Forget Downsizing! Why Baby Boomers Should Upgrade Their Empty Nests Instead

By June 9, 2020No Comments

Baby Boomers aren’t downsizing their homes as the experts had predicted. And why should they? With a lack of affordable, compact homes on the market, downsizing often means paying just as much — if not more — for less space. For retirees who own paid-off homes, the benefits simply don’t outweigh the hassle of packing up the house.

Instead of downsizing, many retirees are looking to give their house a facelift.

Older homeowners want to turn their house into a space that reflects and enhances their new stage of life. And it’s not just accessibility updates that retirees are investing in, although aging-in-place modifications are an important consideration.

Rather, Baby Boomers are looking for ways to turn their homes into a fun place to live for the senior years.

What to Know Before Remodeling Your Empty Nest

Before making home improvements, homeowners should understand their property’s appraisal value so they don’t inadvertently over-improve their homes. While there are a number of projects that can increase a home’s value, from improving curb appeal to installing hardwood floors, improvements only pay off when they’re in line with what homebuyers want.

In general, homeowners should avoid putting in a pool, building a home theater, or installing a sunroom if they’re concerned about ROI. Minor kitchen and bathroom remodel and deck installations, on the other hand, tend to pay off.

DIY Home Improvements for Retirees

While major home improvements can be great for a home’s value and livability, it doesn’t take big bucks to make a retiree’s home a more fun place to live. In fact, these upgrades don’t require any contractors to complete. With a little bit of elbow grease and a few basic tools, homeowners can do these home improvements all on their own.

• Design an outdoor entertaining space

A neglected deck or patch of backyard quickly becomes a stylish entertainment space when homeowners lay pea gravel and furnish the patio with furniture, string lights, and a fire pit. To take their entertaining up a notch, retirees can commission a custom outdoor kitchen or create their own freestanding bar and grill.

• Turn a spare bedroom into a hobby room

A hobby room is a great option for homeowners who can’t decide what to do with all their empty bedrooms. In addition to a sturdy work table and good task lighting, a hobby room needs plenty of space to store supplies. If custom built-ins aren’t in the budget, a cubby system, floating shelves, or free-standing cabinets will get the job done.

• Create a guest suite

A bedroom with an en suite bath is ideal for a guest suite, but in the absence of a second master bedroom, homeowners should choose a bedroom with easy access to a full bath. You can spiffy up the room with a coat of paint, a deep floor cleaning, and new light fixtures. It’s also easy to furnish a guest suite with flexible sleeping arrangements like a trundle bed or futon, spare toiletries, linens, and a wall-mounted TV.

• Work out in a home fitness studio

It’s hard to beat the convenience of working out at home, especially with a fully-equipped home gym. In addition to buying yoga mats, resistance bands, free weights, and other workout must-haves, homeowners should install cushioned flooring in home gyms for shock absorption.

A family home may no longer suit the needs of an empty nester couple, but that doesn’t mean moving is the only solution. There’s no shortage of possibilities for seniors who want to renovate their homes to better reflect this new stage of life. From major remodeling projects to DIY home improvements, let these ideas spark your own remodeling vision.


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