at the disadvantages, some retirees may not want to make a big move or have a large financial commitment. You have to consider everything. Renting could be a perfect solution — especially if you're moving into a new area. You can rent and see how you like it. How are the neighbors? What about the weather? Once you've been there for a while, you may discover this is where you want to live. At that point, take another look at buying a home, townhome, or condo. You'll probably feel much more comfortable about the decision once you're more familiar with the community.

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1Rates are updated daily at 10:15am EST. The advertised rates and points are subject to change. The information provided is based on discount point, which equals percent of the loan amount, and assumes the purpose of the loan is to purchase a property with a 30-year, conforming, fixed-rate loan. Loan amount of $400,000; loan-to-value ratio of 75%; credit score of 760; and DTI of 18% or less. The property is an existing single-family home and will be used as a primary residence. The advertised rates are based on certain assumptions and loan scenarios, and the rate you may receive will depend on your individual circumstances, including your credit history, loan amount, down payment, and our internal credit criteria. Other rates, points, and terms may be available. All loans are subject to credit and property approval.