The time to start planning (and saving for) your dream retirement home is before you retire. Looking at real estate listings in areas where you’d like to live and making lists of your “must have” features is both fun, and a great way to prepare. Don’t wait until you fall in love with a house to realize it’s missing something you really wanted. You should look at possible homes with your checklist handy.
Think About What You Like to do For Exercise
How do you exercise? If you love to be outside jogging, walking or bicycling, try to find a home near a bike or walking path. If yoga is your thing, see if there is a studio in the neighborhood. If not, make sure you will have a room big enough to put down a yoga mat and follow along with an online class.
Maybe having your own home gym is essential. If so, check that your future home will have an appropriate area for weights and other equipment. Swimmers need to make sure their dream home already has a pool, or at least has enough room to install one. If you’re thinking “How much does an inground pool cost?”, find out now and factor that into what you will need to save.
Make Sure Your Dream Home Has Room For Your Hobbies
Avid readers may want their own library. Musicians and artists will need their own space, either within the home or in an outbuilding. Writers will need a quiet place, away from the main floor so they can concentrate.
If your hobby is cooking, make sure the kitchen meets your standards. Decide what would be the ideal and then decide what you could make do with. Some concerns may be gas or electric stove, a pantry or a granite island.
Bird watchers and stargazers will need a porch or balcony to make their observations from. Porches and balconies are also great places to have your morning coffee or evening wine.
Maybe you’ve always wanted a mini farm but haven’t been able to previously, check out the zoning laws where you’re thinking of moving. Then make sure you have some outbuildings like sheds or barns, or at least enough room to have a chicken coop.
Decide How Big it Should Be
There are two schools of thought here. Some retirees are thrilled to trade in their large family home for something smaller and easier to take care of. Others have been living in city apartments and can’t wait to spread out in the country. In either case, come to an agreement about what you want and need.
There is also a decision to be made about whether you want something newly constructed or prefer the charm of an antique home. Antiques houses usually come with a lot of maintenance projects, but you may find that enjoyable.
Should the yard be large or small? Consider how much you really like yard work. If this is sounding tiring instead of something enjoyable, you might want to consider a small yard. On the other hand, if you have been looking forward to long days outside gardening, then go for a bigger plot. Those with dogs may appreciate a fenced-in yard, while others want to maintain the open look of no fence, especially if the home borders a patch of woods or conservation land.
If you like to entertain, you will want a home big enough for visitors. You will most likely want a dining room, extra bedrooms and a large, but cozy living room with a fireplace. If you’re not looking forward to chopping wood or cleaning ashes, you can always opt for a home with a gas fireplace. Those families that love games may want a special room with tables for cards and board games. A pool table would be fun, too, so make sure the room is big enough for one.
Planning your dream home is both practical and exciting and it’s never too soon to start.