Future Planning & Your Home: What Decisions You Should Start Thinking About
Many of your friends are beginning to downsize and are actively looking for smaller homes to start this next phase of their lives. Their children have moved out. They’re inching closer to retirement, and they’re ready to travel — or at least spend a little less time cutting their massive lawns every week.
This isn’t something that’s crossed your mind before; that is, until your friends started bringing their plans up in conversation. You love your home, but what future events will impact how you live in your space?
Future Planning Your Home: Smaller, Bigger or the Same?
It doesn’t matter if you’re still raising young children or are happily retired. It’s vital to do some future planning for your home at any stage of life. One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you think you’d like to live in a home that is smaller, bigger, or the same size you’re currently living in.
Just because you have friends who look forward to downsizing, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for you, too. In fact, many people consider building new homes as their kids get older, and sometimes these homes are even bigger than the spaces they raised their children in.
The bottom line is that the choice is your own and no one else’s. There’s no wrong or right decision here, just a starting point for considering your options.
What Space Will You Need for Other People In Your Life?
One of the biggest considerations on future planning for your home is who will spend time in it for the years to come. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How long can you expect your children to live with you? Remember, even if your children move out after college, they may need to move back in (with your blessing, of course) after they graduate for a short time.
- Do you have aging parents that may potentially need to move in with you? If so, do they have physical limitations or medical needs to consider?
- Are your children living far away? If so, will they need a place to stay when visiting?
- How often will you care for your grandchildren? Will they be spending the night regularly and need a space of their own?
- Do you regularly entertain house guests? How much room will they need to feel comfortable?
- Are any major life moments, such as an at-home wedding, happening in the near future?
How Will You Choose to Live In Your Space?
Let’s forget about everyone else for a moment. How do you want to use your space in the years to come? For business, consider your workspace. Do you need an office or will a dedicated nook in another room be enough space to store a computer and some files?
What kind of fun do you plan on having?
Do you need your own space for activities such as dark-room film developing or yoga and meditation? Have you always wanted to adopt foster animals?
Maybe you plan on traveling the world in the future and not spending much time at all at home. Whatever your plans entail, take some time to dream about your deepest wishes and desires. If you don’t set intentions for your future, you’ll never achieve the life you want for yourself!
Consider Your Physical Limitations
No one likes to admit that they’re getting older, and planning for later-life physical limitations are one of the last things anyone likes to even imagine. But, yet, future-proofing your space relies on foresight, so it’s important to put your pride aside and consider what upgrades and renovations may be necessary to stay in your own home, or to look for in other homes if you’re considering building or buying.
Some changes may be simple, such as installing better lighting and adding grab bars in the bathroom. Some may require renovations, like adding a ramped entrance. Others may entail buying or building, such as the case of going from a two-story home with a basement to single-story living.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything alone, either. You can choose to stay in your home by enlisting some help. If you have no plans to move because you love your space, but your massive yard is hard to manage, hire a landscaping company to take care of it for you. Housekeepers are similar wise investments, and part of the reason it’s so important to do future planning for your home is so you can save and have a financial buffer to afford the help.
Not sure whether to downsize, build, buy, or renovate? It sounds like you need a strategy session with me. I can help you focus your decisions and outline what type of design challenges and opportunities you have in your future. Request a call now.
I’m Ingrid Porter. As a designer with 30+ years of experience serving Northeastern Ohio, I specialize in personal and detail-driven design for families building or transforming the home of their dreams. If you’re ready to take “home” to the next level, we can’t wait to work with you.