Should I move or renovate existing home?

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Has anyone on board had to make the decision to stay in your existing home or move to another home? My husband has Parkinson disease and dementia and other health issues. We both are 65 years old. We live in a 2 story home where all of the bedrooms are on the second floor. With his health, I feel eventually we both need to have our bedrooms on the 1st floor. He wanders at night getting up several times at night going to the bathroom. We have been comparing the cost of adding a bedroom on the 1st floor, but, it is costly. The value of the homes in my neighborhood is down due to the original owners moving out and renting out their homes, short sales of homes, foreclosure, therefore, they are not up keeping their homes. When I look at the cost of the addition, which will make the value of my home more than what the houses are selling for in my subdivision. I looking around at different houses and the thought of moving makes me uncomfortable too, to start all over again. We have been in our home for 20 years. I just wanted to see if anyone out there had to make the decision to stay in their home or move. If so, how did they decide what to do?

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Given your husbands health and dementia issues I'm guessing y'all are going to need some help in the near future. You may want to consider a progressive housing plan. Independent living to assited living to nursing care. Your husbands care is going too become increasingly difficult. At your age it may not be wise to be thinking about careing for a house, yard, etc.
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Statewise, I want to book from my own single family house. What a difference from just a few years ago when I was your age to now where I will 70 years old. Now the stairs look steeper.... the house feels bigger, too much to clean... and I swear, the yard has doubled in size :P

My background is real estate, and when you mentioned that your neighborhood isn't being kept up as nicely as it use to be, time to put that For Sale sign in your yard. You are correct your house would be one of the most expensive if you add an addition. And the issues with trying to add an addition, first having to deal with zoning, and once you get approval, finding a contractor who will finish the job within 6 months.

Start downsizing right now in your home, get rid of paperwork you no longer need. It amazing how much paper we keep. I tell you, it feels so good to tear up or shred documents :) Find things to donate, or to give to family. That will make packing to a new home much easier.

Look for 55+ community that also offers Assisted Living or continuing care [there are about 15 such places in and around Richmond]. That way you can actually age in place, make new friends who are from your own generation... and when the time comes for hubby to move to continuing care, you can be in the same community which makes visiting him easier, and you'll have friends to rally around you :)
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Thanks everyone for your response. I feel motivated now to make the decision to just move. I feel that is the best way to go in our situation. By moving it will be a good beginner for me and my husband. You all keep us in your prayers. God Bless.
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I haven't yet been in your situation, but am getting there myself. My house is 1.5 stories, and although I have no trouble using the stairs, I'm no longer comfortable moving furniture up and down the stairs from one floor to another.

In your situation, I would also be concerned about starting over, but rather in a positive way - no more stairs to climb, less area to clean, beginning with a clean slate and hopefully no older house issues to address.

Two things I absolutely will have in my next house are an attached garage and laundry facilities on the first floor. I'm tired of lugging wet laundry upstairs to air dry (reduces my energy footprint).

And it wasn't until this last winter that loading and unloading the car became uncomfortable during winter weather. Plus it's a lot safer to get out of the car in a garage and enter the house when I come home late at night from a hospital trip.

Given the situation you describe in your neighborhood, the value of homes might also be an encouragement to start planning to leave now, rather than later. The city in which I live faces some similar problems, especially a few hundred (last I heard) vacant houses from foreclosures.



Housing values have dropped and even though they've recovered somewhat from the recession, I doubt they'll ever hit a pre-recession high again. Given the lower prices, a different class of people is moving in, changing the dynamics of the neighborhood, something that could happen in your area as well.

The only parts I dread are the actual house hunting and the packing...all the packing! I see it as a good time to downsize.

Given your house (2 stories), aging, and the neighborhood issues, I think those are sufficient justification to consider moving, especially if the neighborhood doesn't stabilize or improve.
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We moved. From a 3 bedroom center entrance colonial to a 2 bedroom ranch with first floor laundry. Wish I had done it sooner.
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At almost the same age, that thought crossed my mind. Do what other seniors in my senior retirement do. Rent a home, an apt. or any other single level home. Yes, moving is daunting, however, you have to consider his Parkinson's will only progress with motor functions diminishing. There are people who can organize a sale of your home contents, and believe me, there are plenty of people who will come to your sale! Everyone loves a bargain. Time to down size, more on to another chapter in your life, and let go of your house. You will be so much happier. (We had a two storey as well, and moved to HI selling most of our contents, fitting everything into five suitcases. Then sold everything in HI to move back to the mainland). Don't hang on to old things and old structures. Begin a new adventure!
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My husband and I are also in our mid 60's and he has Parkinson's. We built our dream home 20 years ago and it was a single story home on an acre of woods that we planned on ageing out in. Then came the Parkinson's and we suddenly realized the upkeep would be way more than I could handle. All our friends said we were "too young" to move into a Retirement Community but we went ahead with our plans and have never looked back. Moving was awful and not something I would have wanted to do on my own after he could no longer help but getting down to just the things we enjoy and use now was very freeing. We have been here less than a year but are finding we do more social things and are more involved in our community than we were before. Love that if ANYTHING goes amiss at our place I just make a phone call and it is taken care of ( faster than my husband used to get to stuff!) Search the Senior Communities in your area until you find the right fit for you. We found one that had detached cottages with single car garages and a fenced postage sized back yard for our dog. We are loving the new care free time we have to spend together just as we please. And if his care gets to the point we need to then there is an assisted living here and a memory care center across the street.
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Llamalover, my husband and I call living in place "Sheltering in place", which is our emergency plan. Statewise could do this without an expensive rennovation, just minor changes such as utilizing a downstairs space for her husband's comfort. There will come a time when spouses cannot sleep due to restless leg and middle of the night awakenings, leg cramps etc.
Ideally, planning a move while one is able would be good, but staying put has it's benefits.
Even though I am for moving to accommodate any decline in abilities to keep your home up, this staying where you are is doable if one can afford help.

I have also seen and read where one spouse refuses to have help come into the home, (often a cognitive decline), putting the other spouse at risk, ending with their children intervening and the spouses separating. Things can go south abruptly, and while we should not live in fear and negativity, planning ahead can be a good thing!
Makes me think, really hard.
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One reason for SIMPLE is for my girls. I don't want them, in their 50s, to have to go thru what I am. Everything has been left up to me out of 3 children. Taking care of Mom, dealing with all that goes with it and trying to sell an old house in a bad economy. It becomes overwhelming at times. TG I have my husband because I couldn't do it on my own.
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I look after my Mum and she is 93 with dementia and a lot of other stuff going on in what used to be a very very sharp brain. Like you a house over 2 floors which was not suitable we now have a 2 bedroom apartment - everything is on the ground floor and there is a garden with a patio. We have had some adjustments made - a brand new shower with solid horseshoe shaped seat - with arms. It has half doors too so I can shower Mum without getting in the shower with her. the horseshoe seat allows me to wash her undercarriage easily and I can dry it and cream it while she is in situ as it were.

I dont regret the move one iota - it has made my life a lot simpler. The apartment is warm cosy and large enough. I don't have a garden to do.... that is done for us. I have a simple clean easy to manage space...AND MUM of course!
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