With the kids now grown up and out of the house, empty nesters suddenly find more disposable income and with it a desire to enhance their lifestyles. For many, then, luxury living becomes an attractive next step made possible by extra savings and less daily responsibility for others. Before trying to pick a lavish new home, empty nesters should sit down and think about their needs, priorities, and budget to find that right balance between indulgence and practicality. It doesn’t matter if you are scaling up in the same city, moving closer to grandkids, or just simply looking to reward years of hard work, empty nesters find they have more freedom than ever before to define their perfect version of luxury living.
Determine Your True Needs and Wants
Making a move from a suburban family home that has hitherto brimmed with kids to a luxury residence that caters only to parents requires some thoughtful self-examination. You need to consider aspects of your current home that are no longer needed. Think of things like backyard playsets or laundry room, along with new spaces that might now interest you such as a professional kitchen, a spa bathroom, or a guest suite. Perhaps proximity preferences like walkability are more important than things like proximity to school districts. Be honest about spaces and features that enhance your hobbies and lifestyle vision – whether hosting friends, pursuing arts and crafts, or just simply relaxing. Also examine your plans realistically – will you live here into retirement? Will you need to accommodate aging parents? Defining specific needs separate from aspirational wants is the first step in finding your ideal luxury home.
Understand the Costs of Upscale Living
Pursuing luxury living often coincides with heightened expenses beyond just real estate like country club memberships, housekeeping services, expensive hobbies, and more. Carefully add up potential new costs so they don’t sabotage savings goals like retirement or elder care. Some empty nesters even opt to continue working part-time to support upgraded lifestyles. Additionally, more lavish homes also mean higher utility, maintenance, and tax expenses. When touring luxury homes in Houston or elsewhere, ask real estate agents for estimates on all-in costs, not just list prices. The experts over at Houston-based Jamestown Estate Homes say that getting clarity on the true price tag for luxury living allows more informed trade-off decisions when selecting homes.
Determine the Right Square Footage
One of the most significant purchase and long-term cost factors involves determining the right amount of space for your needs. While luxury homes traditionally hover between 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, accurately identifying an ideal size can prevent overspending on unnecessary rooms. Consider hobbies, frequency of visits from family, retirement visions, and the potential for downsizing or moving again. Work backwards to calculate appropriate square footage.
Make Lifestyle Enhancing Compromises
Since luxury homes cost more by definition, making some practical compromises allows empty nesters to direct budgets towards the spaces and amenities that matter most for their lifestyle. Maybe consider fewer bathrooms or smaller yard space to funnel funds into a guest house wing. Or consider staged finishes that offer luxury touches just in key entertaining spaces rather than throughout the home. Perhaps a condo or townhome floor plan provides comfortable space at a more reasonable price. Purposefully compromising on lower priorities enables customizing luxury living within a workable budget.
The ideal luxury home for empty nesters will balance the indulgence of long-awaited lifestyle desires with practical considerations around things like retirement budgeting and unnecessary excess space. Take the time to appraise spending willingness, size requirements, and housing priorities allows creating a personalized luxury living environment. While higher-end homes inherently require some degree of compromise, intentionally selecting the right tradeoffs enables empty nesters to reward years of hard work with their perfect version of lavish living.