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May 15, 2019

Today’s homes have ballooned in size from just 50 years ago. With the kids gone, retiring baby boomers don’t need all that space. A smaller home offers many benefits for downsizing retirees to live large. Here’s why.

Retirees walking on a wooded trail

Lower Mortgage and Utilities for Downsizing Retirees

Financial savings for seniors top the list of reasons for retirees moving into a small home, including a lower mortgage payment, lower utility costs, and less maintenance. Also, owners of larger homes with substantial equity could realize a tidy profit when selling their home and downsizing.

In 2014 the median cost for purchasing an existing home in the U.S. was just under $190,000. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of building a new home today comes in at just over $285,000 – roughly $150 per square foot.  At this cost, an 800-square-foot home would run only $120,000.

Prefabricated housing, such as panel homes or modular building, which costs 10-20 percent less than a conventional stick-built home, could drive the price lower. Structural insulated panels (SIPs),  where the walls come in sections, can be cheaper to transport than a modular home and offer an opportunity for a customized floor plan for accessibility because of the openness of the interior.

Mighty Small Homes are 48% more energy efficient than traditional stick-built homes.

In addition to saving on construction costs, utility costs for small homes kits built with structural insulated panels are much lower. These homes are air-tight and super-insulated.  Mighty Small Homes, for example, are 48 percent more energy efficient than traditional stick-built homes. Also, a smaller space is cheaper to heat or cool.

Read More: 7 reasons to live in a small home

Likewise, small homes do not require the same amount of upkeep that larger homes need. That saves money and time. There’s more time for activities like traveling or visiting with grandkids.

Smartsizing with a Small Home

grandmother and grand daughter gardening

We know it may be a tough decision to pack and move. A smaller home conserves the retirement nest egg and requires less upkeep. For many reasons, it makes sense. Don’t think of it as downsizing. Think of it a new way – “smartsizing.”

This trend is driving demand for smaller, affordable, and accessible housing.

Read More: What makes a home accessible using universal design?

Today’s average home is 2,600 square feet compared to 1,000 square feet for a house built in the 1950s. This growth in home size brings higher costs for mortgages, utilities, and maintenance. By smartsizing, retirees realize the financial benefits and joys of living in a small home.

The stresses of living on a fixed income coupled with aging-related health issues support this movement toward smaller homes among seniors in retirement.

Aging in Place in a Small Home

The monthly costs of assisted living communities can easily hit $6,000-a-month. And the cost of skilled nursing facilities may be as much as $93,000 a year.

There needs to be another option for the over 78 million people who will be 65 or older by the year 2035, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That solution is aging in place.

A small house kit built with accessibility features makes this possible, allowing older adults to live independently longer.  Greater satisfaction comes with living in your own home and sleeping in your own bed. A customized floor plan for one of the Mighty Small Homes models can feature an open floor plan, wider doors and curbless showers, which makes independent living a reality.

A Small Home is a Smart Choice for Retirees

retirees with pug dog in a small homeSmall houses offer downsizing retirees many benefits, but relief from financial stress and the ability to live independently are probably the most important. For retirees who have health-related issues, a small house for aging in place brings peace of mind for themselves and their families.

Whether you like a ranch, cottage or modern-style home, all energy efficient Mighty Small Homes include a custom floor that can meet your needs for today and tomorrow. 

Whether you want to build on an infill lot, on a lakefront or as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), we can help you choose a small house kit that’s right for you. Contact us.