What Should You Look for in a Home Builder When It’s Time to Downsize?
When you’re downsizing, you know that you’re moving into the house you’ll spend a long time in. That means it’s especially important for you to get everything you’ve ever dreamed about.
It’s easy to do this when you’re building your new home, but what exactly should you be looking for when you’re searching for a builder?
While everyone has different needs, we break down some of the most important things to seek out in a home builder when it’s time to downsize.
Floor Plans that Make Sense
Think about the type of floor plan that you want. A lot of people who are downsizing tend to want the kind of single-storey living you find in a bungalow-style home. Others are looking for something maintenance-free like a townhome or condo. For those who prefer a more ‘classic’ home style, a duplex is often a great option. Their affordability makes them a great option for downsizing, and you can still have all the features of a traditional home, such as a yard or an attached garage.
In some cases, multigenerational households are even opting to purchase both sides of a duplex, with older family members moving into one side. This allows them to live in the same building as their kids and grandkids, while still maintaining a sense of independence.
Each builder has their own unique focus, and you need to make sure that the builder can build the type of home you want. This is often a good place to start.
The Design Features You Want
Think about the kind of design features that you want in your new home. For some people, it’s all about practicality. They want things that are going to make their lives easier, such as a mudroom that has a bench for taking off shoes, a laundry room on the main floor, or lever-style door knobs.
Others are focused on style. They want high-end features like quartz countertops, pendant lighting, and a spa-like bathroom.
You can get a sense of whether a builder can incorporate the design features you want by touring their showhomes.
Think of Your Lifestyle Choices
What kind of lifestyle are you planning to lead during your retirement years? This should guide your decision when selecting a home builder.
For instance, some retirees are looking forward to travelling frequently. If that’s the case for you, you probably want to choose a “lock and leave” community. This is a place where you can feel comfortable just locking your home and leaving on your adventure. They’re typically townhome or condo communities where you don’t have to worry about maintenance, and they often have security features like cameras or gated entryways that limit who can enter the community.
An alternative option is a home with a basement that can be turned into a legal suite that you can rent out. Not only does this have the advantage of giving you some extra income to supplement a pension or help pay off your mortgage faster, it also gives you peace of mind to know that there’s someone staying in your home to keep an eye on things while you’re away.
Other retirees may be excited about all the extra time they have to work on their gardening, and will want a nice backyard for this. Or some may prefer to have a home with lots of extra space for hosting get-togethers and extra bedrooms for when the grandkids come over.
Make Sure It’s Affordable
When you retire, you’ll be on a fixed income, and you need a place that fits your budget. Many downsizers can purchase their new homes outright using the equity they’ve built up in their current homes. This is convenient, but make sure you’re also looking at property taxes or any homeowners association fees you may still have to pay on an annual basis.
If you’ll be taking out a mortgage to pay for part of the home, look for a builder who’s willing to work within your budget.
Find a Prime Location
In addition to the quality of homes that a builder builds, you’ll also want to pay attention to the types of communities in which they build. Find a community that’s going to be right for you. For instance, you probably want a place that’s close to grocery stores, and if there are health concerns that may need frequent monitoring, you could look for a place near a medical centre. If you choose a place with attractive walking trails, you can easily stay active, just by stepping outside your home.
And while you don’t need to worry about looking for a home close to good schools anymore, it’s still smart to keep that in mind. This affects resale value, and down the line, you or your loved ones may want to sell the home.
Save Energy and Money
On a fixed income, you want to take savings wherever you can get them. Look at energy savings! A newly-built home is going to be more energy-efficient overall because it will use the latest building techniques and materials.
Ultimately, the right builder for your downsized home is going to depend a lot on what you want in your future home. If you stay focused on these needs, you’ll be able to find the right builder for you. Don’t hesitate to ask our Area Managers any questions you might have about how Sterling can meet your needs.