No doubt many of our readers have spent the past few weeks packing up their kid’s belongings and shipping them off to college. For some it will mean a much quieter, emptier, home. If you’re now, or going to be, an empty nester our expert Realtor, Deb Sarsany of the Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group, offers us some advice when it comes to remodeling or downsizing once your kids fly the nest.
Your home has probably taken on a design of it’s own, molded by those who have lived in it. However, with the kids gone, now is the time to make the repairs and updates you’ve been meaning to since the day you moved in. Wear and tear may give the ‘lived in’ look that you’re used to, but if you plan to put the house on the market and downsize, or enjoy during retirement you might want to make improvements to the chipped molding, dents and dings in the drywall, squeaky hinges on the bathroom door, or cracked tile on the kitchen floor.
With the children gone there will be less need for a family den, which you could now turn into a dedicated hobby room, area for entering guests away from your main living room, or even a gym. If your dining room has spent the past 18 years as an oversized desk for homework and study it’s time to give it some love and turn it back into the space for which it was designed.
If you’re prepared to knock down walls you may want to consider redesigning your floor plan to better suit your future needs. In anticipation of your more senior years a master suite on the ground floor will make getting around much easier. If you bought the home because it had the number of bedrooms needed to house, your then, little ones you may find that it’s worthwhile knocking down a few walls and turning the smaller bedrooms into fewer, but much larger, rooms, especially if you plan on remaining in the home through retirement.
If you don’t already have the laundry room situated on the ground floor this is a must. A spare bedroom can be turned into a laundry room with added conveniences, including a table for folding and stacking and cabinets for extra storage space. The laundry room could also double as a mudroom as one day the house may once again be filled with little ones, their four-legged friends, and everything else that comes with having grandchildren.
Spruce up your outdoor living areas, now that you have more time on your hands you can enjoy a glass of ice cold beer or a cocktail in your newfound tranquil oasis of a back yard. A deck or patio, covered or otherwise, which leads into your newly refurbished great room provides extra space for entertaining.
In the basement you could add a wet bar, TV room or cinema, and guest bath and bedroom for when the grandkids come to stay.
If you are looking to downsize and leave your family home you’ll want it to appeal to most buyers. A neutral color pallet is a must. Time to rid the bedroom of those football or baseball team colors and repair the walls from years of boy band posters. Once you get past your children’s protests a new lick of paint in their bedrooms, a good clean of the carpets, and some interior design pieces that finish the room to a standard you can now invite people to sleep in means you have show-ready rooms when you come to put the house on the market.
A refresh in the kitchen with new countertops, painted cabinets, and even the installation of stainless steel appliances will take the room from drab to fab. If you have carpet throughout you may want to look at investing in new floors. Younger buyers are after something modern looking and most important, easy to clean. Hardwood floors, if you can bare the expense and your Realtor recommends it, or laminate are best.
Once you’ve made these improvements you’ll find it much easier to sell your home so you can move onto a space that works better for your future requirements; smaller, easier to clean, and accessible.
If you need design tips when it comes to reselling your home or you plan to downsize in your retirement give Deb Sarsany a call on (217) 313-0580.