If you’ve decided to downsize in retirement, the next step is to find a new home that suits your needs and lifestyle both now, and as you age. But, with so many choices, it can be hard to know where to start!
Making a short checklist of the features that will make your life comfortable now while also adding long-term value to your home, can help you narrow it down. In this article, we’ll share 5 of the most sought-after features in a retirement living home to help you find the perfect fit.
1. Low-Maintenance Inside and Out
Probably the most common reason older Australians choose to move when they retire is to find a smaller, low-maintenance home. It can be hard to stay on top of all the cleaning and chores in a big house as you get older – plus, when there’s less home maintenance, you have more time to do the things you enjoy.
A smaller home and garden automatically cuts your to-do list, but there are some additional features to look out for that can reduce your household chores further. Inside, the type of flooring has an impact, and vinyl planks are ideal. They look great, are easy to clean and won’t ever need polishing. Outside, look for cladding that won’t require regular painting or sanding, and for well-kept garden beds and lawn that you can enjoy rather than be a slave to. Container gardens are a great low-maintenance option. You can position them where it suits you and enjoy your favourite plants with minimal weeding – just remember to keep up the water.
2. Sense of Space and Light
Having a smaller home doesn’t mean you have to feel cramped. When you find a design with a nice open-plan living area and plenty of windows to let in natural light, your home will feel bigger. Small designs that include a raked ceiling are especially good, as the extra ceiling height adds a sense of space and light that really makes a difference to the overall feel of your home.
3. Relaxed Outdoor Living
Let’s face it, we all love relaxing outdoors – so make sure your chosen house has a nice private spot to sit and enjoy sunny days and balmy nights. A fenced yard offers plenty of privacy and the opportunity to enjoy your garden more often. An undercover area is also a must, as it protects you from the elements and allows you to get outside rain, hail or shine.
4. Quality Kitchens and Bathroom
Having a well-presented and functional kitchen and bathroom adds value to your home, and it also makes the daily ritual of cooking and washing so much more enjoyable. Finding a house that has an open, modern kitchen with quality appliances and plenty of bench and cupboard space will make the chef in the house happy. A new or recently updated bathroom is also a big plus and is something you’ll appreciate every day.
5. Energy-Efficient Features
As power prices continue to rise, energy-efficient appliances are increasingly in demand. When your new home includes efficient heating and cooling you’ll save money on your bills – and when you utilise curtains and draught stoppers to keep your house warm or cool naturally, you’ll save even more. LED downlights are another great energy-saving feature, and outside, a water tank helps you keep your lawn and garden looking great without adding to your water bill.
Final Word on Most Wanted Features
Downsizing to a retirement community can be a great lifestyle choice – but only if you find the ideal house. When you create a list of important must-have features from the start, you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding the perfect fit and being happy in your new home for many years to come.
Over to You
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