I recently showed two homes to a friend who is gearing up to downsize. She is interested in a specific neighborhood which has many fine attributes including charming homes in a highly sought after, safe, walkable area close to shopping and services.
What is not to like? While some of the homes appear to be in the starter category due to size, the price tags indicate quite the opposite. The first home we looked at was a total of 1,884 sq. feet but only the 1,248 sq. ft. on the main floor was finished. It was done very well, open floor plan and all upgraded and it did maintain the integrity of the home which was built in 1924. Price: $550,000.
When we first entered the home, I was so proud of my friend because she immediately and gracefully jumped into the role of an older person viewing how that home might function for her. Many lessons are learned when caring for a husband’s debilitating illness.
These are the things we discussed:
access to the home (stairs), laundry room in the basement, detached garage entrance on alley, walk from alley to back door, (it rains in Oregon), awkward master bedroom, inside step to back door area, lack of storage and something musty in the basement.
Charming!, location, guest bedroom, good light, open space, updated, low maintenance yard, cute porch and windows that allowed you to view the street from the front room and kitchen.
As a result of our trip into the future, my friend asked me to make out a list of what I looked for when I downsized. My priorities won’t be your priorities, but perhaps my list will serve as a launch pad to motivate you to explore your options.
- Single level residence in a location that is either close to friends or family and no more than 15 minutes to downtown, in a safe neighborhood
- Walkable neighborhood for a stroll and also walkable to my favorite grocery store and easy to get to a bus stop
- A garden
- A guest bedroom
- Size no more than 1,500 sq. ft. I knew this because I had sold my home and rented a much smaller condo for a year and a half that was about 1,100 sq. ft. I like to dig in the dirt, not clean it.
- A window above the kitchen sink
- An area large enough for family dinners even if it is pizza
- A gas stove (I had to do have a gas line put in for this)
- Hardwood floors and some sort of what I call charming
- Purchase something that will be Easy to sell
That remains to be seen, of course, but I have a home that qualifies for the start or the finish line.
What’s on your list?