Over the last 10 years we’ve seen an increase in “empty nesters” buying property in the city. These buyers typically still work but are nearing retirement. With grown kids, their large suburban single-family home with a spacious yard is simply too much house and too much work for them to handle on their own.
Making the leap to move into the city is a major lifestyle decision and is appealing for a few reasons:
- Lower maintenance home
- Less time spent driving or commuting to work
- A more pedestrian and healthy lifestyle
- Increased community involvement
However, for any buyer, there are some trade-offs. Usually downsizing buyers realize that space costs more in the city and buying a smaller home is often a necessity. Downsizing from a 5-bedroom colonial with a garage and a basement to a two-bedroom condo with a third of the living space is not an easy task.
We hear these concerns from our empty nester buyers all the time, but we have a few recommendations:
Will my furniture fit in my new home?
- Don’t plan to bring any of your furniture with you; buy new furniture that works for your new space
Where will I park?
- Your new home could have a parking space included, but street parking or rental parking is a way of life in the city and it’s easy to get used to
I’m used to having outdoor space
- The city is your new backyard with many options for green space and water views
Where will I put all the stuff from my basement?
- Rent a storage unit out of the city for the items you’re not ready to say goodbye to. After a year, purge the storage unit of anything you haven’t touched in that time.
How will I manage living in a much smaller home?
- Understand that you will likely spend less time in your new home because the city is right outside your door; a smaller space will be easier for you to live in than you realize
This can be an exciting time for empty nesters looking for something new. We’re always here to help our buyers prepare for and embrace the changes.