If your kids have grown up, gone off to college and beyond, or even started families of their own, it’s time to give some thought to your ideal empty nest. The home that was a perfect fit for the years that you raised a family may not make as much sense for your current lifestyle.
Are you where you want to be geographically? Maybe it’s time for a new location—either closer to the kids and grandkids, or in an area that they’ll love to visit. Are you ready for a new look? You want your home to reflect your style today, not your style a decade or two ago—and you can accomplish this with either a renovation or relocation. And what about the size of your ideal empty nest? This last question can be the most complicated of all, as there are pros and cons to going in either direction—downsizing or buying a larger home. Here are just a few factors to consider when deciding on the size of your newly empty nest.
The Benefits of Downsizing Your Empty Nest
Lower Mortgage - Or No Mortgage at All
If you have a lot of equity in your current home and you decide to move to a smaller, lower priced home, you’ll most likely have lower mortgage payments—freeing up more cash each month for your other wants and needs. You may even be able to pay for a smaller home in full from the sale of your existing home, which means no mortgage at all. Gotta love the sound of that!
Less Energy Usage: Good for Your Wallet & the Planet
If you don’t need all of those extra bedrooms, why pay to heat and cool them? Smaller square footage greatly decreases the energy usage in your home—and that leads to some major savings on your utility bills. Plus, using less energy is better for the environment. It’s a win-win!
Less Time for Cleaning = More Time for Fun
As much as we all love cleaning day, it’s certainly a nice thought to have less square footage to scrub and mop. If you have fewer spaces to clean and maintain, you can spend less time on housework and more time on the things you love. (Tennis, anyone?) Even if you outsource most of the cleaning, a smaller home would most likely lead to a smaller price for a housecleaning service.
When your kids leave home, you have more freedom and time to pursue your passions—like travel! But who will water the lawn, pull the weeds, or trim the hedges while you’re wintering in a warmer climate or spending the summer by the sea? Many smaller homes come with a lock-and-leave lifestyle that makes it easy to hop on a plane and explore the world—without worrying about the maintenance of your landscaping while you’re away.
The Benefits of Buying a Bigger Empty Nest
Plenty of Space to Entertain in Style
From holiday meals to neighborhood happy hours, those who love to entertain will want a grand space for hosting. Floorplans with large, open-concept main living areas and multiple social spaces—indoors and out—will give you all the room you need to entertain in style. And if you’re cooking for a crowd, a tiny kitchen won’t do the job. Look for a home with a spacious, well-planned kitchen where you can to prep, chop, and chat with your guests at the same time.
Room to Pursue Your Passions
Larger floorplans often have extra spaces, like lofts, offices, and even casitas—flexible areas that can be whatever you want them to be. Why not turn that loft into an art studio, or use the office as your home base for planning your world travels? You could even convert an extra bedroom to the ultimate craft room or a well-equipped home gym. With an empty nest comes the freedom to use these spaces in a way that brings happiness into your life each day.
Guests Can Make Themselves at Home
When out-of-town guests plan a visit to your home, you want them to have room to relax and enjoy their stay. If you opt to buy a bigger nest, you can find a floorplan in which the guest quarters are well removed from the master suite, providing privacy to you and your overnight visitors. When your guests have room to spread out and relax in their own space, it can make extended stays more comfortable for everyone!
Go Grand for the Grandkids
Speaking of guests, your favorite guests of all might be your grandkids—whether you have them now, or you anticipate having them down the road. You not only want enough comfortable space for sleepovers, you want room to create memories. Family board games in the den. Cooking lessons with grandpa in the kitchen. Cozy movie time with grandma in the loft. S’mores under the stars on the back patio. Just imagine all the memories you can make in your new nest—which doesn’t feel so empty after all.
Whether you choose to simplify and downsize or go grand and buy big, Trilogy by Shea Homes offers a number of floorplans in our 55+ communities and resort communities that could be a perfect fit for your lifestyle. Start to explore our floorplans online, then call a New Home Advisor to have any of your new nest questions answered.