At some point, the family home may become too much work, expense, and worry for seniors and the decision may be looming about when and how to downsize. There are many decisions to be made, including:
- What to keep, what to give to relatives and friends, sell, donate or throw out?
- How big of a space should the next home be?
- What type of housing should be targeted – a condo, townhouse, apartment, senior living community, duplex, smaller house or cottage, duet or something else?
- Is a home with stairs an option?
- Is outside space a requirement?
- Will the next home be purchased or rented?
- Is outside care needed?
Particularly for those accustomed to a large house and garden or yard, going to a living arrangement with shared walls and no yard may not be appealing. An option for those wishing to buy(and are still very independent) that is sometimes missed is a type of housing which is sort of a gray area, and those are houses held in condominium ownership (such as the Villas of Almaden), as well as patio homes (as we see in some of the Almaden Winery neighborhood). In both cases, as well as in some planned unit developments, there’s a home owner’s association which will usually do all of the front yard landscaping. If the back yard is small, it’s possible to have it planted in a low-maintenance manner to maximize your enjoyment while minimizing the yard work.
As part of your recon efforts, be sure to sit down and discuss your thoughts, hopes, wants and needs with a good Realtor familiar with the area where you want to live. He or she can point out potential alternatives or options that you may not even know exist.