One of the biggest reasons empty-nesters tell me they want to move from their existing home, is to get away from the stairs! Yes, the stairs that used to provide separation from eating and sleeping has now or is becoming a complete roadblock to easy living. It’s not the stairs per say that are the problem. It’s the hips and knees. Some people have great working joints into their elderly years but others, who may have had injuries, overuse or whatever, find or will find having to climb stairs a pain in the…well, where ever it might be.
The solution is finding a one level home, whether it’s a rancher, townhouse, or condo. Even a house or townhouse that has the master bedroom and laundry on the main level with extraneous bedrooms and other rooms on lower or upper levels will suit some folks.
If you are contemplating a move from your big family home, don’t assume that along with getting rid of the stairs and buying something smaller that you are going to come out with some extra cash. Because of the lifestyle a rancher affords, they are in their own little world when it comes to market value. For instance, all other things being equal, a 1700 sq. ft. rancher can hold the same market value as a two story 2700 sq. ft. family style house that’s right beside it. It’s not the square footage you are paying for, it’s the privilege of having everything on one level.
Although you are downsizing, you probably don’t want to sacrifice quality. Additionally, because there are fewer ranchers than two story homes, prices of nice ranchers tend to be almost the same as the big family home which goes against the idea most people have about downsizing. Many factors contribute to price such as neighborhood and condition of the property of course, but smaller square footage when coupled with a one-level layout will not necessarily translate into dollars saved.