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Many empty nesters ask the question: How do we remake this space to best meet our new normal?
In the latest issue of AARP The Magazine, HGTV’S "Property Brothers" aim to answer it with advice for aging homeowners.
With five easy rules, designed specifically with the older crowd in mind, Jonathan and Drew Scott make the decisions easy.
As couples and individuals move toward retirement, the nature of the home changes. It becomes less of a pit stop between swim meets, soccer camps and birthday parties, and more of a quiet space to spend quality time together — both as a couple and with the whole family. Rooms empty out with kids off to college, which means there's finally time to declutter.
Aging home owners have accumulated a lot of things — and many of them hold sentimental value. To hold all the old artwork and keepsakes, the Scotts recommend generous cabinet space, perhaps in a garage or tool shed.
2. Maintain marketability
The idea of a "me room" can present an issue. As the Scott brothers point out, it's important to remember that the same "me" won't occupy your home forever. Homeowners can personalize their space, but every room should still remain attractive for a future buyer. Go for that yoga room, art studio or man cave (or she shed), but make sure these changes are adjustable in the long run. After all, a home is also an investment for you and your children.
3. Upgrade for enjoyment
Owning a home into old age should be rewarding — both financially and personally. Older owners should save where they can, but also splurge on renovations that make them most excited. The Scott twins recommend indulging in a beautiful outdoor patio. It could become the perfect space to spend time with grandchildren or host friends and family. Their other ideas include: wireless lighting systems, high-end kitchenware and the latest in mattress technology.
4. Easy access
When looking to do a major remodel, the Scotts say that older individuals should keep physical needs in mind — even if it seems far into the future. In the kitchen, they can swap bar-height countertops for something lower and more accessible. The bathroom can also be remodeled to fit older needs: add slanted-tile flooring, a wide-mouthed drain and more.
Some rooms empty out ... and start an argument. Avoid territory wars and compromise with your spouse for common use of the new space. The easiest way to avoid an argument is to dedicate the space to family time. Do your best to make the room into a gathering space for all relatives, young and old!
According to the brothers, being retired and keeping your family home should be both enjoyable and financially wise. You should make the space fit your needs, your wants and your budget.