Nowadays, empty nesters have a lot of options in terms of finding a new home when rightsizing.   There are so many homes, villages, communities that cater to people aged 55+ now that can mean choosing a new place could be a daunting task. However, when an elderly adult or their family knows what to look for and expect, it can ease the burden considerably. To help them find a new home that would fit their need and lifestyle, our team have come up with this house-hunting checklist to be aware of what to look for in a new home or retirement living.

House Hunting Checklist

  • Aspect. It is important to look into the direction your new home is facing — east, west, north, south. Choosing a floor plan that faces the right way will make your home more comfortable, and you won’t need to spend as much on heating, cooling, and lighting.
    Some notes to consider:
    East-facing homes will get full morning sun.
    West will get full afternoon sun. Use of lots of glass facing west will most likely cost more in cooling.
    North gets a good mixture without the heat of west-facing homes.
    South gets almost none.
  • Stairs / level access.  Is the house/unit suitably designed if you became unsteady on your feet?  Check if there are any steps that you potentially could have difficulty with. Make sure you could move around easily and safely.
  • Size and number of bedrooms.  How big of a space would you be most comfortable in? Consider your furniture size as well as storage for your stuff.
    Remember, having a home larger than what you actually need, although can give you the extra space for crafts or hobbies, entails higher heating bills. A large space will also take more furniture to furnish and money to decorate, along with the ongoing maintenance costs. Think about how the new home space will be used and whether it will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.
  • Outdoor area.  If having some space outside is important to you, considering that gardening is beneficial to seniors, then check out if the new place has a garden, or at the very least a shared garden.
    If you do decide to have a garden however, remember to consider how much time you have to maintain a garden and the potential increased costs associated with having to employ a part-time gardener.
  • Proximity to points of interests.  Think about proximity to shops, healthcare services, parks and amenities. Would you have problems getting the things and services that you would need?
  • Distance from transport. If you do need to catch a bus or train to your doctors’ appointments, or to visit your family and friends, or to buy groceries and medicines, it would be a great idea to choose a new place that is in close proximity to bus and train stations.
  • Other Considerations. There are other factors that would be good to think about. Would you want to be in a pet-friendly environment? Do you need a pool in complex for your daily exercises? Is a balcony important for you?