Are You Ready For A One Story Home?

Joe and Barb Royal fixed it up, raised their kids in it, and still cherished the many memories it held.

But the Minneapolis retirees knew they no longer needed their two-story, 3,000-square-foot Colonial, with its five bedrooms, two and a half baths, three-stall garage and finished basement. They wanted to spend more time traveling and less time keeping up the house and yard, and Joe’s arthritis was making climbing the stairs increasingly difficult.

Downsize To A One Level Home

We quickly helped them sell their home of 27 years and find a more manageable three-bedroom, 1,400-square-foot ranch. They still have a finished basement for entertaining and two spare bedrooms for when their kids visit, but they love living on one floor and maintaining less space. They didn’t want to live in a retirement community, so we helped them pick a home in an affordable yet well-kept neighborhood with a nice mix of families and retirees.

They weren’t alone. Only 7 percent of retirees surveyed said they had moved into age-restricted retirement communities, according to a Merrill Lynch/Age Wave study.

That study also found that 51 percent of retirees had moved into smaller homes, and 64 percent said they had downsized to lower their housing costs. With the proceeds from the sale of their home, the mortgage on which had been paid off, the Royals were able to pay cash for the home. They took what was left and invested it in their retirement portfolio.

Buying A One Story Minneapolis Home

Things went smoothly for the Royals, but like any major life transition, there are some important things to consider when making this move. Here are four things to think about when downsizing to one-level living:

  • Increase your leverage – Consider selling your home and temporarily renting, putting your things in storage, until you buy your new home. Without pressure to buy quickly, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a lower price.
  • House or condo – Do you want your next home to be a house or condo? Condos usually cost less and you don’t have to worry about mowing grass or cleaning out the roof’s gutters. But condo associations can charge sizeable monthly fees, sometimes higher than buyers expect. If you find a condo development you like, we’ll be happy to find out the current HOA dues.
  • Find something special – Leaving a home that holds so many memories, having to shed some belongings such as heirloom furniture, and saying good-bye to neighbors you love can be emotionally difficult. In choosing your new home, try to find one that has a quality that is special enough to help ease that pain. It might be a newly remodeled kitchen you’ve always wanted, or an attractive fireplace.
  • Get rid of furniture – Too many people try to take all of their furniture to their new, smaller home. Technically, yes, they can make it all fit, but too often, doing so gives the new home a cramped feeling, making it seem even smaller than it is.

We hope you have found these tips for moving into a one level home helpful, and we eagerly look forward to helping you enter the next exciting phase of your life.

Browse One Level Living Homes

The Kris Lindahl team will be happy to help you find the perfect one story home to suit your lifestyle. To arrange showings contact us today.