bird nest empty nest in gutter

Empty Nester? Tips for Choosing a Home for Over 55 Living

Over 55 living is sometimes confusing to navigate. You’re an empty nester. The kids are married, and those grandchildren mean everything to you. But your home suddenly seems too large. Even weekend visits from those precious little ones don’t fill the empty space.

You’re not ready to look for adult retirement communities because you’re still a healthy, fit, and vibrant empty nester. But you’re ready to step down to a smaller home. This can be a great choice.  Selling your family home and moving to a smaller home gives you a lot of flexibility:

  • It allows you to sell your home during a strong real estate market.
  • Spend less time maintaining and cleaning a large home.
  • You’ll have more time to pursue hobbies and travel with less maintenance.
  • You save money on heating/cooling a larger house.
  • It gives you the opportunity to move closer to family and favorite amenities.
  • You might even still be working which allows you multiple financing options.


Top Tips for Over 55 Living

Check into 55 and Over Communities

Active Adults Over 55

The top option for many seniors is to investigate 55 and over living communities. These communities offer homes only to people in your age range. Homes are built with safety in mind. You’ll find homes with easy-care landscaping, such as low trees and shrubs that don’t require frequent pruning and gutters equipped with  gutter guards to help keep you safely off of a ladder!

These communities often have a “clubhouse” where you can meet with your neighbors to pursue hobbies, play games, and chat. Some have security gates to increase your personal security. Plus, many have swimming pools for you to enjoy in the summer without you having to take care of the pool.

Communities of homes for 55 and older also hold their value well. Each home is similar in size and layout. And, there’s normally an HOA to ensure that everyone does their part to keep the community immaculate.  People interested in learning more about these over 55 communities and the real estate market, can search the internet for lots of interesting resources.

The Condominium Option

Condominiums are wildly popular with empty nesters. They are often spacious and have two to three bedrooms to allow guest bedroom space for visits from friends and family. They have open layouts that make you feel like you’re in a house, not a condo. In addition, they are often in highly desirable areas close to shopping, movies, medical centers, and dining options.

However, the greatest reason that people opt for a condo is that they are exterior maintenance-free. This means that you will pay a small fee each month to the condo association, but they take care of the lawn care, fall leaf removal, exterior siding, windows, and roofing repairs.  The  property manager takes care of gutter cleaning, annual roof inspections, grass cutting, or taking care of your own heating and a/c systems.

Look for an Open Floor Plan

Perhaps you opt to live in a vibrant neighborhood of younger people because it keeps you feeling younger. Before you purchase a smaller home, look carefully at the floor plan. You’re healthy and fit right now.

Can you look to the future? Could the time come that you need wider doorways to accommodate a walker or wheelchair? While 55 and older homes and condominiums take this into account, some older detached homes do not.  

That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy a home you love. It just means you’ll need to plan and budget to modify the home in the years ahead should the need arise.

What Amenities are Nearby?

Look at which amenities are in the community you’re considering. You drive, but do you really want to fight traffic every day?  Look for a home that’s close to:

  • Your job
  • Grocery shopping
  • Medical care
  • Movie theaters
  • Recreation
  • Shopping

When it’s time to re-sell your home, you’ll also find that homes closer to these conveniences make the home easier to sell and you’ll likely receive a larger return on your investment.

Fitness and Recreation

Right now, you’re in a larger home. You have lawn care, house cleaning, errand running, and other things to keep you very active and fit. Once you downsize, you will have less yard (if any) to take care of. Ensure that continued fitness routines and activities are part of your over 55 living plans.

Look for a home close to:

  • City parks with walking trails
  • Your gym
  • Golf courses
  • An aquatic center or swimming pool
  • Hiking trails
  • Bicycle paths

Anything you can do to choose a home close to facilities to keep you active and fit will help you keep up with those grandchildren!


Once you leave behind that empty nest, a new world will open to you. This is a world of more free time, long visits with the family, and maybe even exciting travel!

Appropriate homes for 55 and older people are available in nearly every community. It’s all a matter of balancing your lifestyle needs and your wish list for that new home. You’ll enjoy over 55 living when you choose the right home.

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