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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Smart Downsizing Requires a Plan

Nov 04, 2012 10:41PM ● By Jann Coulson


Larger families may need a larger home to accommodate everyone, but it is also wise to plan to downsize to a post-child-rearing home as needs change. Homeowners may be tempted to keep a larger home for future family and friends’ visits, but saving $5,000 annually in maintenance costs by downsizing pays for a lot of condo rentals for guests.

Alterations made throughout the life of the larger property can actually prepare the home for its future use. Downsizing may include identifying future needs such as like single-level living, larger doorways, minimizing utility bills or targeting property insurance premiums. Sometimes this requires a unique space management plan for things like a Murphy bed with a built-in craft table that folds into the bed frame when a guest room is needed, and then converts back to a table for retiree projects.

A remodel can serve multiple goals: to make the house sell faster if a move is necessary; to make the house a functional rental property; or alternatively, to provide a lower maintenance, senior-friendly house, should a long-term stay be desirable. Today, it is a smart move to look carefully at the advantages of remodeling with an eye to green living. Changes in insulation, energy-efficient appliances, water-saving devices and other eco-strategies may prove to be practical alternatives to traditional planning. For seniors especially, it is wise to be on the lookout for new technology that would help conserve energy and provide low maintenance as they age-in-place.

Jann Coulson is a financial coach and can be reached at 850-581-4343 or [email protected]

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